Monday, August 28, 2006

It's real life CSI for dinosaur detectives

It's real life CSI for dinosaur detective. This article at CNN caught my eye. I almost did not include it here as it is not about history directly. It instead deals with scientists studying pre-history dinosaurs. Still, I think I can justify a link to this page here on the basis of pre-history.

The article deals with scientists working in the field trying to uncover dinosaur bones in Montana. The researchers are good at identifying dinosaur species from bone fragments. They also look for signs of breaks that have healed and for signs of disease. Literally, the field work is similar to the work done by forensic experts who examine human remains.

Also, the research can only be done is some areas of the world. The article notes, "Even though dinosaurs lived all over the world, their fossilized remains can only be found in places where the right age rock is exposed at the surface of the ground. In the United States that includes parts of Utah, Wyoming and Montana. Take Michigan, for example. Even though Michigan had dinosaurs at one time, the right age rock isn't there anymore. The rocks exposed to the ground are 300 million years old -- too old for dinosaurs."

Here are some other sites I found on this topic:

Dino Land - Interviews with paleontologists, news on recent fossil finds, virtual tours of famous fossil sites and museums, and a tribute to the greatest dinosaur discoveries of the century.

Dinosauria On-Line - A tool for researching dinosaurs. Contains the Journal of Dinosaur Paleontology, a collection of essays and e-mail discussions whose topics range from what Archaeopteryx used its wings for, to evolution.

Debates about Dinosaurs - Summaries of major debates in dinosaur paleontology, including dinosaur metabolism, the connection between dinosaurs and birds, and the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction.

Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette - Articles, recent fossil discoveries and other dinosaur news from the last 245 million years.

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