Prehistoric Earth Wiki

This page consists of news that has been removed from the main page.

Wiki News[]

  • November 16, 2010 -- Styracosaurus Rider founds the wiki
  • November 22, 2010 -- The wiki reaches its 20th article, Camelops.
  • December 16, 2010 -- The wiki reaches its 50th article, Darwinius.
  • January 16, 2011 -- After the departure of the other active users, Styracosaurus Rider starts a wiki redesign, which will promise new features and systems.
  • October 31, 2011 -- The wiki officially reopens, with badges activated.
  • November 12, 2011 -- In preparation for the wiki's first anniversary, Styracosaurus Rider creates Prehistoric Answers, a companion site where you can ask and answer questions about prehistory.
  • November 13, 2011 -- The wiki reaches its 75th article, Karaurus.
  • November 16, 2011 -- The wiki's first anniversary.
  • November 16, 2012 -- The wiki's second anniversary.
  • February 15, 2013 -- The wiki reaches its 100th article, Pterosaur!
  • November 16, 2013 -- The wiki's third anniversary.

Prehistoric News[]

Autumn 2010[]

  • The massive skull of a 13-million-year-old whale has been given a new name. First discovered two years ago in Peru, the creature was dubbed Leviathan melvillei, in honor of the white whale himself. It turns out Leviathan was already in use as a junior homonym for a mastodon, so scientists have recently changed it to Livyatan melvillei, from the original Hebrew spelling.[1]
  • Analysis of Platecarpus showing the tail fluke

    Two Canadian scientists have given the ferocious mosasaurs a makeover. Instead of a tapered tail, they've pinned a shark-like tail on a Platecarpus specimen. Looking at the shape and orientation of the beast's backbones, they concluded that a fin must be present, although unlikely to be preserved in fossils.[2]

Winter 2010-2011[]

  • Titanoceratops is the proposed name for a ceratopsian to be described this year.[3]

Spring 2011[]

  • Even though it's only April 2011, several exciting dinosaur discoveries have been made so far this year, among them "thunder-thighs" sauropod Brontomerus[4], giant tyrannosaur Zhuchengtyrannus[5], and transitional theropod Daemonosaurus.[6]
  • A team of scientists are expecting to extract DNA from a mammoth carcass found preserved in Russia and are planning to clone it within the next 6 years. Could this be the cloning we've been waiting for?[7]
  • A new, near-complete titanosaur has been discovered in Brazil and its name is Tapuiasaurus macedoi. Its age is currently measured at around 125-112 mya.[8]

Summer 2011[]

  • Goodbye Archaeopteryx: Archaeopteryx is no longer a bird. Comparing new Chinese discoveries with the German wonder has revealed it is more deinonychosaur than feathered friend. [9]
  • A big and still resounding buzz in the paleoworld is the newest addition to the tyrannosaur line, Zhuchengtyrannus magnus. Simply put, it's bloody ginormous. The latest measurements indicate a length of 11 meters, which is nearly 40 feet long.[10]
  • Two-legged sauropods? It turns out recent tracks discovered in Colorado of infant sauropods has only tracks of hind feet.[11]

Autumn 2011[]

  • Restoration of Shonisaurus

    The ichthyosaur Shonisaurus may have been the victim of ancient artistic expression. Two geologists are saying that the mass assemblage of bones was arranged by a giant Triassic squid in an effort to produce a work of art...[12]
  • Genetic evidence suggests that the spotted horses depicted in cave paintings were not symbolic at all, but actually life restorations. So leopard horses may have roamed the plains of ancient Eurasia![13]
  • An X-ray of a piece of Baltic amber has revealed "the smallest arthropod fossil ever". The tiny mite is 50 million years old and 170 millionths of a meter long. [14]

Winter 2011/2012[]

  • The feather from which color was determined

    Back in black: Archaeopteryx seems to be attracting a lot of attention lately. First we reclassify it as a dinosaur. Then we find its color. Electron microscopy, energy-dispersive X-ray analysis, comparative anatomy of melanosomes and an ambitious graduate student have revealed together that the revolutionary fossil's wing feathers were black in color. An exciting era in paleontology...[15]
  • Dinosaurs LIVE! But not quite. The Meadowlands of New Jersey will open Field Station Dinosaurs in May, 20 acres of animatronic dinosaurs and rugged landscapes. As well as featuring the famous ones, they will have animatronic models of such amazing species as the 90-foot long Argentinosaurus, which will be the largest animatronic dinosaur to date.[16]

Spring 2012[]

  • The Triceratops/Torosaurus debate continues, and starts leaning towards the idea of separate species again. Scientists from Yale University have published a paper refuting the idea. They arranged several skulls by their ages and found the evidence inconsistent with the single-species idea that was first proposed in 2010. However, the authors of the original paper are still unconvinced.[17]
  • A giant, 25 million-year-old penguin dubbed Kairuku has been described from New Zealand. It measured about 1.2 meters in height.[18]

Summer 2012[]

