Life as We Know It
Octopuses, Dinosaurs, Pandas and More...
- By Abby Callard, T.A. Frail, Megain Gambino, Abigail Tucker, Sarah Zielinski
- Smithsonian magazine, February 2010
Paleontologists in New Mexico say fossils of the newly discovered 10-foot-tall Tawa hallae shed new light on dinosaur origins. The 213-million-year-old remains—old even for a dinosaur—were found alongside fossils of other early meat eaters. But the closest relatives of those species lived in South America, where the first dinosaurs may have evolved. The find suggests several waves of dinosaurs colonized North America when the two continents were in greater contact as part of the landmass called Pangea.
For more on Tawa hallae check out our "Dinosaur Tracking" blog.
“Female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) chirps advertise the caller’s fertile phase,” Benjamin D. Charlton et al., Proceedings of the Royal Society B, December 2, 2009.
“Kin recognition: Competition and cooperation in Impatiens (Balsaminaceae), Guillermo P. Murphy and Susan A. Dudley, American Journal of Botany, October 23, 2009.
“A Complete Skeleton of a Late Triassic Saurischian and the Early Evolution of Dinosaurs,” Sterling J. Nesbitt et al., Science, December 11, 2009.
“Contemporary Evolution of Reproductive Isolation and Phenotypic Divergence in Sympatry along a Migratory Divide,” Gregor Rolshausen et al., Current Biology, December 29, 2009.
“Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus,” Julian K. Finn et al., Current Biology, December 15, 2009.
Giant pandas photo gallery at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Web site.