Fossil Reveals ‘Buck-toothed Toucan’ That Lived With Dinosaurs

The discovery of a creature described as resembling a “buck-toothed toucan” that lived some 68 million years ago has upended assumptions about diversity in the birds that lived alongside dinosaurs.

At less than nine centimetres (3.5 inches) long, the delicate skull of the bird scientists have dubbed Falcatakely forsterae might be easily overlooked.

In fact, it almost was, sitting in a backlog of excavated fossils for years before CT scanning suggested the specimen deserved more attention.

It turns out that its tall, scythe-like beak, while resembling the toucan, is something never before seen in the fossil record.

Birds in the Mesozoic era — between 250 million and 65 million years ago — had “relatively unspecialised snouts”, Patrick O’Connor, lead author of a study on the new creature, told AFP.

“Falcatakely just changed the game completely, documenting a long, high beak unlike anything known in the Mesozoic,” added O’Connor, professor of

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Dinosaurs were doing just fine until the asteroid hit, new research says


NASA’s depiction of the asteroid that ended the time of the dinosaurs.


A study out of London’s Natural History Museum suggests most dinosaurs were “flourishing” before the asteroid hit and wiped them out. While other studies have hypothesized that mercury poisoning or even flowers killed the dinosaurs before the asteroid could, this new study published Nov. 18 aims to disprove that “dinosaurs were already on the decline and heading towards extinction.”

“What we found is that the dinosaurs were still dominant, they were still widespread and still doing really well,” said Joe Bonsor, a PhD student who contributed data to the study published in the Royal Society Open Science journal. “If the asteroid impact had never happened then they might not have died out and they would have continued after the Cretaceous.”

Previous research has drawn conclusions from a lack of fossils, claiming it shows a decline in

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‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ fossil, hidden from science for 14 years, could finally reveal its secrets

For more than a decade, paleontologists have speculated about a single fossil that preserves skeletons of two of the world’s most famous dinosaurs, Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops. Not only are the bones arranged as they once were in life, but the dinosaurs are practically intertwined.

Each specimen is among the best of its kind ever found. Together, the pair—nicknamed the “Dueling Dinosaurs”—present a paleontological mystery: Did the beasts just happen to be entombed together by chance, perhaps as carcasses caught on the same river sandbar? Or had they been locked in mortal combat? Nobody has been able to study the fossil to find out.

The Dueling Dinosaurs fossil may represent a lethal struggle between a Triceratops and a juvenile T. rex, shown here in this artist’s reconstruction of prehistoric Montana.

Illustration by Anthony Hutchings

But that’s about to change. After years of legal battles that left the fossil locked

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‘Dueling Dinosaurs’ fossil of T. rex, triceratops sold for $6 million

  • The “Dueling Dinosaurs” fossil is made up of intertwined T. rex and triceratops skeletons. 
  • The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences bought it for $6 million and will display the fossils starting in 2022.
  • Researchers there will examine the bones in detail and investigate whether the dinosaurs actually died in a duel. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A 67-million-year-old fossil pair known as “Dueling Dinosaurs” consists of a remarkably preserved T. rex alongside the bones of an equally intact Triceratops.

For years, the skeletons languished in labs and warehouses as ranchers and paleontologists fought a legal battle over their ownership. On Tuesday, that fight ended: The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences bought the dinosaurs for $6 million, according to the Charlotte Observer. The 30,000-pound fossils will soon arrive at the museum, which plans to begin work on a new Dueling Dinosaurs exhibit in May. 

The display, slated

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Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs

Global warming triggered the evolution of giant dinosaurs
Reconstruction of the early sauropod Bagualia alba. Credit: Jorge Gonzales

The word “dinosaur” tends to evoke giant animals with massive bodies, long necks and tails, and tiny heads. These “quintessential dinosaurs” actually represent one prominent subgroup of he Dinosauria, the so called Sauropoda (“long-necked dinosaurs” in popular culture). Sauropods were truly amazing animals, and included the largest land-living animals known, with body lengths of up to 40 meters and weights of 70 tons or more.