  • Two turtles fossilized in Germany's Messel pit apparently didn't live to see "the morning after": they were found in the act of mating. This discovery also provides evidence for a theory that states a large amount of carbon dioxide killed the creatures at the sight.[19]
  • A new juvenile megalosauroid dinosaur discovered in Bavaria, dubbed Sciurumimus albersdoerferi, had feathers on its tail, making it look rather like a squirrel. This makes it the first non-coelurosaur theropod definitively known to possess such integument.[20]

Autumn 2012[]

  • The Necromancer didn't have it all that bad in retrospect; after all, he's had a dinosaur named after him. Scientists have recently described the carcharodontosaurid theropod Sauroniops from Morrocco, and named it after the Eye of Sauron himself.[21]
  • Marine reptiles may have gotten the bends, according to researchers from the University of Kansas. Decompression sickness can leave scars on the bones of animals that are affected, and scientists have found the same lesions on ichthyosaur fossils. However, there are differing opinions as to why these creatures got the bends.[22]

Winter 2012/2013[]

  • Scientists have X-rayed fossil vertebrae of early tetrapods such as Ichthyostega in order to create 3D models of the bones and found something intriguing: they had the spine on backward. This has implications for the whole of tetrapod evolution, which relies heavily on spine structure.[23]
  • Restoration of the head of Pelagiarctos by Robert Boessenecker. This walrus didn't have tusks like modern examples.

    The killer walrus is no more: Pelagiarctos thomasi, a walrus from the Miocene of Southern California, has recently been evaluated in a 2013 study, and it's been found that it wasn't a ravenous predator as often imagined. The study has recieved a surprising amount of media coverage from sites such as ScienceDaily, MSNBC, Huffington Post, and Fox News.[24]

Spring 2013[]

  • It's often cited that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs, but it might have been a comet instead. New research suggests the culprit was of a smaller size than previously thought, and so would have to travel at a faster speed in order to generate the same impact. The possibility of a comet fits all these new details nicely.[25] In related news, the exact extinction date of the dinosaurs has been moved from 65,500,000 years to roughly 66,038,000 years, give or take 11,000 years.[26]
  • In the years after color from several Chinese dinosaurs was determined, scientists have been hard at work doing the same thing around the world. For example, physicists from the University of Regina are examining a genuine piece of hadrosaur skin to try and find its color.[27] Even the small fry aren't safe from this treatment: Devonian trilobites from New York have been examined, and they appear to have been brown or white in color.[28]

Summer 2013[]

  • The Lizard King lives! A 2-meter-long iguana from Eocene Asia has been described, and dubbed Barbaturex morrisoni. Not only are the faunal implications about the reptile intriguing, but so is the moniker: it was named after Jim Morrison, the singer and frontman of classic band The Doors. Morrison becomes the second rock musician to be so honored, preceded by Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits and Masiakasaurus knopfleri.[29]
  • Fossil evidence for symbiosis has been found in Africa. Fossils of the therapsid Thrinaxodon and the amphibian Broomistega have been found together in a burrow cast dating to the Early Triassic.[30]

Autumn 2013[]

  • Meet Joe the Dinosaur, a baby Parasaurolophus found in the Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah. It is the smallest and most complete Parasaurolophus skeleton ever found, and both its scientific description and digital scans of its bones are available online for free.[31][32]
  • The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event is well known for doing away with non-avian dinosaurs, but bees were also heavily affected by the disaster. By studying the distribution of certain extinct plant species known to be pollinated by bees, it has been determined that the bee population fell dramatically after the extinction.[33]

Winter 2013/2014[]

  • A nearly complete skeleton of the enigmatic dinosaur Deinocheirus has been discovered! Deinocheirus has long been known only from a pair of giant arms, and scientists have speculated that it might be a type of gargantuan ornithomimosaur. The paper officially describing the fossils has yet to be published, but the bones reveal that not only was the animal an ornithomimosaur, but it had a hump or sail on its back![34]
  • By looking at fossilized skin from a turtle, a mosasaur, and an ichthyosaur, paleontologists have been able to determine that the skin of these animals in life was colored black - similar to many modern marine mammals.[35]


  1. Prehistoric Times Magazine #95
  2. Prehistoric Magazine #95
  3. ScienceDirect
  4. ScienceDaily
  5. BBC Earth News
  6. CNN News Blogs
  7. Prehistoric Times Magazine #97
  8. Prehistoric Times Magazine #97
  9. Los Angeles Times
  10. Prehistoric Times Magazine #98
  11. Prehistoric Times Magazine #98
  13. BBC Nature
  14. BBC Nature
  15. DINOSAUR Mailing List
  16. Field Station Dinosaurs
  17. BBC News
  18. BBC News
  19. National Geographic
  20. Science Daily
  21. Huffington Post
  22. Prehistoric Times Magazine #103
  23. Discover Magazine
  24. The Coastal Paleontologist blog
  25. Huffington Post
  26. BBC News
  29. BBC News
  30. PLOS ONE
  32. Nature World News
  33. BBC News
  34. National Geographic News
  35. National Geographic News