All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
11 01, 2011

Flying Reptile with “Piranha-like” Jaws

By | January 11th, 2011|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|1 Comment

New Cretaceous Pterosaur Genus from British Columbia

Pterosaurs, that extinct group of flying reptiles that lived during the Mesozoic, evolved into a huge variety of forms before finally becoming extinct around sixty-five million years ago.  The last of the Pterosaurs, most notably the Azhdarchids and the last surviving members of the Pteranodontidae were toothless.  However, not all Late Cretaceous flying reptiles had toothless beaks, a discovery from British Columbia (Canada) provides an insight into a new genus of Pterosaur with teeth at the end of its jaws described as resembling those of a piranha.

The fossil, part of the jaws of the flying reptile was found when a rock from a beach on British Columbia’s Hornby Island was split open.  The area has produced a number of dinosaur fossils as the Cretaceous-aged cliffs are eroded away to expose potential fossil material, but this is the first Pterosaur fossil found in the area.

The Rock Nodule Split Open to Display the Fossil (Slab and Counter Slab components)

Picture Credit: Victoria Arbour/University of Alberta

The black bar at the bottom of the picture is a scale bar representing 10 cm.

Pterosaur fossils are extremely rare and to find skull and jaw material is very significant as it can give palaeontologists valuable information about what the animal may have eaten.  This new species has been scientifically named – Gwawinapterus beardi.  Although no other elements of the skeleton have been found to date, researchers estimate that it had a three-metre wingspan and have based their descriptions on the fossilised remains of other Later Cretaceous Pterosaurs from the northern hemisphere.

The paper, reporting the finding of this important new fossil is featured in the January edition of the “Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences”, lead author is University of Alberta palaeontologist Victoria Arbour.

Commenting on this “uniquely Canadian species”, Arbour, a PhD student who has worked on a number of British Columbia Cretaceous fossils including Ankylosaur material stated that British Columbia presented a series of challenges to fossil hunters, who in comparison with palaeontologists based in Alberta, have a more difficult task of finding fossils.

She stated that in practice; palaeontologists and field workers comb the beaches along the Pacific coast:

“They basically pick up rocks, and they crack them open, and sometimes, they have fossils inside.”

The reptile was identified from the fossil jawbone which was examined by Graham Beard, a well-known fossil collector who runs the Vancouver Island Palaeontological Museum in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. Arbour named the species after him.

An Illustration of what G. beardi may have Looked Like

Pterosaur illustration.

Picture Credit: Victoria Arbour/University of Alberta

Graham thought it was part of a dinosaur’s jaw but once the object was passed on to Phil Currie, the eminent palaeontologist who is supervising Victoria in her studies, it was identified as Pterosaur remains.  Professor Currie was recently inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in recognition of his contribution to science and the study of dinosaurs in that Canadian province.

To read more about this award: Eminent Palaeontologist Awarded Honour

Professor Currie co-authored the formal scientific description, the name meaning “raven wing” in a local dialect with the species name honouring Graham Beard.

The distinctive, tightly spaced, arrow-like teeth are similar to teeth ascribed to a Cretaceous Pterosaur genus known from China.

When asked to describe the teeth, Victoria said:

“The teeth look a little bit like piranha teeth the way that they are packed really close together.”

The teeth are positioned to towards the front of the snout (anterior), as to what this Pterosaur fed on remains a mystery, but it has been suggested that it may have scavenged carcases using its strong teeth and long beak to nip off pieces of meat that other scavengers could not reach.  Although a predatory habit, swooping down on other Pterosaurs, small mammals and lizards has also not been ruled out.


Subsequent research published in 2012 identified the remains as having come from a saurodontid fish.

10 01, 2011

New Clues to Cambrian Extinction Event

By | January 10th, 2011|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Geology, Main Page|0 Comments

Scientists Put Forward New Theory for Cambrian Extinction Event

The history of life on planet Earth has been punctuated with a series of extinction events.  More than fifty major extinctions have been identified over the last 500 million years or so.  Life on Earth has had to get used to these setbacks, however, extinctions have permitted new organisms to evolve and they have helped to “spur on” evolution.  A new paper has just been published in the scientific journal “Nature” that sheds light on one of the first major extinction events recorded in the fossil record – the Late Cambrian extinction.

