Research finds lizard inside fossilised dinosaur to be a new species

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The fossil of Compsognathus longipes dinosaur found in Germany.

The dinosaur is estimated to have lived around 150 to 145 million years ago.

A new research report has concluded that a lizard whose fossils were found inside a dinosaur skeleton in 1859 is indeed a new species, putting to rest a puzzle that has baffled scientists for more than 150 years.

Prior to this finding, the gekho-like creature, which was found inside the gut of a fossilised carnivorous dinosaur Compsognathus longipeswas thought to be an extinct lizard in Germany (Bavarisaurus macrodactylus).

The author of the new report is Dr. Jack L. Conrad of the American Museum of Natural History, whose findings have been published posthumously in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society last month.

The report points to the unique shape of the lizard's skull stitchings and skull bones. Dr. Conrad named the lizard Schoenesmahl dyspepsia, which roughly means ‘beautiful meal that is difficult to digest’.

The dinosaur skeleton was discovered in Bavaria, Germany, by Dr. Joseph Oberndorfer in 1859. The dinosaur is estimated to have lived in the Late Jurassic era—around 150 to 145 million years ago.

This is not the first time a fossil has been found within a fossil. In 2016, there was a report in Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments about an insect inside a lizard inside a snake fossil. There have been several reports of fish inside fish fossils. These findings help us know more about their dietary preferences.


Jurassic World 3 is Already Being Planned Says Director Colin Trevorrow

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Well it’s about time a movie director is having some foresight and giving fans of the Jurassic Park franchise reason to have something to look forward to. Director Colin Trevorrow who is working on the second installment of Jurassic World, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is reported to be setting the end of the movie to transition into the third part of the trilogy. Previous movies in the franchise were more like individual episodes, each having its own linear, beginning to end, storyline. Treverrow sees more of a long term future for the trilogy and its fans.

In the projected third movie in the trilogy, it would likely be the end of the Jurassic Park franchise. The original Jurassic Park movie actress Laura Dern, has already said she definitely wants to be in the grand finale. She would be 53 or so when production would begin, which means that finding a significant role for her would be problematic. At this point it would seem the best she could hope for would to be added in a small role. Dern would like to forget Jurassic Park 3, which was pretty close to an epic fail.

There are also rumors that Sam O’Neill wants to return for the finale as well, which is a problem of a different sort. The original was done in 1993, making people who were the original fans of the movie mostly in the over-40 demographic. When the first installment of Jurassic World was initially released, the average age of the box office buyer was about 38. After the first 5 days that number dropped closer to 35. In other words, the original fans were uninspired to go after the Jurassic Park 3 disaster that had one movie critic writing, “A clumsy, and poorly written farce with irritating characters I prayed for imminent death to arrive to.” O’Neill and Dern were both present in the mess. Did I mention O’Neill is over 70 now?

Why O’Neill and Dern fail to realize their time is past is probably because their egos won’t allow for the possibility. They were great in Jurassic Park  but the franchise having been episodic, maybe they should have met their demise at the beginning of Jurassic Park 2. Dern said in an interview about wanting in on the Jurassic World finale, “If you guys make a last one, you gotta let Ellie Sattler come back.”

Uh, no, we don’t. The numbers show that there is about as much interest in your originals fans wanting to see you as there is of the original Top Gun fans wanting to see Kelly Mc Gillis return in the reboot. Maybe Dern was trying to get some media attention other than her romance with Baron Davis.

The obvious reality is that this run of Jurassic World is for the younger audiences. It is doubtful anyone wants to see a couple of 50 year olds (remember, they were an item in the first Jurassic Park) hanging around and likely detracting from the storyline to perform an “Auld Lang Syne” number. It could be suggested that the writers borrow a scene from Star Trek Beyond where Spock was shown a picture of the TOS Star Trek crew to memorialize the old franchise. It lasted about 20 seconds. It’s actually easier to fit in the memorial given the fact that the theme of the Jurassic Park franchise is dinosaurs.




‘Jurassic Park’ Trilogy Getting New Blu-rays With Awful New Art

Thursday, January 4, 2018

‘Jurassic Park’ Trilogy Getting New Blu-rays With Awful New Art

With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom headed our way this summer, it makes sense that Universal is re-releasing the original trilogy on Blu-ray this year. On January 9Jurassic Park, The Lost World and Jurassic Park III return to Blu-ray with individual releases.

Unfortunately, the new art for the releases is absolutely abysmal.

