Paleontology

Fossil of Dog Size Horned Dinosaur Unearthed in China

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 22, 2002   View Article

Researchers have announced their discovery of a very distant cousin to Triceratops, the well-known three-horned dinosaur with a massive bony protrusion behind its skull.

The discovery is an important piece in the evolutionary puzzle of the horned dinosaurs. Although they are considered one of the most diverse groups of dinosaurs, little is known about their early evolution.

Tyrannosaurus Rex Was a Slowpoke

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 27, 2002   View Article

That well-imagined nightmare in which a bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus rex is chasing the family car down a lonely road in the red-rock desert as the children scream and the gas gauge hovers on empty and the dinosaur gnashes at the rear bumper is just that: a bad dream. T. rex was a slowpoke.

The most feared and revered of the dinosaurs did not have the leg strength to run very fast, if at all, according to a computer model developed by two experts in the mechanical movements of living creatures.

Fossils Challenge Theory of Rapid Animal Evolution in Cambrian

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 20, 2001   View Article

Most major animal groups appear for the first time in the fossil record some 545 million years ago in a relatively short period of time known as the Cambrian explosion. The explanation of this sudden arrival is a scientific conundrum.

The fossil record suggests that exceptional evolutionary activity took place over 10 million years at the base of the Cambrian and generated the ancestors of nearly all the animal groups living on Earth today, as well as others that failed to see modern times.

Salamander Origins Pegged to Asia

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 28, 2001   View Article

A day in the life of ancient salamanders was frozen in time when hot ash from a cataclysmic volcanic eruption inundated a pond in northern China 150 million years ago.

More than 500 fossil specimens were collected from the site, some with rare soft-tissue impressions. These fossils fill a huge gap in the fossil record and offer compelling evidence for an Asian origin of the salamanders that roam Earth’s temperate and tropical forests today.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach