Dinosaurs

Science • Archaeology & History
New dinosaur footprint discovered on south Wales beach
New dinosaur footprint discovered on south Wales beach
Credit: Courtesy of Museum Cardiff

A well-preserved dinosaur footprint has been discovered on a beach near Barry in south Wales and could help scientists establish more about how dinosaurs walked.

Four-year-old Lily Wilder and her family made the discovery whilst out on a walk in their local area in January.

Lily was the first to spot the new footprint on a loose block near the sea at Bendricks Bay - a well-known beach for its dinosaur footprints, preserved for 220 million years in desert muds.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales Palaeontology curator Cindy Howells was notified of the find and has described it as the best specimen ever found on this beach. The specimen is a type of footprint called Grallator, although it is impossible to identify which dinosaur made the print 220 million years ago.

Science • Animals
T-Rex skeleton for sale
Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to be auctioned
Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton to be auctioned Credit: CHRISTIE’S

You could soon own a T-Rex skeleton. One of the world's biggest and most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, nicknamed Stan, will be auctioned off on October 6. The skeleton could fetch a record price, with estimates as high as $8 million.

Until its auction, the approximately 67-million-year-old Stan can be viewed at Christie's in New York.

Science • Nature
An asteroid and not a volcanic eruption killed the dinosaurs, study finds
Artist's impression of a 1000km-diameter planetoid hitting a young Earth.
Artist's impression of a 1000km-diameter planetoid hitting a young Earth. Credit: Don Davis (work commissioned by NASA) / Public domain

For decades scientists believed the reason for the mass extinction of dinosaurs and three-quarters of all life on earth 66 million years ago was a prolonged period of climate change caused by volcanic activity. A new study by researchers from the Imperial College London just disproved this theory: turns out it was an asteroid impact that struck Earth which also created the Chicxulub impact crater in southeast Mexico. According to the study, only an asteroid impact could have created conditions that made Earth uninhabitable.

“We show that the asteroid caused an impact winter for decades, and that these environmental effects decimated suitable environments for dinosaurs. In contrast, the effects of the intense volcanic eruptions were not strong enough to substantially disrupt global ecosystems,” so the lead researcher Alessandro Chiarenza in his statement. “Our study confirms, for the first time quantitatively, that the only plausible explanation for the extinction is the impact winter that eradicated dinosaur habitats worldwide.”