Friday Headlines: 5-9-14

Friday Headlines, May 9, 2014

THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES

 

Today’s round-up:

Massive meteorite strike in Alberta, Canada

Pinocchio rex

 

Ancient crater points to massive meteorite strike

There’s nothing on the surface to make someone think that there might be a crater below. However, geophysical mapping, using well logs and some seismic lines showed a circular geologic structure near Bow City, in southern Alberta Canada.

The ring-like structure affects all the geological units exposed in that area, the youngest of which is about 73 million years old. So this impact, if it is an impact, happened after this. Because the ground is so heavily eroded due to glaciation that ended a mere 18000 years ago or so, it is hard to put an age constraint on the youngest it could be – only to say that it happened before the glaciers beveled down the ground surface.

 

New Tyrannosaur named ‘Pinocchio rex’

What is Pinocchio best known for. Well, he did dance and was made of wood, but he also had a very, very long nose (especially if he was lying).

For example… this commercial. (And no, I do not endorse GEICO. I do not use GEICO. But this commercial makes me laugh every time, so there.

So anyway, there’s this new member of the family Tyrannosauridae that paleontologists are colloquially calling ‘Pinocchio rex‘ because it has such a long snout.

It’s real name is Qianzhousaurus sinensis, and was smaller than Tyrannosaurus rex, but had a substantially longer nose. This new species was found in southeastern China and likely lived alongside other tyrannosaurids, some of which also had longer noses.

Researchers think that Qianzhousaurus and the other long-snouted tyrannosaurids found in Asia represent a new group of tyrannosaurs.

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