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Dwarf Dinosaurs vs. Giant Pterosaurs

Not-so-long necks? In what’s now Transylvania, the so-called island rule may have dwarfed the world’s largest land animal, making it prey for enormous winged reptiles.

Lizard Has One-Way Breathing; Hints at How Dinosaurs Breathed?

The savannah monitor lizard breathes like a bird, prompting scientists to wonder if dinosaurs also breathed this way, a new study says.

Cockroaches Dined on Dinosaur Poop

A now-extinct family of cockroaches ate a diet that was high in dinosaur dung, according to a new study.

Blood Found in Mosquito Fossil: “One of a Kind”

Scientists have discovered blood in a mosquito fossil, a new study says—but don’t get your hopes up for a pet velociraptor.

Writer Brian Switek Shares His Love for Dinosaurs

Dino-fanatic author Brian Switek grew up in New Jersey, dreaming of Jurassic celebrities like Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus (now known as Apatosaurus). An imaginary pet Brontosaurus figured in carefully crafted crayon portraits of his family. He discusses his passion in the new book My Beloved Brontosaurus.  Switek, who writes the Laelaps blog for National Geographic online,…

Top 10 Headlines Today: Alaska Volcano Erupts, Moles Help Archaeologists…

The top 10 new stories on our radar today: Small eruptions have been detected at a volcano in Alaska, moles in the UK are helping archaeologists dig up ancient Roman artifacts, and…

Top 10 Headlines Today: Hurricane on Saturn, Lost Egyptian City Revealed…

On our radar today: The Cassini spacecraft has snapped a photo of an enormous hurricane raging on Saturn, a lost Egyptian city has been revealed in new photos and video, and…

Revisiting My Teenage Crush on Jurassic Park (and Getting the Scoop on the Movie’s Dinos)

In 1993, as a dinosaur-obsessed 13-year-old, I saw Jurassic Park in surround sound—the first movie released with the technology. For months I’d anticipated the film: reading fan magazines, making clay dinosaurs, and of course rereading Michael Crichton’s best-selling novel. This week, nearly 20 years later, I saw the film in IMAX with a new twist…

The Sixth Great Extinction: A Silent Extermination

LONESOME GEORGE Lonesome George is a large, mud-loving Pinta tortoise (Geochelone elephantopus abingdoni), living out his long life in  the Galapagos Islands. In 1971, George was found alone on Pinta Island and taken to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where scientists theorized that he was the last of his subspecies on the planet. When he dies,…

New Glimpse of the Color Palette of Long-Extinct Creatures

Dr. Phil Manning answers questions about his recent work showing that x-rays can reveal information about the colors of fossilized creatures, continuing to shed light on an aspect of the ancient world scientists once believed to be lost forever.

Big! The Life of Sauropod Dinosaurs

The last four decades have witnessed a revolution in the study of dinosaurs. Scientists no longer examine just the structure of the skeletons and the relationships of these fascinating animals, but have started probing issues of their biology. How did dinosaurs move? How did they feed? What was their circulatory system like? How did they…

Exploring the Realm of Senses in Dinosaurs and Their Relatives

In recent decades paleontologists have been able to document in ever-greater detail the evolution of birds from small predatory dinosaurs. After establishing the broader outlines of this transition, researchers are now focusing on specific adaptations. It is widely believed that birds have no or at most a poorly developed sense of smell. A new study…

Weird & Wild: What’s in an (Animal) Name?

What’s in an animal’s scientific name? Tributes to dead presidents, professions of love, and sometimes even adolescent humor.

A “stocky dragon” from Transylvania

Ancestors of dinosaurs and other animals from the Haţeg Basin in Transylvania may have arrived from what was once a continent of Asiamerica by “island hopping,” suggests a fossil discovery published today. By Hans-Dieter Sues Islands are wonderful natural laboratories for the study of evolutionary change and for that reason have long attracted the attention…

Rise of dinosaurs: Competition or just luck?

By Hans-Dieter Sues A lively debate continues regarding the cause(s) of the extinction of dinosaurs (other than their descendants, birds), along with many other organisms, at the end of the Cretaceous Period some 65 million years ago. While this subject has tremendous appeal, the biologically interesting issue of the origin and early evolution of these…