Natural history museums face their own past

Science

Step into the main hall of the Natural History Museum in Berlin and you'll be greeted by a towering dinosaur skeleton, the tallest ever mounted. Nearly four stories high and twice as long as a school bus, the sauropod Giraffatitan brancai was the largest dinosaur known for more than a half-century. It has been a crowd magnet since it was first displayed in 1937. It lived in eastern Africa, today's Tanzania, much of which was a German colony when the fossil was unearthed in the early 1900s. Now, some Tanzanian politicians argue that the fossils should return to Africa.


Triceratops skull and skeleton dug up in Colorado

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A dinosaur fossil has been discovered in Colorado by construction workers. The bones and skull of a Triceratops were found last Friday in Thornton at the construction site of a new public safety building. Dr Joseph Sertich, Denver Museum of Nature and Science curator of dinosaurs, says the find is one of three Triceratops skulls found along the Colorado Front Range and has likely been laying there for at least 66 million years. A horn and shoulder blade has been unearthed so far by crews working to uncover the fossil. This photo shows some of the initial work by the crew uncovering the Triceratops fossil.


Paving Over the Fossil Record - Issue 66: Clockwork 

Nautilus

On this dizzyingly bright March morning, as miners in hardhats and boots tirelessly scoop out tarry chunks of lignite with rumbling earthmovers, Rose and his team sift through a thin layer of sediment with ice picks and brushes. Their goal: piecing together fragments of the most archaic forms of mammals to walk the earth, and unraveling the story of modern mammalian evolution. The fragments they're seeking date back to the early Eocene epoch, about 54.5 million years ago. Around then, the earth was 12 degrees Celsius hotter, and gripped by the most intense global warming event the world had known. India was a tropical island that had recently broken free of Madagascar, and was headed toward an epic collision with the supercontinent Laurasia; a collision that would compress the ancient Tethys Sea and thrust up the Himalayan ranges. Vastan, a swamp on the edge of the island, lay beside a tropical rainforest teeming with rabbits, bats, snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, ancient relatives of horses and tapirs, and an extinct order of mammals--tillodonts--that resembled saber-tooth bears.


Paving Over the Fossil Record - Issue 66: Clockwork 

Nautilus

On this dizzyingly bright March morning, as miners in hardhats and boots tirelessly scoop out tarry chunks of lignite with rumbling earthmovers, Rose and his team sift through a thin layer of sediment with ice picks and brushes. Their goal: piecing together fragments of the most archaic forms of mammals to walk the earth, and unraveling the story of modern mammalian evolution. The fragments they're seeking date back to the early Eocene epoch, about 54.5 million years ago. Around then, the earth was 12 degrees Celsius hotter, and gripped by the most intense global warming event the world had known. India was a tropical island that had recently broken free of Madagascar, and was headed toward an epic collision with the supercontinent Laurasia; a collision that would compress the ancient Tethys Sea and thrust up the Himalayan ranges. Vastan, a swamp on the edge of the island, lay beside a tropical rainforest teeming with rabbits, bats, snakes, lizards, frogs, birds, ancient relatives of horses and tapirs, and an extinct order of mammals--tillodonts--that resembled saber-tooth bears.


Discovering The Dinosaurs Of The Flaming Cliffs

Forbes - Tech

Watch original footage from Roy Chapman Andrews' expeditions to the Gobi Desert 100 years ago, and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the fossils that his team unearthed there In the southern part of the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, there lies a magical place known to English-speakers as the Flaming Cliffs. Located at least a thousand miles away from any major concentrations of human habitation, which are in neighboring China, these reddish-orange cliffs are one of the remotest places on Earth. These cliffs were named by paleontologist and adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews. Andrews and his colleague, Henry Fairfield Osborn, developed the "Out of Asia" hypothesis, which proposed that modern humans originated in Asia. To find evidence supporting this hypothesis, Andrews led a series of expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History to the Gobi Desert between 1922 and 1930, in search of the earliest known human fossil remains.