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Old 16-11-2012, 10:47 PM   #325
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Lightbulb Sauroman

Sauropoda, or the sauropods are an infraorder of saurischian ("lizard-hipped") dinosaurs. When first discovered, the immense size of sauropods led many scientists to compare them with modern-day whales. Most studies in the 19th and early 20th centuries concluded that sauropods were too large to have supported their weight on land, and therefore that they must have been mainly aquatic. Most life restorations of sauropods in art through the first three quarters of the 20th century depicted them fully or partially immersed in water. This early notion was cast in doubt beginning in the 1950s, when a study by Kermack (1951) demonstrated that, if submerged in several metres of water, the pressure would be enough to fatally collapse the lungs and airway. However, this and other early studies of sauropod ecology were flawed in that they ignored a substantial body of evidence that the skeletons of sauropods were heavily permeated with air sacs. In 1878, paleontologist E.D. Cope had even referred to these structures as "floats"...
Shunosaurus, meaning "Shu Lizard", is a genus of sauropod dinosaur from Middle Jurassic (Bathonian–Callovian) beds in Sichuan Province in China, 170 million years ago. The name derives from "Shu", an ancient name for Sichuan...
The bird-like hollowing of sauropod bones was recognized early in the study of these animals, and in fact at least one sauropod specimen found in the 19th century (Ornithopsis) was originally misidentified as a pterosaur (a flying reptile) because of this. Complete sauropod fossil finds are rare. The first scrappy fossil remains now recognized as sauropods all came from England and were originally interpreted in a variety of different ways. Their relationship to other dinosaurs was not recognized until well after their initial discovery. Many species, especially the largest, are known only from isolated and disarticulated bones. Many near-complete specimens lack heads, tail tips and limbs. Richard Owen published the first modern scientific description of sauropods in 1841, in his paper naming Cetiosaurus and Cardiodon. Cardiodon was known only from a two unusual, heart-shaped teeth (from which it got its name), which could not be identified beyond the fact that they came from a previously unknown large reptile. Cetiosaurus was known from slightly better, but still scrappy remains. Owen thought at the time that Cetiosaurus was a giant marine reptile related to modern crocodiles, hence its name, which means "whale lizard".The name Sauropoda was coined by O.C. Marsh in 1878, and is derived from Greek, meaning "lizard foot"...
The fossilized leg of an 80-million-year-old duck-billed dinosaur has yielded the oldest known proteins preserved in soft tissue—including blood vessels and other connective tissue as well as perhaps blood cell proteins—a new study says. The proteins were recovered from a hadrosaur femur that had been encased in sandstone, which appears to prevent complete tissue degradation, Asara said. Asara analyzed the tissue samples with a mass spectrometer, which reveals chemical makeup by telling scientists the masses of different elements in a sample.He uncovered eight collagen proteins, and a colleague compared them with samples from living animals as well as mastodon and T. rex fossils. The results placed the duck-billed dinosaur, Brachylophosaurus canadensis, on the same family-tree branch as T. rex. And, as expected, both the duckbill and T. rex were more closely related to chickens and ostriches than to alligators and lizards.

Fossil hunters have uncovered the remains of giant Jurassic fleas that sucked the blood of ancient beasts more than 100m years ago.The oversized insects had long, serrated sucking tubes for piercing dinosaur hides, and used spines on their bodies and sharp claws on their legs to cling to the fur and feathers of their prey.

Last edited by lightgiver; 16-11-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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