Following the Cambrian explosion that saw the recording of all the known animal phyla in the fossil record from approximately 540 million years ago, life was thriving in the shallow seas of the Cambrian Period.  Porifera (sponges) were widespread, along with the Brachiopods and Molluscs. Although there is evidence of the first Chordates (back-boned animals or animals with a notochord), the most advanced creatures were the Arthropods, creatures such as Trilobites that had already evolved into many different families.

An Illustration of a Typical Trilobite

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

However, from approximately 520 million years to 490 million years ago, a series of swift extinction events took place, radically altering the types and quantity of marine invertebrate genera present.  A team of geologists have completed a study of rock strata laid down in the middle of this geological period and their data showing high levels of sulphur and carbon indicate that changes to the atmosphere may be the cause for the dying out of many types of organism.

According to their study, reported in this weeks edition of “Nature” the ocean’s oxygen levels fell sharply and sulphur levels rose very quickly, killing off genera that could not adapt.

Benjamin Gill, one of the authors of the report (Post-doctoral Fellow and research Fellow assistant at Harvard University), commented:

“Around 499 million years ago, large portions of the ocean were oxygen deficient and also contained hydrogen sulphide.”

The geologists studied a specific subset of Cambrian extinctions that began approximately 499 million years ago and lasted for two to four million years.  Low oxygen levels had been postulated as putting the brake on the advancement of life forms, but until now there was little supporting evidence for this theory.

The chemical analysis of the strata shows that from the six locations studied; there were unexpectedly high levels of various isotopes of carbon and sulphur.  In modern oceans, these mix of elements only occur in oceans which lack oxygen, such as parts of the Black sea in the Crimea.

There has been some work done previously to show that there is a band of iridium deposited in some parts of the world, in rocks dating from around 500 million years ago.  This rare Earth element has in this instance been associated with intense volcanic activity.  The high levels of carbon and sulphur found in this study, may reinforce the theory that volcanic activity gave rise to a series of extinctions that led to something like 30% of all marine genera becoming extinct.

Gill and his colleagues remain unsure as to what caused the oxygen levels to collapse, however, anoxia (lack of oxygen) would have been devastating to life in the oceans at the time.

9 01, 2011

New Everything Dinosaur Teaching Programme for 2011

By | January 9th, 2011|Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases, Teaching|0 Comments

New Teaching Lesson Plans from Everything Dinosaur

With more and more schools in the UK adopting the creative curriculum, team members at Everything Dinosaur have responded by introducing a new range of teaching sessions and lesson plans to aid reception students through to key stage 4.  Our trained and qualified teachers have prepared a number of innovative and enriching lesson plans based around palaeontology and dinosaurs.  The aim of these sessions is to engage and involve  young people with the fascinating subject of Earth Sciences.

Working under the concept of “Dinosaur detectives” we use real case studies regarding new fossil discoveries to develop effective and very “hands on” dinosaur themed teaching schemes.

For more information on Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur workshops and “Dinosaur detectives” series: Dinosaur Workshop

As part of our work in this important area of education, we have developed a number of advertisements to support our teaching activities and dinosaur workshops.

Everything Dinosaur’s Dinosaur Themed Teaching Activities

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

So if you want to involve your class in a dinosaur themed topic such as “Jurassic Forest” or Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur detectives lesson plans simply log onto our website: Dinosaur School Workshop or contact Everything Dinosaur for further information.

Contact Everything Dinosaur: Contact Everything Dinosaur

8 01, 2011

An Important Job after Christmas – Responding to all the Customer Feedback

By | January 8th, 2011|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Responding to Customer Feedback Forms

A busy day ahead of us, some of the staff members have come in for a couple of extra hours today, to review and respond to all the customer feedback forms that arrived after Christmas.

For every parcel sent out to UK customers we include a FREEPOST feedback form.  With so many orders despatched up to the Christmas break, now is the time of year that we get back all the feedback forms that customers of Everything Dinosaur have kindly sent in.

We review all our customer correspondence, every letter, fax, email and such like.  We then divide them up between us and respond in person to any that require a reply.  One of the most important jobs that is undertaken after the Christmas break is to deal with all the feedback forms that come into us in the first few days of January.  We have to sort through them, putting them into piles so that all staff can have a look at them and send out a response if needed.

