Campus Life

Dinosaurs Could Have Pushed Up ‘Daisies’

Discovery News reported that the dinosaurs of Gondwana may have wandered around and died in fields of flowers that were the ancestors of daisies, suggests new research. Findings published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that the Asteraceae family of flowering plants is much older than previously thought. “It’s one of the few modern families of flowering plants that can be traced back to the Cretaceous,” says co-author and palynologist, Dr Ian Raine, of GNS Science in New Zealand.   Dinosaurs ruled the planet for 130 million years, so clearly they knew how to perpetuate themselves, but scientists have not had much to go on, in terms of their exact mechanics for doing the deed. Flowers of the Asteraceae family — such as daisies, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, dandelions, gerberas and lettuce — are characterised by...

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Fossilised dinosaur’s foot found on Lavernock beach

The fossilised foot of a dinosaur has been discovered on a south Wales beach, National Museum Wales has announced. A skeleton of a meat-eating Jurassic dinosaur, the theropod, was uncovered by spring storms at Lavernock beach, Vale of Glamorgan, in 2014. The dinosaur’s missing foot was found at the beach by palaeontology student, Sam Davies, of Bridgend, at the beginning of this month. “My first reaction was that I was very lucky,” he said. The fossilised skeleton of the theropod – a distant cousin of the giantTyrannosaurus rex – went on display at the National Museum Cardiff’s main hall in June after it was found by fossil-hunting brothers Nick and Rob Hanigan. Mr Davies, who studies at the University of Portsmouth, visited Lavernock, near Penarth, after his tutor told him its cliffs were rich with fossils. He arrived only...

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Dinosaurs made lifelike in world’s most scientifically accurate animations, Queensland scientists say

Queensland scientists and computer game experts have teamed up to bring Australia’s largest meat-eating dinosaur to life in what is believed to be the world’s most scientifically accurate collection of animations. The project has breathed digital life into the Australovenator, along with four other Australian dinosaurs. Palaeontologist Dr Scott Hocknull and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) content development manager Sean Druitt used clues from dinosaur fossils and hints from their modern day cousins to recreate the creatures. “Because dinosaurs are wedged between crocodiles and birds on the evolutionary tree, we can use modern day crocodiles and modern day birds as our palate to choose from,” Dr Hocknull said. “When we look at the animals and look at the fossils, we can actually use all of this information to reconstruct them as accurately as you possibly could without a time...

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