Don’t get too close, this #fossilfriday has spikes!
This heavily armored, highly spiked ankylosaur is Edmontonia rugosidens, a dinosaur that lived 75 million years ago in the Late Cretaceous period. This mount shows the front limb positioned as it may have been in life. Although it certainly wasn’t a sprinter, Edmontonia could probably move quickly.
This saurischian dinosaur is shown feeding on a carcass with bones marked by grooves, possibly from the teeth or claws of the 140-million-year-old predator. Allosaurus teeth found nearby inspired the idea for the mount. This allosaurus can be found in the Museum’s Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs.
Today’s peek into the archives shows a truly hands-on approach to learning about dinosaurs. “Children viewing Brontosaurus exhibit” by H. S. Rice and Irving Dutcher was taken in 1927.
Brontosaurus is no longer used by paleontologists to refer to this massive herbivorous species, which was originally thought to be distinct from—but turned out to be the same as—the Apatosaurus. Nearly a century after this specimen was first mounted at the Museum, it underwent a major revision, including a replacement of its skull. Learn more about the history of this dino misnomer.
Curators created the scene based on fossils found at the Araripe Basin in Brazil. Many are beautifully preserved, immediately recognizable as the animals they once were. The fossils are also of particular geological interest because they date from a time—110 million years ago—when the continents weren’t in the same positions as they are today. South America was only starting to split off from Africa, and a north-south seaway may have run down through today’s Brazil, including through the Romualdo.
Last Summer, a team from the Museum’s Paleontology Division went looking for fossils in the Gobi Desert. The group included Aki Watanabe, a student at the Museum’s Richard Gilder Graduate School, who was chosen as a beta-tester for Google Glass.
Neither birds nor bats, pterosaurs were reptiles, close cousins of dinosaurs who evolved on a separate branch of the reptile family tree. They were also the first animals after insects to evolve powered flight—not just leaping or gliding, but flapping their wings to generate lift and travel through the air. They evolved into dozens of species. Some were as large as an F-16 fighter jet, and others as small as a paper airplane.