However, these giant animals did not appear directly at the beginning of the era of dinosaurs. For the first 50 million years of their evolutionary history, the Sauropodomorpha—the lineage that the sauropods belong to—were represented by several groups of bipedal to quadrupedal animals. Although some of them reached large body sizes of about 10 meters in length and a few tons in weight, these groups also included smaller, more lightly built animals, some of which

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The sale of the duelling dinosaurs fossil may be bad news for science

An artist's model of the Montana Dueling Dinosaurs based on geographical placement of the fossils.
An artist’s model of the Dueling Dinosaurs

CK Preparations. Courtesy of Bonhams

The Duelling Dinosaurs are just the sort of remains that fossil fans dream about. Encased in huge lumps of tan sandstone are the dark bones of two dinosaurs that were buried together more than 66 million years ago.

One of the fossils is a familiar three-horned Triceratops. The other is a young Tyrannosaurus, a probable cousin of T. rex, a rare representative of what the “tyrant king” was like during its gangly, awkward years. There’s no evidence that these two dinosaurs died in combat but they have still been the subject of palaeontological gossip for a decade.

Enough cash has now finally been stumped up to give the bones a home. Rather than a private bidder, a museum has paid – probably millions – for the fossilised duo. Although palaeontologists should be

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‘Dueling dinosaurs’ fossils show Triceratops, T. rex, may have died after a battle

It may have been a battle for the ages in ancient Montana.

a herd of cattle walking across a river

© Matt Zeher/North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

About 67 million years ago, two iconic dinosaurs, a Triceratops horridus and a Tyrannosaurus rex, died and were quickly buried together side by side in a single grave. And both of them bear battle scars. It’s the kind of showdown scientists have speculated about for years, but it has only ever appeared in “Jurassic Park” games — until now.

The impressively complete skeletons of these “dueling dinosaurs” will go on display and be studied at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in 2022, the museum announced Tuesday. The museum is located in downtown Raleigh.

The fossil of the Triceratops was first discovered 2006 as it eroded out of sedimentary rock from the Hell Creek Formation. This rock formation, which dates to 65.5 million years ago, was named for

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The first duckbill dinosaur fossil from Africa hints at how dinosaurs once crossed oceans — ScienceDaily

The first fossils of a duckbilled dinosaur have been discovered in Africa, suggesting dinosaurs crossed hundreds of kilometres of open water to get there.

The study, published in Cretaceous Research, reports the new dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, from rocks in Morocco dating to the end of the Cretaceous, 66 million years ago. Ajnabia was a member of the duckbill dinosaurs, diverse plant-eating dinosaurs that grew up to 15 meters long. But the new dinosaur was tiny compared to its kin — at just 3 meters long, it was as big as a pony.

Duckbills evolved in North America and eventually spread to South America, Asia, and Europe. Because Africa was an island continent in the Late Cretaceous, isolated by deep seaways, it seemed impossible for duckbills to get there.

The discovery of the new fossil in a mine a few hours from Casablanca was “about the last thing in

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These tiny, little-winged dinosaurs were probably worse at flying than chickens

The discovery of two small dinosaurs with bat-like wings a few years ago was a palaeontologist’s dream. Just how flight evolved in birds is something we’re still trying to nail down, and looking at this early evolution of bat-like wings in dinosaurs could give us a clue.  

a close up of a bird: A drawing of the theropod dinosaur Yi qi, which sported bat-like wings.

© Provided by Live Science
A drawing of the theropod dinosaur Yi qi, which sported bat-like wings.

But a team of researchers has now pointed out that just because you have wings, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re actually any good at flying.


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Yi qi and Ambopteryx longibrachium are two species of theropod dinosaurs that lived around 160 million years ago, both of which had unusually elongated fingers, and a skin membrane stretching between them, similar to a bat’s wing.

This is an entirely different kind of wing to the one theropod dinosaurs evolved to fly with – the dinosaurs that eventually

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The best from the science journals: Asteroid analysis to decoding dinosaurs

Here are some of the most interesting research to have appeared in top science journals last week

Studying HIV up close

Published in Science

Scientists have for the first time have recreated the first steps of infection by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) in a test tube. The team was able to monitor how the virus replicated its genetic material and inserted it into the target DNA. Understanding in detail about the early stages of the virus life cycle can help develop new treatments for AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).

Is it a dinosaur feather?

Published in Scientific Reports


A 150-million-year-old feather which was found in a limestone quarry in Germany in 1861 has confused scientists for decades as they struggled to find whether it belonged to a bird or a dinosaur. This was the first ever discovered feather fossil and now advanced microscopic techniques found that it came from the left

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