Rather than commissioning artists to whip up exciting new art that would entice fans of the franchise to double dip, Universal instead decided to go the Photoshop route, making for butt-ugly cover art that gets worse with each film; note the way Alan Grant isn’t even *looking* at the T-Rex in the Jurassic Park art, for starters.

As for special features, they’re the same as previous releases. Yawn.



Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom will have Chris Patt and team turn Saviour to Dinosaurs

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Chris Patt in a still from Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom.

Everybody’s favourite franchise, the Jurassic universe has upped its action game, with the director of the newest film Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom teasing a thrilling action sequence right in its opening.

The director of the film, JA Bayona, speaking to Empire Magazine said, “Fallen Kingdom starts with a massive action piece that feels like a James Bond prologue. And in the centre, there is the biggest set-piece ever done for a Jurassic movie."

JA Bayona, who had replaced Colin Trevorrow as director of Fallen Kingdom, is expected to give an all out, explosive action blockbuster. The teaser has already raised expectations as fans were reminded of the first Jurassic Park film, with a dinosaur stampede scene, and the characters of the film caught in a Gyrosphere while being dangerously thrown about by a ferocious dinosaur, reminiscent of the iconic jeep sequence.

The film varies in its plot too from its predecessor, as instead of being chased by killer dinosaurs, Fallen Kingdom is about saving all the dinosaurs from an erupting volcano on Isla Nublar.

Jurassic Park: Fallen Empire will see Chris Patt return to the lead role and is accompanied by franchise regular Jeff Goldblum.

The movie is slated to arrive in theaters on 22 June, 2018.



Is Rexy, the Original T. rex, Going to be Killed in Jurassic World 2?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The original T. rex, aka Rexy, from Jurassic Park has been in the franchise for nearly 30 years leading many to speculate if the upcoming Jurassic World 2 will kill her off. Chris Pratt, J.A. Bayona, and Colin Trevorrow have all promised a darker movie this time around and killing off one of the franchise's most beloved characters would definitely fall into the dark category, eliciting tears from long-time fans. Jurassic World 2 hits theaters on June 22nd, 2018 and it just might see the end of the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex, leaving room for a new dinosaur to take over the reins.


According to, Rexy was born either in late 1989 or early 1990 and she has made appearances in the original novel by Michael Crichton and was featured heavily in the first Jurassic Park movie. Rexy has also shown up in other forms of media including video games, trading cards, and clothing as well as Jurassic World and she has been confirmed to show up in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, revealed in the trailer during the intense volcano explosion on Isla Nubar. It is assumed that Rexy survives the blast as she is later seen on a giant truck where Own (Chris Pratt) says, "This is gonna be awesome," and looks into Rexy's eye.

Rexy may have taken on too much damage from the volcano blast and subsequent move, but that isn't clear at this time. We do know that the trailer and TV spots for Jurassic World 2 all take place within the first 45-minutes of the movie, so it seems likely that Rexy will be in a decent portion of the movie. However, Rexy could meet her end during an intense battle with the Baryonyx, the newcomer to the big screen that has shown up in books before and other pieces of the franchise. The Baryonyx is said to have twice as many teeth as a T. rex and isn't weakened like Rexy, so this seems like the most plausible way for her to die.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is also the second installment within a trilogy, which is traditionally when darker elements come into play. Star Wars fans weren't sure if Han Solo died during the final events of The Empire Strikes Back and Rexy may see the same fate, but might not come back at all. The Dark Knight is the second in the trilogy and it's darker and grittier than its predecessor, with a few deaths. Rexy is the King (or Queen) of the Jurassic Park and it seems only fitting that the symbol of the kingdom could meet her demise in a movie called Fallen Kingdom. She will more than likely go head-to-head with the Baryonyx and die saving the humans. But remember, none of this has been confirmed in anyway and is just fan speculation at this point in time.

Though many fans don't want to see the end of Rexy, Jurassic World 2 might be the perfect place to do so. Many thought that the final scene of Jurassic World was the last time that we'd ever see her on the big screen again, but that is obviously not true. Rexy is damaged in the trailers for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and it really looks like she won't make it to the final installment in the trilogy. You can check out the trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom below, courtesy of Universal Pictures.



170-million year old jawbone of dog-sized crocodile found Isle of Skye

Saturday, January 6, 2018

170-million year old jawbone of dog-sized crocodile found Isle of Skye

A new discovery of fossil has been added to the paleontologists’ knowledge graph by a team from the University of Edinburgh that found a rare 170 million-year-old jawbone.

Interestingly, the tiny bone is from 30-year old dog-sized crocodile-like creature spotted at Isle of Skye, Scotland. Scientists have made some X-ray scans to examine the previously found fossil. While measuring the bone of 3.5cm length found at Duntulm Castle in the north of the island, they have solved several mysteries.

