23 votes
Accepted

How did the largest/longest dinosaurs hold their head and necks up?

There are lots of papers on this. A good summary article is Why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks, by Taylor​ and Wedel. They list a number of anatomical features that ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
21 votes
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How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

Things in the paper that strike me as suspicious Associating toxic plant defenses with the Cretaceous Although there continues to be uncertainty about precisely when plants first evolved toxic ...
kingledion's user avatar
20 votes

How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

Rather than talk to the specifics of this idea, which others have already done well, I'll contextualise it as one anti-consensus view among many. Many. Many. The extinction of non-avian dinosaurs is ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 2,474
14 votes

How compelling is the hypothesis that dinosaurs were killed by toxic plants?

No, it's not convincing; angiosperms evolved in the middle part of the dinosaurs' reign, not the end, and toxins evolve slowly which gives herbivores a chance to compensate, also conifers can be ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
13 votes
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How is the first Triceratops born?

Yes, there are many early examples of ceratopsians before Triceratops. The oldest clear member of the lineage is Liaoceratops: "the oldest ceratopsian ever found ... was about the size of a large dog. ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
7 votes

Were there any flying dinosaurs?

Asides from flight-capable modern birds and their early ancestors1, there are several other therapod dinosaurs which palaeontologists suspect were capable of flight, "but in a manner ...
brazofuerte's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is this a real dinosaur species?

I'm pretty sure that's an Achelousaurus. Two curved horns on top, plus hump on nose: Front view: Side view: (for nose)
Beariclymenus's user avatar
6 votes
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Could we back-breed birds into dinosaurs?

Do birds descend from dinosaurs? First, it is confusing to say things like Birds descend from dinosaurs Humans descend from monkeys Mammals descend from vertebrates Snakes descend from animals It ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
6 votes
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Has the most recent common ancestor of all living birds lived after dinosaur mass extinction?

I suppose that by the mass extinction, you are referring to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event that happened 66 mya. The Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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6 votes
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Evolution of dinosaurs

Source of information See the post The best free and most up to date phylogenetic tree on the internet? for info about how to find such information. Generally speaking, you might be interested in an ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
6 votes
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Any simulations of four-winged dinosaur flight? (microraptors)

Note nowhere in the article does it mention the rear wings flapping. The rear wings do not provide lift, they are acting as control surfaces to improve stability and maneuverability. (think of the ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
6 votes
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Has evolution made a mistake with prehistoric animals?

There are two questions here. Dinosaurs were larger because their basic anatomy is better at being large than mammals. Their spine is better braced (no lumbar region), their breathing mechanism ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
6 votes
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What is the creature on the cover of the fourth edition of 'Dinosaurs: A Concise Natural History'?

It appears to be of the family Scansoriopterygidae. This dead-end family in evolutionary terms, thrived in woodlands at some point between 153 and 165 million years ago. They ranged in size between ...
Jiminy Cricket.'s user avatar
5 votes
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Wasn't extinction of dinosaurs necessary?

Basic misunderstand about how one can make sense of nature Nature is not a conscient being (or at least not falsifiable conscient being) trying to optimize the amount of flora or whatever you would ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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5 votes
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Were there any marine/aquatic dinosaurs?

There are a couple of specimens of a dinosaur species named Liaoningosaurus paradoxus that have been found with fish in their stomachs and skeletal features suggesting it was at least semi-aquatic. ...
wanderweeer's user avatar
  • 2,733
5 votes

Any simulations of four-winged dinosaur flight? (microraptors)

There is a good attempt at a simulation of 4 winged flight of Microraptor on BBC's Planet Dinosaur. There's another Planet Dinosaur video about their venomous teeth and hunting tactics. And a ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 10.4k
5 votes

Which horn configuration is more effective as a weapon?

Note Since a lot of people are upvoting this (and some downvoting of course), it's worth noting that it's not directly answering the OP's stated interests of dinosaurs etc. However, I think it's ...
Maximilian Press's user avatar
5 votes
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When did the term "non-avian dinosaur" come in common use?

Here is what Google Ngrams has: This suggests that the mid-70's are the first recorded instance, but it wasn't until the 90's that it began to gain use. What defines "common use" is up to ...
kmm's user avatar
  • 12.3k
4 votes
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What is this row of pits along the "upper lip" of theropod skulls?

They are called Nutrient Foramen which are innervation of blood vessels and nerves, you see the same thing in reptile and bird skulls (mammals tent to pack it all into one or two large openings). They ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
4 votes

What dinosaurs live during cretaceous period?

Wikipedia has a nice summary: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cretaceous_dinosaurs
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,657
4 votes

How didn't large, highly active dinosaurs overheat?

There has been a long debate whether dinosaurs were ectotherms or endotherms but most of the recent studies (hypotheses)1 show that they were endotherms. In one of the most promising recent studies (...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 1,117
4 votes

How can paleontologists identify morphologically different fossils as members of the same species?

Radically different body shapes and sizes represent overall phenotype. Overall phenotype was used briefly in the 1960s and 1970s for species identification under a statistical distance method called "...
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,657
4 votes

How did giant sauropods satisfy their daily energy needs, considering their relatively small mouths?

Unlike mammals, saurischian dinosaurs don't have to chew their food. Like birds they have a gizzard to do that instead. Look at a modern ostriches: they have a very small head because the head is ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
4 votes

Why are there few tetrapod dinosaur carnivores?

This is actually a really good question. Several large groups of dinosaurs (theropods, most famously) were bipedal, and highly successful at it; while today, very few mammals are bipedal. What was ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
4 votes

Has evolution made a mistake with prehistoric animals?

tl;dr There is no mistake if there is no intention pre-historic is not the term your were looking for Some animals were big during the "dinosaur era" but not all and the largest animal to ever exist ...
Remi.b's user avatar
  • 68.1k
4 votes

How does taxonomy work? The case of the Avian Dinosaurs

There was a taxonomic revolution brought about by cladistics https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cladistics. Willi Hennig wrote about it in 1950, but he was an East German, and his work did not gain ...
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,657
4 votes
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What were the three dinosaur evolutions and do they imply that bipedalism could have evolved multiple times in hominins?

"Dinosaur", when used properly, refers to a clade. There's no way for a clade to evolve multiple times, or even to really evolve at all as something that happens; it's just a name for a ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
4 votes
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Why Laramidia is more rich in dinosaurs than Appalachia?

Its not, there are just more trees over Appalachia. its easier to find fossil in dry climates which have more exposed bedrock and sedimentary rock. We find plenty of fossils in Appalachia just mostly ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k
3 votes

Why are there few tetrapod dinosaur carnivores?

Most of the dinosaur predators were derived from a common ancestor. The body plan was efficient, and the theropod predators speciated widely (including birds). But statistically, the number of ...
Karl Kjer's user avatar
  • 7,657
3 votes
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Why did whales end up larger than most sauropods and what is a whale's limits?

As best we can tell food availability is the relevant limits in whales. its true that the bigger an animal gets the more energy efficient it is, it needs less food proportionally but still needs more ...
John's user avatar
  • 14.6k

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