Agriculture
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Amphibians
Poison Dart Frogs
Salamanders and Newts
Newts
Animals
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
Firefly Delight
Pothole Repair, Insect-style
Behavior
Eating Troubles
Diving, Rolling, and Floating, Alligator Style
Girls are cool for school
Birds
Kookaburras
Waterfowl
Ducks
Chemistry and Materials
The Taste of Bubbles
Meteorites may have sparked life on Earth
Atomic Drive
Computers
Small but WISE
Games with a Purpose
Look into My Eyes
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Dinosaur Eggs-citement
Dino-bite!
Ferocious Growth Spurts
E Learning Jamaica
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
Earth
What is groundwater
Greener Diet
Ice Age Melting and Rising Seas
Environment
Easy Ways to Conserve Water
The Oily Gulf
A Change in Leaf Color
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
Settling the Americas
The Taming of the Cat
Fish
Whale Sharks
Marlin
Manta Rays
Food and Nutrition
Yummy bugs
Recipe for Health
Sponges' secret weapon
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Problems with Prepositions
Finding Subjects and Verbs
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Scholarship
GSAT Mathematics
Prime Time for Cicadas
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Math of the World
Human Body
The tell-tale bacteria
Surviving Olympic Heat
Sea Kids See Clearly Underwater
Invertebrates
Tapeworms
Bees
Centipedes
Mammals
Gerbils
Mule
Aardvarks
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Physics
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Einstein's Skateboard
Plants
Farms sprout in cities
Tracking the Sun Improves Plant Pollen
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Reptiles
Reptiles
Iguanas
Lizards
Space and Astronomy
Cool as a Jupiter
The two faces of Mars
A Dead Star's Dusty Ring
Technology and Engineering
A Satellite of Your Own
Searching for Alien Life
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
Adjectives and Adverbs
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Charged cars that would charge
Revving Up Green Machines
Middle school science adventures
Weather
Science loses out when ice caps melt
Catching Some Rays
Where rivers run uphill
Add your Article

A Big, Weird Dino

A new dinosaur find has forced scientists to rethink their understanding of these ancient creatures.

The feathered dino, which belongs to a new genus called Gigantoraptor, was surprisingly huge and heavy for its shape. It belonged to a group of birdlike dinosaurs called oviraptors. The largest animals in this group weighed no more than 40 kilograms (88 pounds).

Gigantoraptor, by comparison, weighed about 1.4 metric tons (more than 3,000 pounds). It was 8 meters (26 feet) long and 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) tall at its shoulder. It lived in what is now northern China, where scientists from the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing found most of its leg and tail bones. The team also found part of its lower jaw and spine.

The scientists dug up the first of the creature’s bones in April 2005. The huge size of the fossils threw them off. “We first thought it might be from a sauropod,” says researcher Xing Xu. Sauropods were enormous, long-necked dinosaurs known to have lived in the region around 70 million years ago. “Then, we thought it might be from a tyrannosaur,” like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Xu adds.

As they discovered more fossils however, the scientists realized that they were looking at a new species. Based on the number of growth rings in the animal’s bones and the distances between those rings, the researchers estimate that the Gigantoraptor was about 11 years old when it died. Other evidence suggests that the giant was a young adult, but still growing.

Gigantoraptors, it appears, grew more quickly and reached adulthood earlier than the huge tyrannosaurs did, says Thomas R. Holtz Jr., a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Maryland at College Park. Growing quickly, he says, would have helped protect the newly discovered species from attacks by hungry tyrannosaurs.

The sizes and proportions of the newly discovered dino’s leg bones suggest that the animal was a speedy runner. It “would have been among the fastest dinosaurs of its body size,” Holtz speculates.

Many oviraptors had feathers, and because Gigantoraptor looked like these smaller, birdlike animals, Xu suspects it had feathers too. That’s a perplexing thought. Within the family of dinosaurs that produced birds, animals with larger bodies usually looked less like birds than smaller members of the group did. The bigger animals tended to have smaller limbs relative to their bodies, and their lower-leg bones were shorter in proportion to their upper legs.

“It’s really a surprising discovery,” says Xu. Adds Holtz, “This is one weird dinosaur.”—Emily Sohn

A Big, Weird Dino
A Big, Weird Dino








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™