Paleontology

What Fossils were Discovered in 2009



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In March of 2005 paleontologists Jack Horner and Mary Schweitzer, participants in an excavation in Montana, discovered a very new and exciting fact about a 68-million year old tyrannosaurus rex fossil. They discovered that this particular fossil was a female. Never before in the history of science had the sex of a dinosaur been determined until then. They also discovered that dinosaurs "produced and shelled eggs more like modern birds than modern crocodiles."

How, you may ask, did such a discovery come about? While excavating the T-rex they had to split the thigh bone open in order to get in into the helicopter they were using to move the fossil. When it was later examined by Mary she discovered the existence of the soft tissue. Scientist had believed that such tissue could survive no longer than 100,000 years. But there, striving on in the hollowed bone of this dinosaur, was a pliable tissue that included medullary bone. Scientists predicted that this discovery would provide a gold mineof information about the phsiology of dinosaurs. Medullary bone is a calcium enriched temporarily present when birds are ready to produce and lay eggs. This is how they determined that this dinosaur was a female. This also determined exactly how close dinosaurs are to modern birds.

In 2003 the discovery of "Herto Man," which was believed to be a milestone in paleoanthropolgy. At 160,000 years old Herto was 50, 000 years older than any anotomically modern humans ever discovered. But just two years later Herto was dethroned by a couple of skull fossils that have been ignored over the past 40 years.

Omo I and Omo II were discovered in 1967 near the Omo river in southern Ethipoia. Discovered by Richard Leakey, these skulls were virtually ignored for so long because scientist considered the finding of a modern human to be "chump change." They wanted wanted early homonids to better solve the conscept of "evolution" and such this particular discovery wasnt considered to be as early as was wanted.

However, with the modern technology of today, John Fleagle determined, in February of '05, that the skulls were worth another look. It was discovered that the skulls were an astonishing 195,000. A shocking 65,000 years older than Herto. needles to say, Omo I and II has gone from "chump change" to "our revered elders."

So, as you can see, the discoveries of these past years have greatly uncovered many of the mysteries of everything from dinosaurs to the human race. I hope that many more discoveries are made in the ever quickening process of our bettering technology. hopefully one day we will know much more about dinosaurs.

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