When paleontologist Mary Schweitzer found soft tissue in a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil , her discovery raised an obvious question — how the tissue could have survived so long? The bone was 68 million years old, and conventional wisdom about fossilization is that all soft tissue, from blood to brains , decomposes. Only hard parts, like bones and teeth, can become fossils. But for some people, the discovery raised a different question. How do scientists know the bones are really 68 million years old? Today’s knowledge of fossil ages comes primarily from radiometric dating , also known as radioactive dating. Radiometric dating relies on the properties of isotopes. These are chemical elements, like carbon or uranium, that are identical except for one key feature — the number of neutrons in their nucleus. Atoms may have an equal number of protons and neutrons.
Dating Dinosaur Fossils
A team of international scientists has found the oldest record of life on Earth in Northern Quebec, dating back at least 3. Our solar system formed about 4. The discovery was made in the Nuvvuagittuq Greenstone Belt in Northern Quebec in rock known as “banded iron formations. Johnathan O’Neil, assistant professor at the University of Ottawa’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, holds a sample of rock taken from the area where he and the research team discovered microfossils of the oldest life forms ever found on Earth.
Radiometric dating is a process used by many archaeologists to determine the age of fossils This should help us understand how dinosaur brains worked.
Of the species that have been classified in the upper Morrison Formation of the western US, only three are universally recognized; S. The remains of over 80 individual animals of this genus have been found. Stegosaurus would have lived alongside dinosaurs such as Apatosaurus , Diplodocus , Brachiosaurus , Allosaurus , and Ceratosaurus ; the latter two may have preyed on it. These were large, heavily built, herbivorous quadrupeds with rounded backs, short fore limbs, long hind limbs, and tails held high in the air.
Due to their distinctive combination of broad, upright plates and tail tipped with spikes , Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable kinds of dinosaurs. The function of this array of plates and spikes has been the subject of much speculation among scientists. Today, it is generally agreed that their spiked tails were most likely used for defense against predators, while their plates may have been used primarily for display, and secondarily for thermoregulatory functions.
Stegosaurus had a relatively low brain-to-body mass ratio. It had a short neck and a small head, meaning it most likely ate low-lying bushes and shrubs. One species, Stegosaurus ungulatus , is the largest known of all the stegosaurians bigger than related dinosaurs such as Kentrosaurus and Huayangosaurus. The first known skeletons were fragmentary and the bones were scattered, and it would be many years before the true appearance of these animals, including their posture and plate arrangement, became well understood.
Despite its popularity in books and film, mounted skeletons of Stegosaurus did not become a staple of major natural history museums until the midth century, and many museums have had to assemble composite displays from several different specimens due to a lack of complete skeletons. Stegosaurus is one of the better-known dinosaurs, and has been featured in film, postal stamps, and many other types of media.
New feathered raptor lived just before the asteroid strike
On any given day researchers and students might be dissecting a giraffe or an ostrich, measuring the force a Barn Owl produces when it takes off to pursue prey, or using X-ray video to analyze the wobbling gait of broiler chickens. Heers takes the birds to her station along one wall of the lab and pops them into an open cardboard box turned sideways. As the chicks huddle together, looking confused and a little anxious, Heers trains two high-speed video cameras on the box and boots up a computer on a table a few feet away.
Heers, 31, is a petite woman with a head full of dark curls. She has been watching birds for much of her life.
Brain evolution and dinosaur brains. Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence. “Ar”Ar dating of the Manson impact structure: A Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.
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Bird skulls evolved much more slowly and are far less diverse than those of dinosaurs, a new study suggests. While the earliest birds evolved million years ago, in the Jurassic, previous studies suggest their modern diversity evolved in a burst of evolution after the other dinosaurs died out in the end -Cretaceous mass extinction.
However, researchers say diversity is only the tip of the iceberg of broader variation in dinosaurs, the precursor to modern birds. The team studied the structure of the bird and dinosaur skulls, using high resolution 3D scanning to explore how the bird skull fits into the big picture of dinosaur skull evolution.
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Pachycephalosaurus , genus of large and unusual dinosaurs found as fossils in deposits of North America dating to the Late Cretaceous Epoch about million to Pachycephalosaurus, which grew to be about 5 metres 16 feet long, was a biped with strong hind limbs and much less developed forelimbs. The unusual and distinctive feature of Pachycephalosaurus is the high, domelike skull formed by a thick mass of solid bone grown over the tiny brain.
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New ancient genomic research reveals information about human history in China. Newly released genomes from Neolithic East Asia have unveiled a missing piece of human…. Research finds leg length gave giant predatory dinosaurs the advantage of efficiency, not speed as previously thought. A new University of Wisconsin Oshkosh analysis of raptor teeth published in the…. Researchers have discovered an ancient plant species whose reproductive biology captures the evolution from one to two spore sizes — an essential transition to the….
Adalatherium identified as part of enigmatic Southern Hemisphere mammalian group that lived at the time of dinosaurs. Several years ago, Guillermo Rougier, Ph. Paleontologist and National Geographic Explorer finds unique swimming adaptations in a dinosaur. Scientists have long opposed the idea that dinosaurs lived in aquatic habitats. A new way of looking at marine evolution over the past million years has shown that levels of biodiversity in our oceans have remained….
The Kem Kem beds in Morocco are famous for the spectacular fossils found there, including at least four large-bodied non-avian theropods, several large-bodied pterosaurs, and…. This is according to….
Dinosaur bones: How do we know their age?
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The Field Museum fuels a journey of discovery across time to enable solutions for a brighter future rich in nature and culture. You may know SUE as the hilarious, pun-loving dinosaur turning Twitter into a personal smorgasbord. Or you might treasure that selfie you snapped with this fearsome fossil looming overhead. This specimen has been invaluable to the paleontological community since its discovery. And before settling into the luxurious life of a well-kept Chicago museum attraction, SUE had quite the history!
Dating back to the Cretaceous period—about 67 million years ago—this massive predator lived to the upper end of the life expectancy of a T. How do we know? Dinosaur bones have growth rings, just like trees. After examining these rings, scientists also determined that SUE had an adolescent growth spurt—gaining as much as 4. Hendrickson spotted a few large vertebrae jutting out of an eroded bluff and followed her hunch that there were more beneath the surface.
After excavating the fossilized bones, collectors wrapped the bones in protective plaster field jackets to remove them from the site. The highest bidder?