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    Scientists Find a Fossilized Ancestor of ‘Dinosaur Food’

    Before the first mammals, before dinosaurs roamed the Earth, a plant grew in Gondwana, a huge continent in the Southern Hemisphere. Almost 280 million years later, in what is now Brazil, scientists have identified the fossil remains of that plant as an early member of a lineage called cycads, or cycadales, that continues to this day. The discovery expands scientific understanding of the resilience of these plants, which persisted through two mass extinctions. “The vegetative anatomy of this plant is remarkably similar to the ones that live today,” said Rafael Spiekermann, a graduate student at the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Germany and the lead author of…

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    We Finally Know What a Dinosaur Cloaca Looks Like

    At long last, we finally have a rendition of the “perfect” dinosaur butthole. Photo: Bob Nicholls/Paleocreations.com 2020 What you are about to gaze upon is something quite extraordinary, something that has been described as “perfect” and “unique.” Direct your attention to the image accompanying this story, featuring two Psittacosaurus dinosaurs grazing a rocky terrain during the Cretaceous period — specifically, look where the left dinosaur’s back legs and tail meet. Yes, those two bulbous, oval-shaped things. Do you know what you might be looking at? That right there is our first close look at a real dinosaur butthole, never before seen (by human eyes). How does one convey the significance…

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    1st preserved dinosaur butthole is ‘perfect’ and ‘unique,’ paleontologist says

    The first dinosaur butthole ever discovered is shedding light where the sun don’t shine. The discovery reveals how dinosaurs used this multipurpose opening — scientifically known as a cloacal vent — for pooping, peeing, breeding and egg laying.  The dinosaur’s derrière is so well preserved, researchers could see the remnants of two small bulges by its “back door,” which might have housed musky scent glands that the reptile possibly used during courtship — an anatomical quirk also seen in living crocodilians, said scientists who studied the specimen. Although this dinosaur’s caboose shares some characteristics with the backsides of some living creatures, it’s also a one-of-a-kind opening, the researchers found. “The…

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    The Top Ten Dinosaur Discoveries of 2020 | Science

    There’s never been a better time to be a dinosaur fan. Even in a year where fossil explorations have been curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, paleontologists have dug deep to describe dozens of new species and unlock new secrets about our favorite prehistoric creatures. The discoveries continue even now, with the fluffy “maned” dinosaur Ubirajara named just last weekend. As we anticipate what the fossil record might reveal in 2021, here’s a look back at ten dinosaur discoveries that surprised and enthralled dinosaur enthusiasts this year. Tiny Fuzzball Shows How Dinosaurs Started Small Life restoration of Kongonaphon kely, a newly described reptile near the ancestry of dinosaurs and pterosaurs…

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    One-of-a-kind dinosaur removed from Brazil sparks backlash, investigation

    In 1995, a museum in southwestern Germany acquired an unusual fossil from the cream-colored limestone of northeastern Brazil: a 120-million-year-old dinosaur covered in an odd material that one scientist thought might be algae. Now, 25 years later, scientists have confirmed the predator is one of a kind, the first feathered, non-avian dinosaur found in the Southern Hemisphere—and Brazilian scientists are calling for the fossil to be returned from Germany. Since the dinosaur, named Ubirajara jubatus, was unveiled on December 13 in the journal Cretaceous Research, days of online protests with the hashtag #UbirajaraBelongstoBR have questioned whether the scientifically invaluable fossil was exported legally. “This need not be happening, as this…

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