PaleoNews #17

NEW FINDINGS 

A new dromaeosaurid has been discovered, and it is the largest dinosaur so far to have been preserved with wings. This new animal, named Zhenyuanlong suni, hails from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning, China. At around 5.5 feet in length, Zhenyuanlong suni was a medium-sized dromaeosaurid. It size, however, is not Zhenyuanlong‘s most interesting feature. This dinosaur had large wings, which it may have used for sexual and territorial displays. The presence of a mid-sized dromaeosaurid preserved with long feathers furthers our understanding of the plumage sported by the dromaeosaurid dinosaurs.

Deinonychus, like its relative Zhenyuanlong, was probably heavily feathered from beak to tail tip. Photo by the author, 2015.

Deinonychus, like its relative Zhenyuanlong, was probably heavily feathered from beak to tail tip. Photo by the author, 2015.

A new four-legged snake-like-reptile has been discovered, and has raised questions about the ethics of fossil collecting. Tetrapodophis amplectus provides further insight as to how snakes lost their limbs. The fossil itself has been the subject of controversy, as researchers discovered it in a private collection, assuming it to be from Brazil based on aspects of the rock the “proto-snake” was entombed in. It is unknown if this fossil was illegally poached from Brazil (or another country, for that matter) and placed in the private collection scientific workers found it in.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY 

At his blog, Mark Witton goes over his past year of artworks featuring everyone’s favorite tyrant lizard king. He also discusses the future of the Jurassic Park series. You can find those posts here and here.

At TwilightBeasts, it is all about leopards and kauri trees. You can go check out their post highlighting this beautiful cat here, and the post about the “living-fossil” trees here.

Meet Tristan the Tyrannosaurus rex. Heinrich Mallison shares the story of his trip to the dig site of Earth’s newest king dinosaur. You can find that post here.

The Royal Tyrell Museum shares how artwork inspires research. You can find that post here. They also showcase their exhibition “Fossils in Focus” here.

At LITC, Mark Vincent takes a look at the book Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Animals in another installment of LITC’s classic series “Vintage Dinosaur Art”. You can go check out that post here.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!!

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