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The Plesiosaurs, those giant creatures with long neck and aerodynamic form who lived in the seas 65 million of years ago, are usually mistaken for the dinosaur. However, they belong to a different aquatic reptile family. Carcass caught by the Zuiyō Maru off the coast of New Zealand in 1977 The story I am about to tell is about Plesiosaurs, seas, and mystery. Otherwise, I wouldn't tell it! It was the 70s, 20th century, a small Japanese fish boat fishing around New Zealand caught with its nets a strange animal. The crew was astonished, they had never seen something like that....
This gem was found in the quarry of Las Hoyas, Cuenca. We should speak shortly about that quarry, because there is still a lot to tell about it. It is a Barremian (early Cretaceous) site with an extraordinary fossil Lagerstätte. The preservation of the dinosaur fossils there is exceptional due to a series of convenient factors. It was discovered in the 80s and every summer there are organized Paleontology excavations. The hallmark of the dinosaurs found at Las Hoyas is their morphologic peculiarity, besides their excellent preservation. The name of this dinosaur gives us hints about this morphology: Concavenator corcovatus, "the hunchback...
Depending on who you ask, the answer is different. Unfortunately, giant prehistoric crocodiles' fossils aren't found complete, and only isolated parts of the skeleton and fragments form this puzzle. For the time being, we are sure about three species competing for the top on this peculiar ranking. Deinosuchus Depicted in the front picture, it lived 75 millions of years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous. It's important to note that actually it's not a crocodile, as it's kin to the American alligators. It has a broad, robust mouth, which allowed this species turn on itself to dismember the meat of...
The Earth shook beneath its feet and it stalked stealthily its preys near the watering holes. There, at the soft wetlands were marked its tridactyl footprints. There are not many big ichnites of the mega predators of those times, and its tracks are shy. Some of these footprints have been attributed to the Tyrannosaurus rex, due both to their size and their age. However, a new footprint discovered in Bolivia puts on the Cretaceous map a new titan 80 million years old (footprint picture in the image at the top). It lived before the Tyrannosaurus rex and it was bigger....
The picture above is a Sinornithosaurus millenii displayed in the Hong Kong Science Museum. Photo by Laikayiu. Nowadays it's not rare to see drawings or mock-ups of dinosaurs with feathers, but when the Sinornithosaurus was discovered in 1999, it was only the fifth dinosaur species which was discovered with fossilized feathers. Sinornithosaurus' fossil detail The sites in China have only grown their lists of feathered dinosaurs since then. The explanation is simple: the sediments that conserved the fossils had an exceptional quality. So much that even the finest details have been fossilized. The feathers can be studied with great detail, and the Sinornithosaurus...
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