Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hadrosaur or Duck-Billed Dinosaur SKIN

Hadrosaur, or Duck-Billed Dinosaur

As a little little kid I was crazed about dinosaurs ... almost as much as I am today about cute hairy muscular blond guys. Is this any sort of progress? Mmm ... .

Anyway, I had my vast herds of plastic models ... dinos of many species. Which used to fight ferociously and to the death on my bedroom floor. Against nature, herbivores joined in the fray, even my favorite, the huge long-necked tiny-brained brontosaurus.


I remembered all this recently, watching a doco on the discovery of the fossil of a 67 million year old hadrosaur, or duck-billed dinosaur. It was found in 1999 by teenage paleontologist Tyler Lyson on his parents' property in North Dakota.

Dino Discoverer Tyler Lyson with his Find on his Parents North Dakota Property

Now what was so exciting about this discovery was that the dinosaur's reptilian skin had been recorded in the stone, which is incredibly incredibly rare. And preserved in a three dimensional way which suggested the underlying musculature. As a consequence, the hydrosaur is now seen as a much heftier animal. There were also indications the skin was striped, as shown in the first image.

The Hadrosaur's Skin

The fossil of the entire creature was extracted from the site and taken to a local university for deep scanning to determine if tendons and other soft tissues may have been recorded as had been the skin. The stone was too massive and dense for successful penetration. New technology is now awaited.

My plastic friends found their way into a gigantic old toy box in our garage and from there mysteriously vanished - no doubt another act of subterfuge by the Matriarch, fondly known as 'Empress Wu'.


  1. Very definitely a progression, but that's merely my not so humble yet very horny opinion. Use of "successful penetration" ? Genius-like.

  2. thanks, not good to see yourself seriously going backwards! especially appreciate horny opinions - the best and most reliable! take care. nick

  3. There's something about dinosaurs that fascinate us. Is it just because of the huge size SOME of these animals reached?

    I find it amazing how long those dinosaurs ruled the earth, while we puny humans only have dominion about 10,000 or 20,000 years... roughly of course.

  4. I wasn't much into dinosaurs as such but as a teen I did collect fossils like brachiopods, coral, etc. There were a few interesting sites where I lived in southwestern Ontario that had excellent examples. Kettle Point even had "kettle" rocks. Boats on Lake Huron had to be careful not to run into them. The water was littered with them!

  5. hey volker - i used to collect a few fossils - trilobites mainly (spelling?) which are very common. then my grandmother gave me a 360 million year old fossil of fern-like creatures like jelly fish - they were discovered in Australia in 1936 by an American - associate professor Berry of Berkley Uni. the other half of the graptolite ended up in oxford uni. can organise a photo for the blog if you have not gone to sleep over this comment! take care. nick

  6. hey greg. yeah it is humbling to realize we are such later comers. i think i remember a tv doco which said if the history of the world were 24 hours, we would have appeared at 5 minutes to midnight. you've probably heard this. happy new year!

  7. Probably did hear of it, Nick.
    Happy New Year to you too!

  8. I'd love to see a photo of your fossil. This sort of stuff doesn't put me to sleep at all but rather has me wide awake ready for more. Happy Hew Year to you as well!

  9. hey volker. i took a photo of the graptolite today and i'll do a post to show you.