Friday, October 24, 2008

Don't Plan a Prehistoric Vacation in Argentina

Unless you want to make friends with a new dinosaur they discovered that ate meat, was over 30 feet long, and weighed as much as an elephant.

This dinosaur (Aerosteon riocoloradensis, if you must know) is an exciting find for paleontologists because it's another link between dinosaurs and the evolution of birds. It doesn't have normal lungs like a mammal. Instead, it breathes "more efficiently" with a bellows system. It's fun to talk about because it involves a series of air sacs, and who doesn't like a good excuse to use the word "sac" as much as possible, right?

FUN FACT: Aerosteon riocoloradensis didn't have any sweat glands. That's good to know, because if a dinosaur had to run me down before it tore me limb from limb, I'd hate to think that it would be all sweaty when it finally caught me.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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