Top ten dinosaur and fossil finds of 2009

December 23rd, 2009 - 4:43 pm ICT by ANI  

National Geographic Washington, December 23 (ANI): An article in the National Geographic News has listed the top ten dinosaur and fossil finds of the year 2009.

At number 10 is a study that found the fossils of largest trilobites ever discovered, which date back to 465 million years.

The fossils show that swarms of up to a thousand giant trilobites roamed shallow prehistoric seas.

At number 9 is a study which suggested that an isolated group of dinosaurs somehow survived the catastrophic event that wiped out most of their kind some 65.5 million years ago.

At number 8 is the controversial theory, which suggests that, as many as a third of all known dinosaur species never existed in the first place.

That’s because young dinosaurs didn’t look like Mini-Me versions of their parents, according to new analyses.

Instead, like birds and some other living animals, the juveniles went through dramatic physical changes during adulthood.

This means many fossils of young dinosaurs, including T. rex relatives, have been misidentified as unique species.

At number 7 is the finding of the fossil of Raptorex kriegsteini, a tiny Tyrannosaurus rex, which gave rise to the giant mighty T.Rex.

Raptorex kriegsteini, which was 150-pounds (70-kilograms), likely lived about 125 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period.

It had all the main characteristics of its larger descendants such as T. rex-big head, nipping teeth, stubby arms, fast legs, but packed into a 9-foot (3-meter) frame.

At number 6 is the finding of five “Oddball” dinosaur-era crocodile cousins discovered in the Sahara, which includes a “saber-toothed cat in armor” and a pancake-shaped predator.

At number 5 is the discovery of fossils of a ferocious predator and two giant plant-eaters in the Australian outback.

At number 4 is the discovery of a long-legged mammal, a sharp-toothed rodent, and an iridescent beetle, found in more than 6,500 Eocene-epoch fossils unearthed in Germany’s Messel Pit.

At number 3 is the discovery of the fossil of the world’s biggest snake, which, 60 million years ago, was longer than a bus and heavier than a car.

At number 2 is the discovery of the oldest fossil skeleton of a human ancestor.

The find reveals that our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy, the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago.

At number 1 is the finding of the 47-million-year-old, exceptionally preserved primate fossil of “Ida,” which has been described as the “missing link” that connects humans and lemurs. (ANI)

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