It is always a pleasure to hear from customers, we really appreciate the feedback, kind words about the Everything Dinosaur customer service, new product suggestions, dinosaur drawings and so on.

7 01, 2011

The Last Supper of an Ammonite

By | January 7th, 2011|Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|0 Comments

French and U.S. Scientists Help to Unlock the Mystery of an Ammonite’s Diet

Ammonites are an extinct group of cephalopod molluscs that lived in spiral shaped, chambered, coiled shells.  The fossilised remains of these marine creatures are abundant and can be found in Mesozoic sediments throughout the world.  The fossils are extremely important and many different genera are used to help confirm the relative ages of rock strata, this process is called biostratigraphy.  Particular zones in a series of layers of sedimentary rock are classified by the distinct fossils that each zone contains and due to the abundance of Ammonite fossils and the readiness of this particular group of creatures to evolve into myriad forms, Ammonites make ideal fossils for biostratigraphy.

A Wonderful Early Jurassic Ammonite Fossil

Picture Credit: B. Lennon

A beautiful Ammonite (Promiceras?) preserved as a pyretic specimen (preserved as iron pyrites) from the Dorset coast.

Although very common as fossils, there is still a great deal that scientists have yet to learn about these ancient relatives of squid and cuttlefish.  For example, without any soft parts of the animal fossilised, it is very difficult to determine what these creatures fed on, where in the food chain did they fit?

They did form an important part of the diet of many of the larger animals that shared the Ammonite’s marine environment, scientists believe that many types of marine reptiles, such as Mosasaurs and Ichthyosaurs fed on Ammonites.  With the extinction of the Ammonites 65 million years ago, did this also mean the end of the Mosasaurs that relied on them as prey?

Such is the connection between marine reptiles and Ammonites that Safari, the American based figure manufacturer,  recently introduced a new model of an Ichthyosaur that had an Ammonite in its mouth.

The Safari Ltd Carnegie Collection Ichthyosaurus

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Just how many Ichthyosaurs fed on Ammonites is a bit of a mute point, as many genera had toothless beaks, perhaps better suited to tackling soft-bodied cephalopods rather than hard-shelled ones.

To view the Safari Ltd prehistoric animal model range and dinosaur toys: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Dinosaur Models

A new study by a joint team of French and U.S. based scientists, published in the scientific journal “Science” provides fresh evidence on the diet of one particular Ammonite.  It seems that the larval stage of snails and tiny crustaceans were on this particular cephalopods menu.

Lead author of this new paper, Isabelle Kruta of the Musee National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris) commented on using very powerful X-ray beams to see inside the fossilised remains of a Baculites Ammonite.  It revealed the last prey consumed was a small larval snail and three tiny crustaceans.

The French and American researchers have been able to reveal the lives and deaths of a number of different Ammonite specimens in amazing detail.  Using a technique called synchrotron X-ray microtomography, an advanced form of CT scanning, three-dimensional images of several Ammonite fossils were created.  These images have provided new information about Ammonites, including providing some data on the types of prey that certain genera may have consumed.

The researchers determined Ammonites possessed jaws and a radula, which is like a tongue covered with teeth.  Garden snails have radulas, their affect can be seen if you leave a lettuce leaf out in the garden on a wet summers evening.  In this study different types of Ammonite teeth were identified, from slender ones to sabre-like or even ones shaped like the teeth on a comb.

A Reconstructed Radula of the Straight Shelled Late Cretaceous Ammonite (Baculites)

Picture Credit: Tafforeau/Kruta

Each colour in the computer image shown above shows a different type of tooth on the radula-like structure of the Late Cretaceous Ammonite Baculites.  This image was created by synchrotron radiation microtomographic slices.

Commenting on the images, lead author, Kruta explained:

“Ammonites used their radula to trap the food in the mouth and convey it through the oesophagus.”

The oesophagus describes the part of the alimentary canal from the mouth to the stomach.

This feeding system, along with the fossilised last supper remains, suggests that Ammonites were adapted for eating small prey, such as tiny crustaceans and plankton, floating in the water.

