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den4
15-10-04, 16:05
Fossil Hunters Find Sleeping Dinosaur in China

Wed Oct 13, 1:16 PM ET

By Patricia Reaney

LONDON (Reuters) - Scientists have unearthed the remains of a perfectly preserved 130 million-year-old new species of dinosaur which provide a first-ever look at how the prehistoric creatures slept.

The small two-legged dinosaur was discovered in China, curled up with its head tucked under the forearm similar to how modern birds sleep.


"This is the first report of sleeping behavior in dinosaurs," Xing Xu, of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing, told Reuters on Wednesday.


"We've never had any other information about a dinosaur sleeping."


Dubbed Mei long, which means "soundly sleeping dragon" in Chinese, the dinosaur was about 21 inches long or about the size of a large bird. Several features indicate its avian origins.


"It is one of the most complete skeletons I have ever seen. It is a perfect preservation. We have almost every bone in the skeleton," Xu explained.


"There is no disturbance. The body is arranged in a life-like posture."


The sleeping skeleton was found near Beipiao City in Liaoning province, an area rich in fossils that have revealed secrets of dinosaur behavior.


The sleeping posture indicates the characteristic probably originated in dinosaur ancestors of modern birds, according to the scientists.


Judging from its remarkably preserved state and position of the skeleton Mei long died a peaceful, and probably sudden, death.


Unlike other dinosaurs found with their neck extended back in a classic death pose, Mei long seemed to be sleeping contentedly when it died. Xu and his colleague Mark Norell, of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, are not sure what killed the dinosaur but they said there are several possibilities.


It could have been starved of oxygen, buried under thick layers of volcanic ash or could have been sleeping in a cave or burrow when the roof collapsed.


"What you can see from the skeleton is that it died peacefully, quickly," according to Xu who reported his research in the science journal Nature.

Satori
16-10-04, 09:09
How interesting! :cool:

Lina Inverse
19-10-04, 01:57
It's quite interesting indeed to make such a well-preserved found :haihai:

Miss_apollo7
19-10-04, 19:50
WOW!! Interesting! I love this kind of topic, as I am a frequent visitor of natural historic museums...Any pictures??

StarCrap
20-10-04, 02:50
Sleeping dino, now that is cool. Pictures would be great!

bossel
23-10-04, 01:35
1st a sleeping dinosaur, now a 121 million-year-old baby arboreal bird in its egg:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3762626.stm

"The fossil is thought to be the most ancient unborn bird ever discovered.

It has piqued researcher's interest because it had feathers, whereas many modern flying birds are naked and helpless when they first hatch.

The authors say this supports the view that birds developed the strategy of hatching featherless later in history.

"This fossil is interesting because its preservation is so exceptionally fine, that even the soft tissues like feathers have been preserved," said Dr Angela Milner of London's Natural History Museum.

"For an embryo that is still inside the egg, it is surprising how advanced the feathers were." "

lexico
21-01-05, 07:37
Hi, all. Any news about the "Mammoth Resurrection Project?"
I saw a show on TV about 2 Japanese scientists going to Upper Siberia to collect frozen mammoth specimen. They are planning to transplant an ordinary mammoth nucleus in an elephant's egg. A female elephant is supposed to be the mother of the resurrected mammoth cub. I want to know if this experiment has been completed, or near completion? :?