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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: An Earlier Start for Dinosaurs?
5 October 2010 7:01 pm
The cat-sized, three-toed creature that may have given rise to Tyrannosaurus Rex, Velociraptor, and other fearsome dinosaurs loped across the earth nearly 10 million years earlier than previously thought. In the Holy Cross Mountains of southern Poland, researchers have found tracks, like the one shown above, indicating that animals called "stem dinosaurs" first appeared about 250 million years ago—only a couple of million years after the great Permian-Triassic extinction, a catastrophic event that wiped out over 90% of all marine species and over 75% of land creatures on the planet. The team will report online tomorrow in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B that the 2-centimeter-long footprints belonged to Prorotodactylus, which walked on four feet. Each foot had only three prominent toes, however, meaning that sooner or later these creatures probably evolved into the theropod dinosaurs, the three-toed, upright-walking beasts that would dominate the planet for the next 150 million years or so—until another catastrophic event wiped them out.
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