‘From pipsqueaks to titans’: The complicated evolution of dinosaurs

x
Credit: Alamy

For tens of millions of years, even as other dinosaur species grew to huge sizes, 40-foot carnivores weren’t around. How, then, did the meat-eaters rise to the top of the food web in the Age of Dinosaurs?

The critical transition between big and giant seemed to happen sometime in the Middle Jurassic, a little-understood time when dinosaurs flourished. The critical time is between 201 and 174 million years ago, in the Early and Middle parts of the Jurassic. As luck would have it, once such carnivore was recently unearthed.

Late last year, Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich paleontologist Oliver Rauhut and colleague Diego Pol named an exceptional skeleton of a Middle Jurassic carnivore they called Asfaltovenator. This was a large animal, more than 25 feet long.

Related article:  Improving the sports concussion 'tool kit': Virtual reality goggles promise speedier diagnosis

[I]mportantly, Rauhut and Pol say, Asfaltovenator appears to display traits of more than one theropod lineage. The bones carry echoes of a more ancient time before the major theropod groups; Asfaltovenator most closely resembles Allosaurus, but the dinosaur also has some traits seen in a group called megalosaurs, a family of large-headed carnivores such as Torvosaurus and Megalosaurus. This could be an indication that these two families split from each other a few million years prior, occupying different niches as such dinosaurs grew ever larger.

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend