FREE GLOBAL SHIPPING ACROSS STORE

0

Your Cart is Empty

Discovery of A Tiny Ancient T-Rex Relative In Wales

by Amish Shah

This article first appeared in popsci.com and is written by Mary Beth Griggs

You can find all kinds of things on a beach. Lost sunglasses, loose change, seashells, the fossilized remains of a dinosaur. You know, the usual.

In 2014, fossil hunters found the remains of a dinosaur on a rocky Welsh beach after a storm. They turned the fossil over to National Museum Cardiff, where researchers from the museum and UK universities identified it as a theropod, a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

In a paper published this week in PLOS One, researchers announced that further work on the fossil led them to conclude that this dinosaur, named Dracoraptor hanigani, lived 200 million years ago and was one of the earliest dinosaurs of the Jurassic period. It’s also the first Jurassic-era dinosaur skeleton found in the UK.

Why is it exciting that the dinosaur is 200 million years old? There are certainly other, older fossils of dinosaurs out there, dating back into the Triassic period 240 million years ago. But this new dinosaur fossil lived right on the boundary between the Triassic and Jurassic, a line in time that paleontologists are still trying to learn more about.

See, dinosaurs lived during a geologic era called the Mesozoic, which lasted from 250 million years ago to around 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs went extinct. The Mesozoic is broken into three periods: the Triassic (250 million to 199.6 million years ago), the Jurassic (199.6 million to 145.5 million years ago), and the Cretaceous (145.5 million to 65.5 million years ago). The divisions between these periods are marked by changes in lifeforms and climate, most notably extinctions.

Early dinosaurs evolved in the Triassic, but they didn’t come into their own until the Jurassic, after a huge extinction event that wiped out massive amounts of marine creatures. The cause of the extinction remains unknown, but researchers are always eager to know more about the lifeforms that did manage to survive, or evolved right after an event like this.

Researchers already know a lot about Dracoraptor hanigani. It was a small dinosaur, just 2.3 feet tall, and 6.5 feet long (including its long tail). With bones that were still growing it was possibly a juvenile, and likely was warm-blooded with feathers.

“The Triassic-Jurassic extinction event is often credited for the later success of dinosaurs through the Jurassic and Cretaceous, but previously we knew very little about dinosaurs at the start of this diversification and rise to dominance,” said co-author Steven Vidovic. “Now we have Dracoraptor, a relatively complete two meter long juvenile theropod from the very earliest days of the Jurassic in Wales.”

Dracoraptor-Hanigani-was-quite-short

Mary Beth Griggs is a Science Journalist based in New York City. She covers science, energy, environment, and infrastructure.

Amish Shah



Also in Project Yourself

The Vinyasa Of Gratitude & Abundance

by Puja Shah

The holidays are here. Full of gratitude and warmth. As we focus on the ways we can give this holiday season, consider the idea of giving gratitude. The more energy you create in your heart around joy for others, the more joy and abundance fills you and your life as well.
Read More
Can We Be Grateful For 2020
Can We Be Grateful For 2020

by Puja Shah

The holidays are a time of gratitude.

And even in a year of pandemics, natural disasters, and political and economic uncertainty - there is still much to be grateful for.

The fact that you’re now here reading these words is already a cause for gratitude. Not to mention all the loved ones, blessings, opportunities, and natural wonders that still surround us.
Read More
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most
This Holiday Season, Love Is The Gift Humanity Needs Most

by Puja Shah

Love heals: and the world needs healing now more than ever.


But how does one tap into the vibration of love - particularly during times of disruption and uncertainty?

Read More