Resulting in the observations, researchers noted that the jawbone is from a crocodile relative. They also believe that neosuchians named creatures were being diverse at the time on shores.

Dialy Mail reported that Dr. Steve Brusatte from the School of GeoSciences of the University has told the website that they have earlier discovered the pieces of the crocodile on Skye, but the recent one is nicer. It is a nearly complete jawbone.

Paleontologists are assuming that this small dog-sized creature was of the time of dinosaurs living in the lagoons of ancient Skye.

Dr. Brusatte further added: “These were very ancient, very primitive relatives of today’s crocodiles. They would have looked more like scaly dogs than big scary alligators. One reason why the new fossil is so important is because it is one of the few crocodile fossils from the middle part of the Jurassic Period from anywhere in the world.”

“Skye is a unique window into the Middle Jurassic, as it is one of the few places globally that preserves fossils from this time.”

He explained: “There are some relatives in North America, Asia, and other parts of Europe, but from later in time.”

“If we had better fossils of Middle Jurassic from other parts of the world, we would probably find more of these small crocs. But Skye is one of the only games in town for Middle Jurassic fossils,” he added.

The Isle of Skye is one of the few places in the world where fossils from the Middle Jurassic Period can be found. In 2008, scientists revealed that the earliest turtles that were known to live in water had been discovered on the same island.

Fossils of the 164 million-year-old reptiles were found on a beach on the Strathaird peninsula in the south of the island. The discovery formed a missing link between ancient terrestrial turtles and their modern, aquatic descendants.

Experts say that Skye was covered in lagoons and filled with turtles, crocodiles, pterosaurs and dinosaurs during the Middle Jurassic period.

Recently, geologists got hold of an ‘alien’ mineral while exploring the volcanic rocks of the Skye. They believe that meteorite might have hit our Earth almost 60 million years ago. At first, the researchers thought that the rocks are nothing but volcanic flow deposits called ignimbrite. But when they examined the rock deeply, they found out that rare meteoritic minerals were present beneath a 60million year lava flow that had originated from an ancient volcanic eruption.



Universal Celebrates Jurassic Park's 25th Anniversary with Fan Contest

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The movie-inspired, UGC contest will encourage fans to relive their favorite scenes from the classic film.

GLOBAL–Universal Brand Development and creative network Tongal have come together to launch a user-generated content contest that celebrates the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park’s theatrical release as well as the upcoming release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

The contest invites fans from across the globe to submit videos where they either "relive" or "recreate" their favorite moments from the Jurassic Park film. To promote the contest, a video was released that uses fan-generated content with special guests Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.

Fans who choose to relive their favorite moments from Jurassic Park are asked to submit a video about their favorite scene from the film and the impact it had on them. Alternatively, fans who want to recreate their most memorable moments are encouraged to use their imaginations to create scenes using animation, illustration, toys, family members, costumes, pets, special effects and more.

Up to 48 winners will be awarded $250 each as well as Jurassic Park merch. In addition, their videos will be shared with fans across Jurassic World social channels. Two grand-prize winners will be selected (one for each project) to receive $1,000, plus Jurassic Park products and DVD set.

You can submit your video from today until January 22, 2018, on

Five Things You Didn’t Know about “Dinosaur Train”

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Dinosaur Train

Dinosaur Train is a cartoon that’s listed as American, Canadian, and Singaporean in nature and is just what it sounds like. The train passes through several different time periods as the passengers and main characters, namely Buddy the T-Rex and his adopted Pteranodon family, experience everything from meeting other dinosaurs to watching exploding volcanoes. The show is designed to be educational and engaging, and it does raise certain questions about species and heritage as well since Buddy is obviously a different kind of animal than his adopted family. This kind of theme was added no doubt to help children that come from mixed families understand a little better that the family that wants you and cares for you might not be the same as you, but that doesn’t mean they care any less.

The show takes on the current and modern issues of the era and does its best to be entertaining at the same time.

5. Buddy is technically the only main character that is really a dinosaur.

This might be debated among a lot of people since pteranodons are often lumped into the dinosaur category along with everything else. But the truth is that pteranodons are giant, prehistoric birds which makes them quite different from the other species that lived during the same time. True dinosaurs are considered to be large reptiles, which kind of rules pteranodons out.

4. The fourth season used a lower grade of CGI.

The higher the cost of the production the harder it is to keep it going for a prolonged period of time. The more high quality the CGI is the more expensive it gets since the man hours and effort put into creating a seamless show can be quite high.  The lower grade CGI helped the company to save money and was even more successful when it was used.

