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Tag: Ecology

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: New Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs!

Mammals from the Age of Dinosaurs (the Mesozoic Era) are usually presented as little rat-like creatures, waiting for the big scaly monsters to go extinct so they can rise up and become diverse…and interesting. But discoveries from around the world over the last three decades have revealed that Mesozoic mammals, though usually small, were diverse, accessing different foods and moving around the e …

Filed under: China, Ecology, Jurassic, Locomotion, Mesozoic, dinosaur, mammal

Episode 6 Field Guide: Tiny Horses, Galloping Crocs, and Fossilized Jungles

Fossils can be pretty scrappy. The best, most complete stuff is usually put on display at museums and photographed for books and websites, but a vast majority of material collected by paleontologists are fragments: slivers of teeth, fragments of shells, and splinters of bone. Paleontologists are trained to glean as much as they can from the patchy record, but the fragments can still leave a lot of …

Filed under: Archaeopterygx, Cenozoic, China, Ecology, Eocene, Germany, Mammals, Messel, UNESCO, bat, bird, crocodile, dinosaur, ecosystem, feather, horse, jungle, pterosaur, reptile, snake

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