If you've got a heap of extra cash waiting to be spent on something that will make your friends jealous, you might consider heading to Dallas on Sunday.
Heritage Auctions is offering four dinosaurs, including a "fighting pair" made up of an allosaurus and a stegosaurus, as well as 9-foot-tall shark jaws and more than 200 other curiosities of natural history. And while they may make excellent conversation pieces in an oversized living room, museums would hope that you'd donate them so that more people can see them and scientists can study them further.
Following on the heels of the discovery of a new dinosaur species, another interesting piece of research has come out about these prehistoric monsters: Many carnivorous species were nocturnal.
The study, published in the journal Science, casts doubt upon the idea that hundreds millions of years ago (up until about 65 million years ago), most dinosaurs were active only during the day, leading mammals to hide from them in the shade. In fact, several carnivorous dinosaur species were probably sleeping during the day, and would hunt at night, new research suggests.
"It gives us a new view of how to reconstruct the dinosaur era and how the environment in the Mesozoic, the dinosaur era, was actually used," said Lars Schmitz, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis, and co-author of the study. "That's a totally new component of paleontology."
It's fitting that a place called Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, would yield the discovery of a scary-looking creature. But it's not a ghost - it's a dinosaur.
This dog-sized, ferocious-looking critter is called Daemonosaurus chauliodus, which means something along the lines of “buck-toothed evil lizard,” says Hans-Dieter Sues, lead author of the published research describing this dinosaur, and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.
The illustration above compares the head and neck with a quarter. You can see that it has a short snout and enormous front teeth.
Workers at an oil sand site in Canada have found a 110 million-year-old fossil of a dinosaur previously unknown in that area, Alberta's Royal Tyrrell Museum announced.
Employees of Suncor Energy, the parent company of Sunoco and PetroCanada, stopped work last week near Fort McMurray, Alberta, when supervisor Michel Gratton and shovel operator Shawn Funk found a large lump of dirt with an unusual texture and diamond patterns.