Nine-ton Block of Sandstone Unveils Six Utahraptor Remains.

Archaeologists in Moab, Utah, have discovered the remains of six Utahraptors within a nine-ton block of sandstone. This discovery is regarded as the biggest fossil find ever of the Utahraptor, a giant predatory theropod dinosaur who roamed the earth during the early Cretaceous period. The massive excavation, led by Utah state palaeontologist James Kirkland, has been undertaken over the past decade upon the Utah Mountain.

The nine-ton sandstone block revealed the skeletal remains of a 16ft-long adult, four juveniles and a baby Utahraptor which was approximately 3ft long from snout to tail.

The nine-ton sandstone block revealed the skeletal remains of a 16ft-long adult, four juveniles and a baby Utahraptor which was approximately 3ft long from snout to tail.

The sandstone block revealed the skeletal remains of a 16ft-long adult, four juveniles and a baby Utahraptor which was approximately 3ft long from snout to tail. The block also revealed bones belonging to a beaked, bipedal herbivore known as an Iguanadon. It is hoped that the Utahraptors died whilst hunting as a group, which may provide evidence of pack hunting. Another hypothesis claims that the Utahraptors may have wandered into quicksand and died at different times, due to the fossils being stacked 3ft thick.

It is hoped that the Utahraptors died whilst hunting as a group, which may provide evidence of pack hunting.

It is hoped that the Utahraptors died whilst hunting as a group, which may provide evidence of pack hunting.

Kirkland thinks that the Utahraptors were enticed by the promise of the unwary Iguanodon which stumbled into the quicksand itself. Unable to move, bellowing and struggling, the trapped Iguanodon lured the Utahraptors who then, one after another, tried to ‘nab an easy meal’ only ending up stuck and meeting the same fate as the Iguanodon.

Utahraptors are the largest known member of the family Dromaeosauridae, with some specimens reaching 23ft-long weighing around 500kg. They bare a resemblance to their ‘cousins’ – the Velociraptor but are covered in feathers, with a sickle like claw on each of their second toes.

Size comparison of an average sized adult Utahraptor with an adult male human (5.9ft).

Size comparison of an average sized adult Utahraptor with an adult male human (5.9ft).

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200-Million-Year-Old Ichthyosaur Complete Fossil Discovered.

An ichthyosaur fossil, dating back to around 200 million years, has been discovered on a beach in Penarth, South Wales.

The 7ft fossil, weighing in at 132lbs, was unearthed on a beach in Penarth, South Wales.

The 7ft fossil, weighing in at 132lbs, was unearthed on a beach in Penarth, South Wales.

The 7ft fossil, weighing in at 132lbs, was unearthed by beach walker Jonathan Bow, who spent a whole day excavating it. Cindy Howells, a palaeontologist from the National Museum of Wales said: ‘The ichthyosaur is potentially a very, very important find because it is so complete.’

Ichthyosaur Fossil 3

Ichthyosaur Fossil 2-Head

Ichthyosaurs are commonly referred to as fish lizards, but are in fact large carnivorous marine reptiles varying from 3ft to 52ft in length. They thrived during the Mesozoic era, and are thought to have made their first appearance around 250 million years ago.

It is thought that the ichthyosaur population increased during the later Triassic and early Jurassic Period, but then became replaced by the plesiosaurs during the later Jurassic and Cretaceous Period. By the Late Cretaceous period, ichthyosaurs became extinct.

Ichthyosaurs are commonly referred to as fish lizards, but are in fact large carnivorous marine that thrived during the Mesozoic era.

Ichthyosaurs are commonly referred to as fish lizards, but are in fact large carnivorous marine that thrived during the Mesozoic era.

Well Preserved Dinosaur Tail Found in Mexico.

A team of archaeologists and students from of the country’s National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) have found a remarkably well preserved fossilised remains of a suspected dinosaur tail, near the town of General Cepeda, Coahuila in northern Mexico. The director of the INAH, Francisco Aquilar, has said that the tail, which has been measured to be five yards long, is the first one of its kind to be found in Mexico. The tail was identified to be belonging to a hadrosaurid ( a duck-billed dinosaur), where it is likely representative of  half the dinosaurs full length.

Top: The fossilised tail remains of the hadrosaur, recently discovered in northern Mexico.  Bottom: A electronic  artist rendering of the appearance of the suspected dinosaur.

Top: The fossilised tail remains of the hadrosaur, recently discovered in northern Mexico.
Bottom: A electronic artist rendering of the appearance of the suspected dinosaur.

But this tail hasn’t been the only fossilised remains of dinosaurs that they have found on this archaeological site. The archaeologists have also found what is suspected to be one of the dinosaurs hips. There have also been numerous dinosaur remains found within the state of Coahuila, with Aguilar noting that they have “a very rich history of paleontology” within that area.

There was an earlier fossilised remains discovery in 2010. The fossilised remains were of a never before discovered dinosaur within the same northern Mexico state as the recently discovered tail. The remains of the Coahuilaceratops, which was aptly named after the place of discovery, was discovered by a research group of palaeontologists from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah. The excavation of the Coahuilaceratop marked the unearthing of the first horned dinosaur ever to be discovered in Mexico (News Center, 2010).

References:

Daily Mail. 2013. What happened to the rest of it? Archaeologists discover a 72million-year-old dinosaur tail in Mexican desert. Daily Mail News Online. Click here for an article about the dinosaur tail.

News Center. 2010. First Horned Dinosaur from Mexico. University of Utah. Available here. 

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