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"Alternative Evolution" of Dinosaurs Foresaw Contemporary Paleo Finds [Slide Show]

What if, by some fluke of evolutionary history, dinosaurs never went extinct? A geologist's imaginings of this scenario now bear a remarkable resemblance to creatures preserved in recent discoveries
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ANT-EATERS:

No one expected to find ant-eating dinosaurs. That gig—engaged in by mammals such as pangolins today—was one dinosaurs showed no indication of taking up. When Dixon created his vision of an ant-eating dinosaur called the "Pangaloon," therefore, he drew on mammals for inspiration, but paleontologists have now discovered dinosaurs that might have raided anthills, after all.....[ More ]

DELICATE FINGER:

The tree-dwelling dinosaur Dixon dubbed the "Nauger" was unlike any known dinosaur. Part woodpecker and part aye-aye, this dinosaur pecked holes in trees in order to snatch grubs with a  specialized, elongated finger, but in 2002 two different teams of paleontologists described two specimens of a strikingly similar dinosaur.....[ More ]

BLACK, WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?:

Sinosauropteryx was not the only dinosaur to be reconstructed in living color. One week after the Sinosauropteryx paper was published, an international team of researchers led by Quanguo Li of the Beijing Museum of Natural History presented the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis in full color .....[ More ]

DINOSAUR SIGNPOST:

Compared to many of Dixon's other creations, his hadrosaur-descendent the "Bricket" was nearly defenseless. The dinosaur lacked claws, horns, spikes or armor, but he did give it a tail striped with brown, red, black and white.....[ More ]

UNEXPECTED FEATHERS:

The "Dip" wasn't Dixon's only fluffy dinosaur. Many of his speculative creations—from the rhino-like "Monocorn" to the chubby "Balaclav"—were at least partly covered in fur-like coats.....[ More ]

FUZZY PREDATORS:

A fish-eater which stalked the fish-filled pools of mountain streams, Dixon's "Dip"  looked awfully strange for a predatory dinosaur. For one thing, the long-snouted coelurosaur was covered in a coat of "long silky fur" never before seen on any dinosaur.....[ More ]

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