Fossil Evidence Just Added Fuel to The Debate Over The Purpose of Giraffe Necks

In light of the brutal tug-of-war over resources that is natural selection, it’s been taken for granted that the giraffe’s iconic neck evolved to reach leaves other plant-eaters can’t possibly access. What seemed obvious to Charles Darwin has since attracted a great deal of scrutiny, with some biologists proposing those extended vertebrae aren’t for browsing, … Read more

Fossae/foramina in the articular surfaces of turkey vertebrae

I was looking more closely at the turkey skeleton from my recent post, and zeroed in on the last two dorsal (= thoracic) vertebrae. They articulate very well with each other and with the first vertebra of the sacrum, with the center and zygapophyses both locking in so that there can only have been very … Read more

A Sneezing Dinosaur? Fossil Reveals Deadly Flu-Like Illness in a Sauropod

Hacking coughs, uncontrollable sneezing, high fevers and pounding headaches can make anyone miserable – even a dinosaur. Recently, researchers identified the first evidence of respiratory illness in a long-necked, herbivorous type of dinosaur known as a sauropod, which lived about 150 million years ago during the Jurassic period (201.3 million to 145 million years ago) … Read more