Last dinosaur of its kind found in the land that time forgot

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=1241

In terms of iconic dinosaurs, the gargantuan sauropods are certainly up there. Along with the mostly meat eating-theropods, and herbivorous and often armoured ornithischians, they form one of the three major groups, or clades, of dinosaurs, and were the biggest animals to ever walk this Earth.

The end of the Jurassic period, some 145 million years ago, was a pretty important time for sauropods. Their diversity was already in decline through some of the latter part of the Jurassic, but it seems that they were hit pretty badly at the Jurassic/Cretaceous (J/K) boundary, in an extinction event that may have been quite severe among land and marine-dwelling animals.

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The early evolution of dinosaurs

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/?p=581

Dinosaurs. What springs to mind when they’re mentioned? Colossal, towering sauropods? Packs of feisty feathered fiends? Or huge herds of hadrosaurs, chomping their way across the plains of long-lost worlds? Most, including myself, will automatically default to any one of these images when dinosaurs come up in conversation (what, you mean it’s not that frequent for normal people?) But we often neglect to think the earliest dinosaurs, spectacular organisms that gave birth to the most successful, and on-going, terrestrial vertebrate radiation of all time.

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Early Evolution of the Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs. What springs to mind when they’re mentioned? The colossal sauropods? Packs of feisty feathered fiends? Or huge herds of hadrosaurs, chomping their way across the plains of long lost worlds? Most, including myself, will automatically default to any one of these archetypal images when dinosaurs come up in conversation (what, you mean it’s not that frequent for normal people??) But we often neglect the earliest dinosaurs from long before these, spectacular organisms that gave birth to the most successful, and ongoing, terrestrial vertebrate radiation of all time.

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