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Kritosaurus (meaning "separated lizard"; sometimes misinterpreted as "noble lizard", in reference to the presumed "Roman nose"; the nasal region was fragmented, disarticulated, and originally restored flat) is an incompletely known but historically important genus of extinct hadrosaurid (duckbilled) dinosaur. It lived about 73 million years ago, during the Late Cretaceous of North and possibly South America. Its taxonomic history is convoluted, also incorporating Gryposaurus, Anasazisaurus, and Naashoibitosaurus; this tangle will remain unresolved until better remains of Kritosaurus are described. Despite the dearth of material, this herbivore appeared in dinosaur books until the 1990s, although what was usually represented was the much more completely known Gryposaurus, then thought to be a synonym. In 1904, Barnum Brown discovered the type specimen (AMNH 5799) of Kritosaurus near Ojo Alamo, San Juan County, New Mexico, United States, while following up on a previous expedition. He initially could not definitely correlate the stratigraphy, but by 1916 was able to establish it as from what is now known as the late Campanian-age De-na-zin Member of the Kirtland Formation. (Read more...)


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Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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"An evolutionary perspective of our place in the history of the earth reminds us that Homo sapiens sapiens has occupied the planet for the tiniest fraction of that planet's four and a half thousand million years of existence. In many ways we are a biological accident, the product of countless propitious circumstances. As we peer back through the fossil record, through layer upon layer of long-extinct species, many of which thrived far longer than the human species is ever likely to do, we are reminded of our mortality as a species. There is no law that declares the human animal to be different, as seen in this broad biological perspective, from any other animal. There is no law that declares the human species to be immortal."
Richard E. Leakey. Co-author with American science writer Roger Amos Lewin (1946), Origins: What New Discoveries Reveal about the Emergence of our Species and its Possible Future (1977), 256.


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Pancrocodylia diversity

The Crurotarsi ("cross-ankles") are a group of archosaurs, whose name was erected as a node-based clade by Paul Sereno in 1991 to supplant the old term, Pseudosuchia. Crurotarsi are by definition the sister group of the Avemetatarsalia (all forms closer to birds than crocodiles). Crurotarsi is one of the two primary daughter clades of the Archosauria. The skull is often massively built, especially in contrast to ornithodires; the snout narrow and sometimes tending to be elongate, the neck is short and strong, and the limb posture ranging from typically reptilian sprawling to dinosaur or mammal-like erect (although this is achieved in a different way to dinosaurs and mammals). The body is often protected by two or more rows of armored plates. Many crurotarsans reached large size: approximately around three meters or more in length.

Clockwise from top-left: Longosuchus meani (an aetosaur), Angistorhinus grandis, (a phytosaur), Saurosuchus galilei (a rauisuchian), Pedeticosaurus leviseuri (a sphenosuchian), Chenanisuchus lateroculi (a eusuchian), and Dakosaurus maximus (a thalattosuchian).

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