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"Kulindodromeus" from Chita, Siberia and other dino (and non-dino) news stories

From: Ben Creisler

A number recent news stories that may be of interest.

Here's is a story in Russian (with video) that updates the finds in
Chita, Siberia, Russia.


(Here's the link to the Chernyshevsk regional museum mentioned in the story)

I have provided a rough English translation using Google Translate.
Again, I left some things as-is, but have tried to correct garbled
passages and bad mistranslations. The name "Kulindosaurus" was
mentioned in an early story. It now appears that the small ornithopod
is being called "Kulindodromeus."

07/06/2013 11:54 Unknown dinosaur whose remains are found in  Kulinda
Valley, offer in a separate form and name Kulindodromeus

Not only theropods. 160 million years ago in the Trans-Baikal
predatory herbivorous dinosaurs lived. Establishing this fact has
allowed a unique find for paleontologists, the fourth year of working
on location in the Chernyshevsk area. What are the secrets of
centuries-old stone deposits - we tell our story.

Trans-Baikal Area Jurassic Park found just 30 kilometers from the
district center above the village of Novoiliynsk. The picturesque
valley - Pad Kulinda, today it is known globally. In 2010, the
excavation of the left side of the valley  found the first signs of
habitation in the Trans-Baikal region of predatory dinosaurs -
Compsognathus. Credit for the discovery belongs to the famous
Trans-Baikal scientist- paleontologist Sofia Sinitsa. A year later,
fossils of another dinosaur are found, as yet unknown to science.

About 160 million years ago the Olov depression was a huge lake of
volcanic origin, in which lived only a small crustaceans and insect
larvae. But on land, on the shores of the lake, there lived mostly
herbivorous dinosaurs, the remains of which are now being found by

This is a laborious and time-consuming work. To see a compacted stone
formation as something interesting, you need a trained eye. To split
the sample and not to damage the inside of the tail rock fragments,
vertebrae and limbs of ancient animals, the blow must be accurate. The
reward for patience and persistence - the new finds.

Sofia Sinitsa, paleontologist, doctor of geological-mineralogical
sciences: "Why we are considered a unique location? Because together
with the bone material here is plumage, different skin fragments-
small tubercules, large tubercules. And the plumage is different:
there is something like a carrot, and there are feathers with some
spots, like a peacock's tail. "

Dinosaurs that lived in the Trans-Baikal region are small, no more
than 140-160 centimeters in length and the size of a medium-sized dog.
Herbivores eat liverworts and horsetails, the facts of which they say
have been found in rock samples imprints of growing plants. Sofia
Sinitsa's granddaughter is enthusiastically trying to find the remains
of the flora and fauna of the Late Jurassic Period.

Catherine [Yekaterina] Vilmova, a member of the expedition: "For three
years, I've been going with my grandmother into the field, trying to
help her find something interesting and unusual. And special benefits,
then I have here is not just all fun."

Search expedition this year acquired an international dimension.
Excavation of the leading experts visited not only from neighboring
cities of Blagoveshchensk and Irkutsk, but also from abroad - Belgian
scientists from around the world. It was the visitors who managed to
reconstruct a dinosaur discovered. The presentation of the search
results took place in the Chernyshevsk regional museum.

Yuri Bolotsky, head of the Laboratory of Paleontology Institute of
Geology and Nature of the Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of
Sciences: "The fact that Kulinda has wonderful things, I knew three
years ago. So, last year I received an invitation from Sofia
Mikhailovna (Sinitsa) to participate with her team , to work on this
wonderful location. What I imagined - I've seen. But, of course, still
revealed only a little, it is very promising, and I think that this is
not the last of the beasts that will come out of the bowels of Chita.

And experts from neighboring regions are going to look for them, along
with the Trans-Baikal paleontologists for next year. Now the
collection of finds will be sent to Moscow for identification. And
those scientists that have visited today in the Trans-Baikal region,
offer to allocate a separate unknown dinosaur species and give it its
own name - Kulindodromeus.


Titanosaur "Marilia Titan" skeleton dig continues in Brazil (in Portuguese)



Dinosaur diversity on Laramidia


Como Bluff dig



Dinosaur eggs found in Mongolia



Ichthyosaur fossils found in Alaska



Dinosaur highlights of Northern Spain



Turtle shell origin controversy

Naomi Lubick (2013)
Biologists Tell Dueling Stories of How Turtles Get Their Shells.
Science 341 no. 6144 p. 329
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6144.329

Crocodiles and armadillos armor themselves in an exoskeleton of bony
plates, but the turtle goes a step further with a shell that is
anchored to its rib cage and spine, making it part of its internal
skeleton. Just how the developing turtle embryo builds its fortress—a
feat unique among vertebrates—is unclear. But two scenarios are now
vying to explain this major evolutionary puzzle. Until recently, many
biologists thought that the turtle shell takes shape from skin cells
adjacent to the ribs that are transformed into bone in the course of
development. But Japanese developmental biologists have now weighed in
with a new scenario, in which the shell is a direct outgrowth of bones
themselves. Researchers trying to reach consensus about how the shell
develops have concluded that turtles may have more than one way to
build a turtle shell.


Living theropods make effective "guard dogs"