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. If, however, there are too many or too few neutrons, the atom is unstable, and it sheds particles until its nucleus reaches a stable state.
Dating Dinosaur Fossils
A pebble-sized object found in by a U. The remarkable discovery, dating to the Cretaceous Period million years ago, offers insight into dinosaur evolution, behavior, intelligence and brain structure. Scanning electron microscope analysis of the fossil reveals it is a fossilized portion of a brain that belonged to an Iguanodon-like dinosaur. Iguanodon, meaning ” Iguana Tooth,” was a large, plant-eating dinosaur that lived during the Early Cretaceous.
It could grow up to 43 feet long and possibly more, according to some estimates.
Story of Dinosaur Evolution and Ecology Rewritten After Unambiguous Fossil Evidence Crows: Evolutionary Tracing to Discover How Birds Evolved Big Brains.
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. The skulls of more than species of birds and non-avian dinosaurs were 3D surface and CT scanned to create the biggest dataset of bird and dinosaur skulls to date. Studies were carried out to identify hundreds of 3D points of comparison across all these species.
This made it possible to reconstruct the evolution of their skulls over more than million years. Researchers say that no study to date has ever captured such a huge range of dinosaur diversity in such detail or directly compared the shape of the skull across the full range of living and extinct dinosaurs. The team was surprised to find that their results indicate the skull evolves much slower in birds than in non-avian dinosaurs.
In birds most of the skull is taken up by large eyes and brains, rather than large biting muscles or ornaments. As a result, bird skulls are variable in the beak but not in the top or back of the skull, researchers say. The study, Decelerated dinosaur skull evolution with the origin of birds, is published in the journal PLoS Biology. Bird skulls evolved slower than those of dinosaurs, study suggests.
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Dinosaur extinction lines up closely with timing of volcanic eruptions
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A partial skull, painstakingly reconstructed from more than fragments has revealed that Homo erectus existed at least , years earlier than previously thought. In addition, the fossil remains, excavated from the Drimolen Fossil Hominin site in the Cradle of Humankind, northwest of Johannesburg South Africa , suggest that this hominin evolved in Africa and not in Asia.
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Brain evolution and dinosaur brains. Evolution of the Brain and Intelligence. “Ar”Ar dating of the Manson impact structure: A Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary.
Brachiosaurus walked on four legs and, like the other Brachiosaurids and unlike most dinosaurs, its front legs were longer than its hind legs. These unusual front legs together with its very long neck gave Brachiosaurus a giraffe-like stance and great height, up to feet m tall. Brachiosaurus was about 85 feet 26 m long, and weighed about tons tonnes.
It had a claw on the first toe of each front foot and claws on the first three toes of each rear foot each foot had five toes with fleshy pads. Like other Brachiosaurids, it had chisel-like teeth, its nostrils were on the top of its head, and it had large nasal openings indicating that it may have had a good sense of smell. Brachiosaurus had 26 teeth on its top jaw and 26 on the bottom for a total of 52 teeth towards the front of the mouth.
DIET Brachiosaurus was an herbivore, a plant eater.
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.
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