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Tag: Cretaceous

Quick Bite Field Guide: The Alien Turtle and Ancient Color

Meet Alienochelys selloumi, a giant, snorkel-nosed turtle with powerful, shell-crushing plates in its massive beak! The distant relative of the largest turtle alive today, the leatherback sea turtle, Alienochelys swam the ancient ocean of North Africa at the very end of the Age of Dinosaurs (the Late Cretaceous). It was found in the same rocks as Ocepechelon, the “whale turtle” discussed in our fi …

Filed under: Africa, Cretaceous, Field Guide, Fossils, Functional Morphology, Marine Reptiles, Paleontology, Reptiles, Turtles, ocean, sea turtle

Quick Bite Field Guide: The Giant before the Tyrant!

In the last episode of Past Time, we featured Lythronax, the oldest-known North American tyrannosaur and a close relative of Tyrannosaurus rex. But tyrannosaurs weren’t the only big carnivores to tromp through the Mesozoic of North America. Before the tyrant lizards were huge, there was another giant terrorizing the American West: Siats! Named for a Ute mythological giant, Siats was a bus-sized ca …

Filed under: Carnivory, Cretaceous, Field Guide, Fossils, Neovenatoridae, North America, Paleontology, Siats, Systematics, T. rex, Tyrannosarus, dinosaur, theropod, tyrannosaur

Episode 9 Field Guide: New Relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex!

Tyrannosaurus rex is a dinosaur celebrity, a villain in most dinosaur movies and documentaries, but where did the massive beast come from? On November 6, 2013, a team of paleontologists including our expert in this episode, Dr. Randy Irmis from the University of Utah and the Natural History Museum of Utah, published two new skeletons of Tyrannosaurus’s close kin: Teratophoneus and Lythronax. The s …

Filed under: Cretaceous, Dinosaurs, Ecology, Field Guide, Fossils, Laramidia, Lythronax, New species, North America, Paleontology, Systematics, T. rex, Tyrannosaurus, Utah, carnivore, theropod

Episode 8 Field Guide: Crocodiles are the Chomping Champions!

Fossils are the raw materials of paleontology, but if we want to know how an animal moved or ate, paleontologists, like Dr. Paul Gignac, need to study living animals, too. Dr. Gignac studies crocodylians, measuring their bite forces across species and as they grow up to figure out how the strongest bite in nature evolved. Using techniques drawn from mechanical engineering and physiology, Dr. Gigna …

Filed under: Cretaceous, Deinosuchus, Dinosaurs, Ecology, Field Guide, Functional Morphology, Paleobiology, Reptiles, alligator, biting, croc, crocodile, supercroc

Quick Bite Field Guide: Ocepechelon the Whale Turtle

Meet Ocepechlon, one of the strangest turtles to ever paddle the open ocean in our first Past Time Quick Bite! This post is the visual companion to our podcast episode “Quick Bite: Ocepechelon the Whale Turtle.” To listen to the episode you can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, download the episode here, or stream the podcast on your computer or phone by going here. However you listen, brace you …

Filed under: Africa, Cretaceous, Marine, New species, Turtle, ocean, sea turtle

Episode 2 Field Guide: Birds are dinosaurs!

What is a dinosaur? What is a bird? They’re related somehow, but how do paleontologists figure out how close Velociraptor and penguins are in the dinosaur family tree? In this episode of Past Time, Matt and Adam talk to Dr. Alan Turner, an expert on fossils from the dino-bird transition to figure out which animals are most important in sorting out this incredible evolutionary story. Listen to this …

Filed under: Archaeopteryx, Cretaceous, Jurassic, Mesozoic, Systematics, Velociraptor, bird, dinosaur, raptor

Episode 1 Field Guide: Finding fossils in Madagascar

This is the visual accompaniment to the Past Time podcast “Episode 1: Finding fossils in Madagascar”. The easiest way to listen to the podcast is to subscribe through iTunes by clicking on the purple podcast symbol on the right or by searching “Past Time” through the iTunes store and subscribing. If you don’t have iTunes, you can listen through your web browser by clicking here or by downloading t …

Filed under: Cretaceous, Crocodiles, Dinosaurs, Gondwana, Madagascar, Mesozoic

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