This research could have a bearing on theories related to the extinction of marine organisms at the end of the Cretaceous Period.  An extraterrestrial impact could have killed many of the small nektonic or planktonic organisms that Ammonites relied on for prey.  This in turn, would have led to the collapse of much of the marine environment’s food chain.

In a separate paper also published in journal Science, palaeontologist Kazushige Tanabe of The University of Tokyo postulates that newly hatched Ammonites were particularly dependent upon such small prey items.

He stated:

“The abrupt decline of phytoplankton at the end of the Cretaceous led to the collapse of marine food webs and would have greatly affected the survival of newly hatched Ammonites.”

When asked why so little is known about Ammonites, despite the abundant fossil record, Tanabe said:

“Ammonites are some of the most famous invertebrate animals in Earth’s history.  Yet as biological entities they are poorly understood, largely owing to the absence of a direct living counterpart.”

The new high-resolution, three-dimensional images may help to solve some of the Ammonite mysteries.  They also help to explain why one of the world’s most successful animals, in terms of abundance and species longevity, suddenly bit the dust along with the dinosaurs, marine reptiles and Pterosaurs.

Whilst discussing the affect on food chains of the loss of the Ammonites, Kruta stated:

“Known predators of Ammonites were, for example, Mosasaurs and Plesiosaurs.”

It was speculated that the disruption of the food chains would have had a significant effect on apex predators such as the marine reptiles.

Kruta and her team hope additional research can help to further unravel what happened to Ammonites and other prehistoric animals.

Those answers may come sooner rather than later, as Tanabe believes the new uninvasive X-ray technique “can be widely applicable to other fossilised delicate organismic structures preserved in sedimentary rocks, such as specimens preserved in museum collections.”

Commenting on the research papers, Neil Landman, curator in the Division of Palaeontology at the American Museum of Natural History (New York) stated:

“When you take into consideration the large lower jaws of Ammonites in combination with this new information about their teeth, you realise that these animals must have been feeding in a different way from modern carrion-eating Nautilus.”

The Nautilus is an extant cephalopod, superficially similar to the extinct Ammonites.

He concluded:

“Ammonites have a surprisingly large lower jaw with slender teeth, but the effect is opposite to that of the wolf threatening to eat Little Red Riding Hood.  Here, the bigger mouth facilitates feeding on smaller prey.”

6 01, 2011

Next Issue of Prehistoric Times Out Soon

By | January 6th, 2011|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Winter Edition of Prehistoric Times is on the Way

Long, dark nights, not much chance to go fossil hunting, but still plenty to look forward to as the winter edition of Prehistoric Times is on its way.  Prehistoric Times is the magazine for dinosaur model collectors and dinosaur enthusiasts.  It is packed full of news stories, articles about new models, dinosaur discoveries, artwork, just about everything and anything to do with the Dinosauria and other extinct creatures.

Winter Edition of Prehistoric Times

Picture Credit: Mike Fredericks/Everything Dinosaur

Visit Prehistoric Times: Prehistoric Times Magazine

This is the ninety-sixth edition of the magazine, it has been running for seventeen years and it does not look likely to go extinct.

6 01, 2011

Prehistoric Times Issue 96

By | January 6th, 2011|Prehistoric Times|0 Comments

Prehistoric Times Issue 96 – Giant Rodent

A giant rodent is featured on the front cover of the latest edition of the magazine called “Prehistoric Times”.

Front Cover of Issue 96

Giant rodent on the front cover.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

5 01, 2011

The Ibis that Went Clubbing

By | January 5th, 2011|Animal News Stories, Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal News Stories, Main Page|1 Comment

Prehistoric Bird with Club-like Wings

Nature is full of examples of different types of organism that develop the same biological or anatomical characteristics as an adaptation to their environments.  For example, Ichthyosaurs (and now possibly Mosasaurs), with their tail-flukes that resemble those of dolphins.  The flying squirrel and the flying lizard, both accomplished gliders but not closely related.

Just occasionally, a fossil is found that throws up something so unusual and uncharacteristic that scientists are perplexed as to what their discovery could mean.  They have no benchmarks to work with.

One such instance of this has been reported in the scientific journal “The Proceedings of the Royal Society – Biology”.  A paper has just been published on the fossilised remains of a type of Ibis from the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

This extinct, flightless bird known only from Jamaica, apparently evolved banana-shaped clubs from its wings.  What these “clubs” were actually for remains open to speculation, but researchers have concluded that they may have been used in intraspecific conflicts, perhaps fights over nesting sites or mates.

