Dinosaurs are often mentioned in discussions about evolution, yet many people do not know how dinosaurs evolved. That birds are living dinosaurs has been a hot topic during the last decade or so, but what about all those other dinosaurs? How did they emerge and diversify during the ancient past? In...
June 15, 2009 | By Brian Switek
Outside of Hollywood films, dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops never coexisted with humans, and no case can be made that The Flintstones is an accurate depiction of prehistory. That has not stopped young-earth creationists from maintaining otherwise, though, and this has led to some rathe...
May 20, 2009 | By Brian Switek
Mass extinction is an extremely difficult subject to study. It is one thing to identify a mass extinction in the fossil record, but it is quite another to be able to fully explain its cause. It is not surprising, then, that the triggers for the great mass extinctions in earth's history are hotly de...
April 29, 2009 | By Brian Switek
Many years ago I recall seeing an arresting illustration by paleo-artist Mark Hallett in a magazine. It was of a group of Triceratops forming a protective circle to ward off a pair of Tyrannosaurus, but I would later learn there was a substantial problem with this picture. Even though Triceratops i...
April 10, 2009 | By Brian Switek
Visit to a Small Planet: io9 has compiled science fiction’s best dinosaur-extinction theories. (Time-traveling hunters? Alien cyborgs?) Personally, I blame Chuck Norris.: At Archosaur Musings, David Hone takes us on a grand tour of the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo: “A series of ce...
March 31, 2009 | By Mark Strauss
By the time that our ape ancestors split from the line that would produce chimpanzees, which happened about 4 million to 7 million years ago, non-avian dinosaurs had been extinct for more than 58 million years. Birds, the descendants of one group of small theropod dinosaurs, are the only dinosaurs ...
March 12, 2009 | By Brian Switek
When the film adaptation of Jurassic Park came out in 1993 the idea that scientists may one day be able to clone dinosaurs had everybody talking. It is still more science fiction than science fact (check out The Science of Jurassic Park and the Lost World), but suppose for a moment that there was s...
February 25, 2009 | By Brian Switek
Imagine, for a moment, an ideal habitat for a dinosaur. What does it look like? Many people think of them crashing through tropical forests and wallowing in swamps, but in truth dinosaurs inhabited a wide range of ecological settings. That includes the temperate forests of the cold northern latitud...
January 12, 2009 | By Brian Switek
New research from a Russian site suggests that some dinosaurs were able to thrive in very cold temperatures
January 09, 2009 | By Maura McCarthy
How one man's obsession saved an "extinct" species
January 02, 2009 | By Rob R. Dunn
Among paleontologists, there is sometimes a feeling that dinosaur research is overhyped. Later this month at the Grant Zoology museum of University College London, paleontologist Mark Carnall will deliver a talk called “Dinosaurs are Pointless.” The description of the lecture describes dinosaur doc...
November 20, 2008 | By Brian Switek
Walter Alvarez, the guy who figured out that dinosaurs were doomed by a massive asteroid that slammed into the Earth, just won a big prize.The prize is Earth Science's answer to the Nobel, the Vetlesen Prize.The asteroid impact set off "a giant tsunami, continent-scale wildfires, darkness, and cold...
October 16, 2008 | By Laura Helmuth
What killed the dinosaurs? Paleontologists have been pondering that question since the late 19th century, when they recognized that a mass extinction occurred at the end of the Cretaceous Period, 65 million years ago.Extinction theories have spanned the spectrum from the inspired to the bizarre. Fo...
October 08, 2008 | By Mark Strauss
What is it about dinosaurs that make them so compelling? Why do people, and in particular kids, throng to dinosaur exhibits and collect all manner of ancient reptile paraphernalia? Other than the bubbly, purple Barney, these creatures are fearsome with their incredible bulk, jagged teeth and armor-...
October 07, 2008 | By Smithsonian Staff
Can biologists breed the "Dinosaurs of the Missouri" fast enough to stave off their extinction?
March 2007 | By Sam Hooper Samuels
Little noticed by the outside world, perhaps the most dramatic decline of a wild animal in history has been taking place in India and Pakistan. Large vultures, vitally necessary and once numbering in the tens of millions, now face extinction. But why?
February 2007 | By Susan McGrath
Novel camera traps have documented the elusive cat in Arizona, suggesting it may not be gone from the United States after all
December 2005 | By Will Rizzo
How did the ivory-billed woodpecker, which was feared extinct, hang on all these years?
August 2005 | By Scott Weidensaul
A woodpecker feared extinct reappears in Arkansas
June 2005 | By Laura Helmuth
Assaulted by myriad threats to their survival, palm species around the world face the likelihood of extinction
August 2002 | By Mike Grudowski