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How Jurassic Park ushered in a golden age of dinosaurs | Science



Hastings in southern England, a herd of giant, plant-eating iguanodons gathered 130 million years ago and left their fossilized footprints embedded in the soil, Cambridge researchers revealed last week. Nearby, researchers thus found the ancient tracks of a huge spike-covered dinosaur called ankylosaurus. East Sussex was a busy place in Jurassic times, it seems.

In addition, Portsmouth University researchers published their discovery of a new species of flying reptile which once swooped above Britain. This giant raptor, Klobiodon rochei had large fangs that would have meshed together to form a toothy cage.

Nor have these fossils wonders been confined to Britain. Scientists in South Africa recently announced they had found a new species of plant-eating dinosaur ̵

1; Ledumahadi mafube – what the twice the size of elephant while details of feathered dinosaurs, the predecessors of birds today, have been pouring out of China.

It's a point of concern by Professor Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum in London. "It would be wrong to say we are about to enter a new golden age of palaeontology. In fact, we have been in the middle of one for several years. "

This idea is backed by the fact there are now more paleontologists working the field than ever before; more countries are being exploited for their dinosaur remains; more new species are being dug up and named;

In the process, scientists are learning how to respond to the very different and frequently warm climates that prevailed in those days ,

This is the rebirth of dinosaur studies. It was the film Jurassic Park, which was released 25 years ago. " Jurassic Park played a huge and under-appreciated role in the transformation of palaeontology that we are now witnessing," said Professor Steve Brusatte, of Edinburgh University. "It used to be a rather dry academic topic carried out by Oxbridge or Harvard. Jurassic Park that provided the momentum for that change. "

Palaeontologist Susannah Maidment of the Natural History Museum agreed that today it is practiced by a group of scientists in many parts of the world. "I was a teenager when Jurassic Park came out, and although I was already interested in dinosaurs by that time, its massive popularity meant I was no longer embarrassed about talking about such a career.





 A dinosaur promotes the 2015 movie Jurassic World, at the Kings Cross Station concourse, London.



A 'dinosaur' promotes the 2015 film Jurassic World at the Kings Cross station concourse, London. Fiction has fired the imagination, leading to a new wave of research.

Photographer: RZUK Images / Alamy Stock Photo

At Bristol University, Professor Mike Benton runs a masters course in palaeontology. "We have about 30 students a year, and we ask them what factor is the main influence in their decision to study dinosaurs. Jurassic Park gets the biggest show of hands. "

Other factors have played a role in the rebirth of dinosaur studies, however. "National pride is certainly involved," Barrett said. "Dinosaur fossils are now being found all over the world.

Palaeontology does not require huge telescopes or particle accelerators to proceed and can be used to kickstart scientific studies in a relatively poor nation. "Barrett."

Palaeontology has also benefited from technologies such as CAT scans, computer modeling, and high -powered microscopes which reveal tiny fragments of pigment and indicate how colorful some dinosaurs could be. Manchester University researchers who used computer simulations to show that the world's most famous dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex, had not lumbered towards its prey. Scavenger – not running after prey "Brusatte."

For good measure, there is the impact of dinosaur studies on the modern world. This has special relevance to research on the creatures and makes them important in resolving modern problems, said Maidment.

"As you walk from the pole to the equator, you find the number of different species in a given area increases for each and every one of the mysteries." "She said. "There are few species at the pole and a lot at the equator.

"If we can learn how things were in the past, when continents were in different positions or there is no ice at the pole, then we can gain an understanding of the phenomenon, and that wants to be as global warming takes effect on wildlife. How does diseases and their vectors behave? Dinosaurs can teach us a lot. "

In the end, though, it's the simple sense of wonder that dinosaurs generate that has made it a popular topic of investigation, Benton said. "Many of these creatures simply beggar beliefs. You have to ask: how bright did that thing fly? How could something that vast even walk? They were doing something pretty wonderful. "


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