This strange bird, was roughly the size of a chicken, it has been scientifically described as Xenicibis xympithecus.  The genus Xenicibis had been first described in 1977 and a number of bones ascribed to it from several Caribbean islands.  However, this new study has been based on much more complete remains found in caves sited at the southern end of Jamaica.  Evidence suggests that this bird was alive as recently as 10,000 years ago, and may have been driven to existence by man, the fate of so many flightless birds, the Dodo for example.

Commenting on this strange creature, researcher Nicholas Longrich, a vertebrate palaeontologist at Yale University stated:

“There is just nothing else out there like this in any other vertebrate.  Usually evolution tends to hit on the same designs over and over, and this is just something completely different, so as a biologist it’s sort of cool to find something and be able to say: Wow!  I haven’t seen that one before.”

An Illustration of X. xympithecus

Picture Credit: Nicholas Longrich/Yale University

The strangely distorted hands had short, block-like fingers, long palm bones, thicker than the bird’s femur and wrist joints that allowed the wings to swing rapidly back and forth like flails or clubs.

Longrich added:

“I sometimes compare these things to nunchucks, which I guess would make this a ninja bird, although perhaps a better analogy would be a pair of baseball bats – they were actively swung rather than moving passively like a flail.”

Evidence of broken wings in the fossil record, suggest these clubs were potent weapons in intraspecific combats.

At first, scientists thought that this was a deformity but as more fossils were found showing the same anatomical configuration it became clear that the club-like wings were an adaptation.  Their use as weapons to fight off predators has not been ruled out, as it seems that both males and females possessed these strange wings.

4 01, 2011

Cutting out the Microraptors

By | January 4th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Main Page|0 Comments

Fiddly Feathered Dinosaurs – Microraptor

With the new year well under way, time to change one of the banners on the Everything Dinosaur website.  Not the easiest of tasks as none of us at the company would describe ourselves as particularly gifted when it comes to photoshop skills.  However, we are determined to have a go and after the first few days of January, the “Happy New Year” banner had to go.

The subject for our next banner was to be a forest scene, depicting a feathered dinosaur.  We tried to imagine what it would have been like to visit the Liaoning Province of what was to become northern China during the early Cretaceous.

It took a bit of effort but we were able to secure the image of some forest undergrowth, to this we added the images of two feathered dinosaurs – Microraptor (Microraptor gui).  We have tried to depict these two small, bird-like dinosaurs as if they were displaying to each other.

Microraptors Displaying in the Early Cretaceous Forest

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows a Microraptor dinosaur model, specifically the Carnegie Collection Microraptor dinosaur, an excellent example of a feathered dinosaur model.

This feathered dinosaur was at least in part arboreal (living in the trees).  It was capable of gliding according to some interpretations of the fossil evidence.  Microraptor had long feathers on its arms and legs.  When spread apart, these would have provided an effective gliding surface, perhaps permitting this little crow-sized animal to glide from tree to tree.  The tail was also feathered and it had a plume, presumably to help this little dinosaur steer whilst in flight.

In the dark understorey of the Cretaceous forests, it is possible that many dinosaurs were brightly coloured to help them display to each other.  Although very little is known about dinosaur colouration, certainly any fossil material associated with the Microraptor genus does not reveal information about possible colour, Microraptors are generally depicted as colourful creatures and we think they stand out quite well against the dark vegetation.

The model chosen for this scene was the Microraptor replica from the Safari collection, to view the range of models made by this company:

Carnegie models and dinosaur toys: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Model Dinosaurs

3 01, 2011

Last Year’s Predictions – How did we do?

By | January 3rd, 2011|Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page, Press Releases|0 Comments

Review of Predictions for 2010

At the beginning of each year, team members at Everything Dinosaur put their heads together and just for a little bit of fun, they have a go at predicting some of the news stories and events that they might report on in the year ahead.  So with 2010 over and as we are looking forward to this year, it is time for a quick look back to see what predictions we made twelve months ago.

We have already made some predictions for 2011, to view our predictions for the forthcoming year: Palaeontology Predictions for 2011

How did we do with our 2010 predictions?  Were we within a fossilised gnats nose or out by the length of a Diplodocid’s tail?

