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Deinosuchus hatcheri

Deinosuchus is an extinct relative of the alligator that lived 80 to 73 Ma (million years ago), during the Late Cretaceous period. The first remains were discovered in North Carolina in the 1850s, but it was not until 1909 that the genus was named and described. Additional fragments were discovered in the 1940s and were later incorporated into an influential, though inaccurate, skull reconstruction at the American Museum of Natural History. Knowledge of Deinosuchus remains incomplete, but better cranial material found in recent years has expanded scientific understanding of this massive predator. Although Deinosuchus was far larger than any modern crocodile or alligator—measuring up to 12 m (40 ft) and weighing up to 8.5 metric tons (9.4 short tons)—its overall appearance was fairly similar to its smaller relatives. It had large, robust teeth that were built for crushing, and its back was covered with thick semispherical osteoderms. One study indicates that Deinosuchus may have lived for up to 50 years, growing at a similar rate to that of modern crocodilians, but maintaining this growth over a much longer period of time. (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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After his dismissal from KSAC (Kansas State University) in 1874, Benjamin Franklin Mudge wrote to Othniel Charles Marsh:

"When you were here, you stated that you should like to employ one or more young men to collect fossils in western Kansas. As perhaps you may have learned, I have been summarily discharged (with two other professors) from this college. This has been done by an incompetent, conceited clergyman, who is acting as president."
Benjamin Franklin Mudge, February 3, 1874 letter in the Yale Archives


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Helicoprion whorl 13

Helicoprion, meaning ("Spiral Saw"), is an extinct genus of whorl-toothed shark that first arose in the oceans of the Late Carboniferous, approximately 280 million years ago, and survived the Permian-Triassic extinction event, and eventually went extinct during the Early Triassic, some 225 million years ago. Its fossils can be found in Russia and in the Western U.S. but no other part of the jaw or shark has ever been found. The type species, H. bessonovi, was discovered and described in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1899 by Russian paleontologist Andrzej P. Karpinski. The type specimen is a holotype based upon a single tooth-whorl. The tooth-whorl has puzzled paleontologists for decades, as it was unknown as to where it fit into the jaw, until a modern reconstruction determined that the most feasible place was within the shark's mouth.

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