Tag Archives: cretaceous

Giant Pterosaurs

Pterosaurs reached only modest sizes in the Triassic and Jurassic periods. By contrast, the Cretaceous period saw a trend toward large to giant size (2 m to over 6 m wingspans), and while small-medium (less than 1 m to 2 m wingspans) sized forms are known from the Early Cretaceous …

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New Bird Species

Paleontologists in China have identified a new species of pengornithid enantiornithine bird with a pair of elaborate tail feathers. An illustration showing what Yuanchuavis kompsosoura might have looked like in life. Image credit: Haozhen Zhang. Enantiornithes are the most successful group of Mesozoic birds, arguably representing the first global avian …

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Modern Snake Diversity

About 66 million years ago, a massive asteroid crashed into Earth near the site of the small town of Chicxulub in what is now Mexico. The impact eradicated roughly 75% of the animal and plant species on Earth, including whole groups like non-avian dinosaurs and ammonites. New research from the …

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Cretaceous Mammal

Fossiomanus sinensis and Jueconodon cheni, two distantly related species of mammaliamorphs that lived some 120 million years ago (Early Cretaceous epoch), were well adapted for fossorial (burrowing) life, and are the first ‘scratch-diggers’ known from the Jehol Biota, which is distributed mainly in western Liaoning Province and neighboring areas in …

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Fossil Praying Mantis

Paleontologists have identified a new fossil genus and species of primitive praying mantis from fore- and hind-wing imprints discovered in Labrador, Canada. Labradormantis guilbaulti. Image credit: Demers-Potvin et al., doi: 10.1111/syen.12457. Paleontologists know that most modern praying mantises, with their characteristic grasping forelegs, look very different from their oldest fossil …

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Cretaceous Mosasaur

A bizarre new genus and species of mosasaur with teeth unlike those of any known reptile has been identified from fossils found in Morocco. Life reconstruction of Xenodens calminechari. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin. The mosasaurs were a group of lizards that became highly specialized for marine life in the mid-Cretaceous …

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Cretaceous Dinosaur

A maned theropod dinosaur with elaborate filamentous structures has been identified by a research team led by University of Portsmouth paleontologists. Life restoration of Ubirajara jubatus. Image credit: Bob Nicholls, paleocreations.com. The newly-discovered dinosaur species lived about 110 million years ago (Aptian stage of the Cretaceous period) in what is …

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First Remote Touch Birds

Some probe-foraging birds locate their buried prey by detecting vibrations in the substrate using a specialized tactile bill-tip organ. This remarkable ‘sixth sense’ is known as remote touch, and the associated organ is found in probe-foraging species belonging to both the palaeognathous (in kiwi) and neognathous (in ibises and shorebirds) …

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Cretaceous Titanosaur

A giant sauropod dinosaur that lived 85.2 million years ago (Cretaceous period) in what is now Brazil had an aggressive case of osteomyelitis in its leg and soft-bodied parasitical microorganisms in its vascular canals. Life reconstruction of the titanosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Adamantina Formation in São Paulo backcountry, southeastern …

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Sickle Shaped Beak

Paleontologists in Madagascar have identified a new genus and species of enantiornithine bird that had a long and deep beak, a morphology that was previously unknown among Mesozoic birds. Falcatakely forsterae amidst non-avian dinosaurs and other animals from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar. Image credit: Mark Witton. The newly-identified bird …

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