Dinosaurs

Blogs about dinosaurs

Sinlhouette of Lusovenator santosi with the available bones

An article published in the “Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology” reports the identification of a carnivorous dinosaur that lived in today’s Portugal between 153 and 145 million years ago, in the Jurassic period. A team of researchers led by Dr. Elisabete Malafaia of the Portuguese University of Lisbon named it Lusovenator santosi and attributed it to the Carcharodontosauria group, part of the larger group of allosaurs, carnivorous dinosaurs that were superpredators in their ecosystems. This species is very ancient within its group and its discovery offers some new information on the first phase of these dinosaurs’ diversification, which is currently poorly known due to the scarcity of fossils.

Aratasaurus museunacionali fossil

An article published in the “Scientific Reports” journal announces the discovery of a new species of carnivorous feathered dinosaur that lived in today’s Brazil about 104 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period. A team of paleontologists named it Aratasaurus museunacionali and attributed it to the group of coelurosaurs. The examination of the few available bones of the uncovered specimen indicates that it was a juvenile, but its length already exceeded three meters. An interesting conclusion is that the new species according to the researchers is a close relative of Zuolong salleei, a dinosaur that lived in today’s China about 160 million years ago, in the Jurassic period.

Silhouette of Overoraptor chimentoi with the bones found

An article published in the journal “Science of Nature” reports the identification of a new species of dinosaur with characteristics similar to birds that lived about 90 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, in today’s Patagonia, Argentina. A team of researchers led by Matias Motta named it Overoraptor chimentoi, a name that reminds more of predatory dinosaurs than birds. In fact, some of its characteristics are typical of that type of dinosaur, with legs suitable for running and a claw similar to that of Velociraptor on its second toe. Instead, its arms have characteristics much closer to bird wings, and this suggests that it’s one of the species closest to birds among the various known raptors.

Bones of Navajoceratops sullivani and Terminocavus sealeyi

An article published in the journal “PeerJ” reports the discovery of two species of horned dinosaurs that lived about 75 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period, in today’s New Mexico, USA. Dr. Denver W. Fowler and Dr. Elizabeth A. Freedman Fowler examined fragments of skulls discovered in the Kirtland Formation, New Mexico, and attributed them to two hitherto unknown species of herbivorous dinosaurs from the ceratopsid family naming them Navajoceratops sullivani and Terminocavus sealeyi. According to the two researchers, these are transitional species between two previously known species: Pentaceratops sternbergii and Anchiceratops ornatus. This could also be true for a third possible species that appears to belong to the same group even if researchers haven’t identified it with certainty due to the fragmentary nature of the fossils discovered.

Artist's concept of Borealopelta markmitchelli (Image courtesy Julius Csotonyi © Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology)

An article published in the journal “Royal Society Open Science” reports a study on the last meal of the only known specimen of Borealopelta markmitchelli. The exceptional conservation of this armored dinosaur fossil, a nodosaurid ankylosaur, has also made it possible to find what is by far the best-preserved dinosaur stomach discovered so far. This allowed a team of researchers to examine this stomach and its contents, a mass the size of a soccer ball. The result is definitive evidence of the diet of these herbivorous animals and offers much more information on the interaction with their environment than just the skeleton.