The List of Predictions Made by Everything Dinosaur at the Start of 2010

1). More Dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals to go under the hammer

2). Increased pressure for change in UK museum funding

3). “Dakota” to hit the headlines once again

4). Criminal charges for a palaeontologist in the United States

5). Everything Dinosaur Trilobite hunt at last

6). Increased emphasis for science teaching in UK primary schools

7).  March to mark a millennium for Everything Dinosaur’s web log

8). A new genus of Pterosaur to be announced

9). Beware of smugglers

10). Last but not least a thought for South Africa

Quite an eclectic mix of predictions, but how did we do?

Our prediction regarding more auctions of dinosaurs and prehistoric animals proved to be quite accurate with a number of high profile sales in Europe and the United States.  For example, in May we wrote about an auction of a range of prehistoric items, including T. rex teeth, the skull of a Cave Bear and the remains of a Woolly Mammoth.

The prediction about pressure on museums to charge entrance fees, proved to be only partially correct.  With the change of UK government we were aware that charging for museum entrance was discussed, but fortunately this policy was not put forward and no charging plans have been implemented – yet.

Our predictions for “Dakota” the magnificently well preserved, Edmontosaurus “mummified” dinosaur fossil were partially accurate.  There were a number of news stories published about how the research work was progressing and what plans were in place to display the fossil once the preparation was completed, but there were no “outstanding” new breakthroughs.  Limits on funding and the problems caused by trying to analyse such a huge and unwieldy fossil put a check on progress.  However, the dedicated team of researchers are still working on this very significant find and more information about this Hadrosaur will be, no doubt come to light shortly.

As for our prediction regarding the prosecution of an American over a fossil related matter, we are aware of a number of incidents, but fortunately, the new laws and restrictions imposed by the United States seem to be having the desired effect.  Which is more than can be said about Everything Dinosaur’s Trilobite hunt, we have yet to visit the location we had wanted to, but with a little better planning and time management we are hopeful to do some fieldwork at this particular site in the near future.

Greater teaching emphasis for science – we were at a meeting in the Autumn at which individuals close to the UK Government briefed us on the situation regarding the need emphasis the teaching of science topics in school.  School funding has been affected by the recession and the Government spending cuts, but we at Everything Dinosaur continue to lobby and to offer subsidised teaching of Earth Sciences.  Fortunately, following  a review, the plans to slash the science teaching budget have been put on hold, at least for the time being.   Some good news then.

The prediction about Everything Dinosaur’s web log reaching its 1,000 article landmark in March 2010 proved partly correct, albeit that the 1,000th article was published a little later than we predicted.  We aim to publish an article, review, or photograph every single day (seven days a week).  Our 1,000th article was published on April 17th, at present we are well on the way to publishing our 1,300th web log article.

As for our prediction about a new species of Pterosaur (flying reptile) being announced, sure enough there were a number of new papers published, most notably perhaps the paper from a team of Irish scientists about a new genus of flying reptile we reported on in May, plus new research into how Pterosaurs launched themselves into the air.  Giant flying reptile models even invaded London for a short time to help promote the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society.

The black market in fossil sales continued to grow, despite increased activity by both internal and international security services.  The smuggling of fossils and other ancient artefacts is big business and it is rare these days to hear of a fossil dig site in parts of the world such as India that is not raided at least once by trophy hunters, curious locals or professional fossil smugglers.

Finally, with the world’s attention focused on South Africa for the 2010 World Cup we thought that we would have one prediction for this particular African country.  True enough, there were a number of important discoveries reported upon.  More ancient hominid remains and the evidence of early Jurassic dinosaurs being just two stories about the rich fossil record of South Africa published last year.  We also ought to report on one extinction event that occurred in that country in the Summer – the extinction of England’s national football team after there insipid performance in the tournament.  Sadly, England failed and once again, after all the hyperbole and expectations, our national football team did not deliver on the world stage.

Trying to predict what will happen with the study of Dinosauria and other fossils over the next year is a difficult business, at least we won’t try to predict when England will win the World Cup, that would be just too difficult to contemplate.

To view the entire article on our 2010 predictions: Everything Dinosaur’s Predictions for 2010

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