Cretaceous Period

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Flying Reptile Had Head Like a Butterfly

Researchers find odd-looking new species in Brazil

(Newser) - A flying reptile with a head shaped like a butterfly isn't the next Godzilla nemesis. Scientists in southern Brazil have discovered fossils from a species they say was related to pterodactyls and estimated to have lived about 80 million years ago, reports LiveScience . At least 47 individual dinos were... More »

New Dinosaur Was 'Chicken From Hell'

Tough, 10-foot beast roamed western US

(Newser) - Col. Sanders' nightmare come true? Researchers say a new species of dinosaur unearthed in the US was a bit like a chicken—a 10-foot tall, 550-pound chicken that could rip your head off. The dinosaur, which lived around 66 million years ago, has been nicknamed the "chicken from hell"... More »

Extinct Toothy Lizard Named After Obama

Obamadon gracilis disappeared with the dinosaurs

(Newser) - President Obama's toothy grin inspired researchers to name a newly discovered species of prehistoric lizard after him. Obamadon gracilis, a small, insect-eating lizard found in northwest Montana, went extinct along with the dinosaurs after a giant asteroid hit Earth around 65 million years ago. "The lizard has these... More »

Scientists Find Giant Jurassic Fleas

Inch-long critters believed to have fed on feathered dinosaurs

(Newser) - What kind of flea feeds on dinosaurs? The big kind. Scientists have found fossils of Jurassic and Cretaceous-era fleas measuring up to an inch in length buried in China, the Telegraph reports. In addition to their unusual size, the fleas' saw-like "siphonate" mouthparts, which were used to suck the... More »

100M Years Ago, Africa Was Crocodile Central

3 new species unearthed from Sahara include DogCroc

(Newser) - The universe of diverse prehistoric crocodile species keeps expanding, suggesting crocs were one of the dominant forms of life 100 million years ago. Paleontologists have just unearthed three new species in the Sahara desert: the 20-foot BoarCroc, which likely fed on dinosaurs; the 20-foot PancakeCroc, a flat-bodied fish-gobbler; and the... More »

North America's Tiniest Dino Found

Chicken-sized predator roamed Canada 75M years ago

(Newser) - Scientists have identified the remains of the smallest dinosaur species ever found in North America, reports National Geographic. Hesperonychus elizabethae was a Cretaceous-era carnivore no bigger than a chicken, according to researchers. Scientists believe the existence of the Velociraptor cousin helps confirm that dinosaurs, not mammals, filled the role of... More »

Dino Dads: Original Mr. Mom

Male raptors sat on the eggs while females went out foraging

(Newser) - Some of the fearsome birdlike predators of the Cretaceous and Jurassic ages had a softer side as stay-at-home dads, a team of paleontologists says. The researchers analyzed leg bones found on nests of unhatched eggs and concluded that in at least three dinosaur genuses, it was the males who guarded... More »

'Frog From Hell' Fossil Turns up in Madagascar

'Beelzebufo' munched on baby dinosaurs

(Newser) - Fossil hunters digging in Madagascar have discovered a 70 million-year-old, 10 pound ancestor of the horned frog. Over twice as large as its modern-day descendants, the  "slightly squashed beach-ball" shaped creature probably lunched on small lizards and baby dinosaurs, and has earned the charming nicknames "frog from hell"... More »

'Beach Bum' Dino Chilled in Mex

New find reveals crested duckbill hunted by cousin of T. rex

(Newser) - A newly discovered duck-billed dinosaur lived on a "very Mediterranean-like" Mexican beach 72 million years ago, paleontologists say. A fossilized skeleton of Velafrons coahuilensis was found in the north-central state of Coahuila—the most complete dinosaur ever found in Mexico, Reuters reports. "Velafrons was probably a beach bum,... More »

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