Foreign Policy Blogs

Casual Friday: When RAPTORS ruled Eurasia

DromosaurAfter a week of writing on environmental disaster, I thought it might be fun to consider a global environmental event that doesn't impinge upon anyone's social conscience: the long-ago ages of the dinosaurs.

On March 24, 2007, LiveScience reported the finding  of two new species of dinosaurs in Mongolia.  One species ranks "as one of the smallest winged dinosaurs ever discovered."  The other specimen is a new Dromosaurid dinosaur reminiscent of those in the movie Jurassic Park.

Last year, in another great find, paleontologists found 67 dinosaurs in one area Parrot Lizardin one day.  These Psittocaurus dinosaurs (aka, the "parrot lizards") were plant-eating non-raptor dinosaurs, ancestors of Triceratops.  A find of multiple examples allows paleontologists to measure size variations within a species, and perhaps (?) note something about their social habits.  Certainly I am used to the diorama insight of dinosaur life, with one dinosaur per patch of rubber plant in the museum.  The thought of a dinosaur herd, for instance, introduces all kinds of new possibilities for Jurassic Park No. X.

Cool Diorama, India

Though many of the bones and fossils from this multiple find will be studied in Bozeman, Montana at Montana State University's Museum of the Rockies, all of the finds are destined to go to Mongolia's University of Science and Technology, and perhaps eventually into a museum which will help attract tourism and other paleontologists to Mongolia.  Other paleontological expeditions have taken place in Kazakhstan.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Diorama: Natural History Museum of Chandigarh, India