What were the most important dinosaurs of North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Antarctica? Here's a handy list of the top 10 dinosaurs by continent, ranging from the North American Stegosaurus to the African Spinosaurus to the Australian Muttaburrasaurus.
Photograph of Compsognathus: Wikimedia Commons
What are the factors that cause a plant or animal to go extinct--not only in the present day, but hundreds of millions of years ago? Here's a list of the 10 most common causes of species extinction.
Photograph of a frog dying from the chytrid fungus: Wikimedia Commons
There's been a "news story" floating around the Web lately to the effect that scientists in England have managed to clone a baby Apatosaurus. (A sharp-eyed reader may note that the accompanying photograph is of a baby kangaroo, not a newborn sauropod, but let's not quibble.) Hoaxes aside, how close are we, really, to cloning a living, breathing dinosaur?
Illustration of Apatosaurus: Wikimedia Commons
Just because it's unusually cold out lately doesn't mean global warming hasn't been proceeding apace. Both sides in the global-warming debate--those who believe human beings are helping to accelerate climate change and those who insist it's all a natural process--invoke the fate of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago to back up their arguments. Who's right?
Illustration of Jaxartosaurus: Getty Images
There has been a popular meme making the rounds on the Web: "If oil is made from decomposed dinosaurs, and plastic is made from oil, are plastic dinosaurs made from real dinosaurs?" Short answer: No, they aren't. Here's everything you need to know about oil and dinosaurs, and what they do (and don't) have to do with one another.
After a long, harsh winter, spring is finally here--so you may be wondering how to apply the stark evolutionary lessons of the dinosaur kingdom to your endangered love life. Here are 10 Jurassic dating tips that are guaranteed to land you the guy or girl of your dreams!
Not every extinct creature is as memorably named as Tyrannosaurus Rex or Triceratops. Here are 10 prehistoric animals that even seasoned paleontologists find it difficult to spell, much less pronounce, correctly, ranging from Allaeochelys to Xiongguanlong.
Illustration of Phthinosuchus: Dmitri Bogdanov
From the Giant Wombat to the Saber-Tooth Tiger, the Cenozoic Era was chock-full of oversized, menacing, and vaguely comical-looking mammals. Here's a picture gallery of over 60 megafauna mammals, ranging from Aepycamelus to Uintatherium.
Illustration of Teleoceras: Heinrich Harder
Primates--a category of megafauna mammals that includes not only humans and hominids, but monkeys, apes, lemurs, baboons and tarsiers--have a deep evolutionary history that stretches as far back as the age of dinosaurs. Here's everything you need to know about primate evolution.
Illustration of Mesopithecus: Wikimedia Commons
Now that HBO's "Bone Wars" movie is presumably a no-go--the late, great James Gandolfini was slated to star opposite Steve Carell--you may think the opportunity has vanished to popularize this late 19th-century rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel C. Marsh. Well, fear not--the Bone Wars are still getting their due, not on cable TV, but in an entertaining kids' book written by Ted Enik and illustrated by G.F. Newland.
In the "unhinged history book" Sticks 'n Stones 'n Dinosaur Bones, Enik takes as his starting point the bare historical facts: Marsh and Cope engaged in a vicious competition to dig up, and announce, as many new dinosaurs as they possibly could, seizing as their playing field the vast, lonesome quarries of the American west. But rather than plunge into the (somewhat tedious) specifics of this rivalry, Enik quickly spins off into Dr. Seuss land, as Cope and Marsh publicize their increasingly bizarre discoveries. A sample passage:
"With a day's-worth of fangs, and a week's-worth of frills,
and a month's-worth of monstrously segmented gills,
With detachable legs and reversible paws,
and invisible wings and uncountable claws;
My beast is a creature of legend and lore,
an animal never on earth seen before!
'Behold!' bellowed Cope like a one-person chorus,
To be fair, at the end of the book, Enik powers down the whimsy a bit and gives a nod to the actual discoveries made by Cope and Marsh, such as Diplodocus and Dimetrodon. To sum up, this is a book I'd vastly enjoy reading to my three-year-old twins, who are too young to appreciate the intricacies of paleontology but would love to hear more about a dinosaur "Ten Matterhorns high and ten Grand Canyons wide/with squiggles and dots decorating its side." You can read more about Sticks 'n Stones 'n Dinosaur Bones, and order your own copy, at Unhinged History.