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Hupehsuchus

Hupehsuchia is an order of enigmatic diapsid marine reptiles belonging to the class Sauropsida. The order was short-lasting, with a temporal range restricted to the Spathian age of the late Olenekian, spanning only a few million years of the Early Triassic. The order gets its name from Hubei Province, China, from which many specimens have been found. Of the entire order, Nanchangosauridae is the only recognized family. Hupehsuchians display an unusual combination of characteristics with other derived marine reptiles, including mosasaurs and ichthyosaurs, including polydactyly, narrow skull, and vivipary. The order consists of two genera, Hupehsuchus and Nanchangosaurus, of which, the former is the type genus. Determining the exact classification and phylogeny of this group remains difficult, and may be attributed to the limited knowledge of the fossil record of diapsid reptiles in the Late Permian and Early Triassic, as well as the great amount of convergence exhibited by secondarily aquatic reptiles. (Read more...)


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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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"When out fossil hunting, it is very easy to forget that rather than telling you how the creatures lived, the remains you find indicate only where they became fossilized."
—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), 96.


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Tianyulong 1

Tianyulong (named for the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature where the holotype fossil (STMN 26-3) is housed) is a genus of basal heterodontosaurid ornithischian dinosaur. The fossil represents a sub-adult individual, approximately 1 meter long. It is notable for the row of long, filamentous integumentary structures apparent on the back, tail and neck of the fossil. The similarity of these structures with those found on some derived theropods suggests their homology with feathers and raises the possibility that the earliest dinosaurs and their ancestors were covered with analogous dermal filamentous structures that can be considered as primitive feathers (proto-feathers).

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