QUETZALCOATLUS


Quetzalcoatlus goes down in history as the largest flying organism of all time, with a wingspan of 12 metres, which is larger than some planes. Quetzalcoatlus was the undisputed king of the Late cretaceous skies, so it seems fitting that its name is derived from an Aztec god, Quetzalcoatl. Although its wingspan is impressive, Quetzalcoatlus also had a huge 2.5 metre long skull, that is the average height of an Asian elephant!
To get such a huge animal in the air, a complex system of air sacs was needed inside the bones, this meant that Quetzalcoatlus probably weighed no more than 250kg. Quetzalcoatlus, along with many pterosaurs, was originally thought to spend most of its time gliding over the oceans, skimming fish out from the surface of the water with their elongated beaks. However, due to the skull and beak morphology and the presence of fossils far inland it has become more widely accepted that Quetzalcoatlus stalked prey far below on the land. The fore and hind limb morphology of Quetzalcoatlus also suggests that they were competent walkers on the land, they would have stood up to 3 metres tall. 


The feeding habits of Quetzalcoatlus still remain something of a mystery. It was originally thought to be more of a scavenger, but the blunt beak was unsuited to stripping and picking flesh of a bony creature. It is more likely that Quetzalcoatlus hunted like modern-day storks, stalking the land from the skies above for smaller animals and then swooping down to eat them whole.

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Scientists discover a new nodosaur dinosaur species, and the specimen has perfectly preserved skin

  • An equipment operator at an oil mine in Alberta, Canada, found some unusual buried treasure in 2011 — a roughly 110 million-year-old, dragon-like dinosaur with its armored, spiky skin still intact.
  • Now, scientists understand the true weight of that discovery — the specimen, called a nodosaur, makes way in the encyclopedia for an all-new genus and species.
  • It’s a type of ankylosaur that lived during the Cretaceous period, and this specimen is about 18 feet long and about 3,000 pounds, according to National Geographic. Plus, it’s extremely rare for scientists to have more than the bones of a specimen to work with.
  • “We don’t just have a skeleton,” Caleb Brown, a postdoctoral researcher at Royal Tyrrell Museum, told National Geographic. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.” Read more (5/16/17)

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Look kids, I know that you really, really want your Jurassic Park T. Rex to be “real” in your bone-headed, made-up war on “Fluffy Dinosaurs.” Nostalgia has blinded every generation from accepting new information on dinosaurs, from dragging tails to scaly skin. Paleontology isn’t as cut-and-dry as the movie monsters that we’ve made dinosaurs into (and yes, I love movie monster dinos. But that’s all they are: movie monsters) and people need to stop sharing error-riddled articles and all those stupid fucking blog posts claiming “victory” over something they don’t understand because an arbitrarily designated “King of the dinosaurs” (disclaimer: still my favorite dino) didn’t look like their Playskool toys from when they were 5.

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Scientists find mind blowing feathered dinosaur tail suspended in amber

  • Scientists have discovered a 99-million-year-old fragment of a dinosaur tail suspended in amber.
  • It’s “a once in a lifetime find,” as paleontologist Ryan McKellar told CNN, because it provides rare insight into the way dinos actually looked.
  • These are “the first non-avialan theropod fragments preserved in amber.”
  • he segment is believed to have come from a juvenile dinosaur, possibly a coelurosaurian.
  • The tail is covered in brown and white feathers, with bones and tissues and even some blood mummified in its amber tomb. Read more

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politicians: your “”””science”””” is fake

scientists: yeah ok sure

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 Meet the nodosaur — the plant-eating armored dinosaur! Discovered by miners in Alberta, it is the best-preserved fossil of its kind.

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A hunter in Montana accidentally discovered a prehistoric sea monster

  • Seven years after an elk hunter accidentally stumbled on a fossil in Montana’s Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, the new species he found by mistake has a name — Nakonanectes bradti.
  • “Nakonanectes” is to honor the native Nakona people of Montana, and “bradti” is after David Bradt, the hunter who discovered the fossil, according to a statement from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
  • When Bradt first discovered the fossil in a stream in 2010, he believed it was from a dinosaur. “It’s about the size of a cow, and I’m thinking it’s a triceratops,” he told the Associated Press.
  • But when paleontologists excavated and studied the fossil, it turned out it belonged to a prehistoric sea creature that lived in an inland sea east of the Rocky Mountains some 70 million years ago, according to the AP. Read more (4/14/17 10:24 AM)

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There’s a new paleontology-themed series in town!

Also, this trailer shows loads and loads of images from our artists!

Got an extra $750k burning a hole in your pocket? Sounds like you need to buy the largest fossil crocodile ever found in Green River, Wyoming! It’s 50 million years old, so you’re only paying 1.5 cents per year ;)

Soo many amazing things to see at the Tucson Fossil & Mineral shows! Spread between 58 locations, it’s basically a Where’s Waldo of dinosaurs.