3. The show was developed by the Jim Henson Company.

Usually when you think about the Jim Henson Company you might think Muppets. The company has managed to expand however and branch out a little more in an effort to keep things alive and dynamic. It’s not hard to believe that the company would stick with kids’ shows since this is what helped to make them so well-known from the beginning.

2. The toys are all interactive.

The toys can actually ‘speak’ and ‘sing’ with each other using infrared sensors that allow them to detect each other. That seems like it might make a pretty cool and well-used gift for any kid since toys that can move and interact on their own or with others is something that can help a kid learn and have fun with it at the same time.

1. The sixth season has been hard for some people to find. 

A lot of people seem to be kicking themselves for missing this season but the explanation for this is just a little odd. Apparently the sixth season was placed into a bunch of standalone DVD stories that are all interactive and feature a bunch of fun games.

It looks like a well-rounded show.


Serikornis Sungei Fossil Gives a Glimpse Into the Evolution of Feathers

Friday, January 5, 2018

Silky Serikornis sungei (Credit:

Exquisitely well-preserved feathered dinosaurs from the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous of north-eastern China have considerably helped paleontologists to better understand how birds evolved from dinosaurs. It has been previously postulated that the emergence of feathers was driven by their aerodynamic properties but a new species, named Serikornis sungei “the silk bird”, provides new clues about how dinosaurs feathers evolved.

The little pheasant-sized dinosaur, which bears four wings (that is, two forewings and two hindwings) is mainly covered with simple feathers similar to the wispy bundles found in other dinosaurs like Sinornithosaurus. The first four-winged dinosaur, as known as Microraptor, was reported from the Tiaojishan Formation in Liaoning Province in 2000.

This Middle-Late Jurassic Formation has already provided other four-winged species such as Aurornis and Anchiornis, another basal dinosaur close to the transition between dinosaurs and birds. The plumage of Serikornis is well-preserved and the limbs bear short, slender, symmetrical, and poorly differentiated feathers similar to those of Anchiornis. In other words, the limb feathers attached to the arms and the legs of Serikornis are totally different from the flight feathers of modern birds.

Details on the two major plumage traits of Serikornis attesting that it was a ground-dwelling dinosaur: (i) the plumage of the forewing is primitive and not composed of long pennaceous flight feathers covered by short coverts. (ii) Saw under electronic microscope, the macrostructure of its feathers are devoid of barbules, a trait to allow the feather to resist air pressure during the wing beat.

Serikornis wasn’t a flier and its anatomy coupled to the macrostructure of the feathers indicate a terrestrial mode of life. Although the hindlimbs bear feathers, a feature often associated with the evolution of flight, they are not suited to sustain a flight. So the presence of leg feathers on a more archaic and grounded dinosaur imply that long leg feathers evolved in a terrestrial context. The structure of the pennaceous feathers also goes in that direction because of barbules, a structure that hook barbs together and which is essential to resist air pressure during the wing beat, are absent in Serikornis. This absence is corroborated by optical and electronic microscopy.

What does the plumage of Serikornis serve? It is postulated that the feathering of this little dinosaur may have primitively been used as a thermoregulatory system or as a social display even if it could not be ruled out that Serikornis was able to scramble up tree trunks with its sharp and recurved claws and parachute to the ground, using its plumage to slow down its descent.

The next step of the research will bring new information about how the terrestrial context has driven the emergence of flight among basalmost Jurassic paravians and how this emergence has played a major role on the diversification of ecological niches necessary to develop a modern-like type of flight.

These findings are described in the article entitled A new Jurassic theropod from China documents a transitional step in the macrostructure of feathers, published in the journal The Science of Nature. This work was led by Ulysse Lefèvre at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Feathered T. rex!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Dubbed Jurassic World: Feathered Kingdom this fan artwork by Michael Eppinette takes the final money shot from the Jurassic World 2 trailer, where the Tyrannosaurus rex kills the Carnotaurus and re-imagines the Tyrant Queen as a feathered Dinosaur! Check it out:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Feathered T. rex!

Back when the Jurassic World sequel was entering production there was much talk of whether or not the dinosaurs in the film would be realized with feathers. However, to keep with the Jurassic Park aesthetic, feathers were not added to any of the Dinosaur designs regardless of scientific accuracy. Although I was never personally a fan of feathered Dinosaurs in a Jurassic Park movie I must say this feathered Rex doesn't look bad at all!

Would you be okay with feathered Dinosaurs in a Jurassic World movie? Let us know in the comments!