Jurassic Park Roundup –The Top 10 Discoveries of '07

Dinosaursinriverposters This year was a great one, at least in terms of dinosaur discoveries. Here’s a sampling of some of the most odd, interesting, fantastic and unusual findings of the year.

1. A Huge Shark-Eating Predator

The remains of an enormous, previously unknown carnivorous dinosaur was found. The monster once thrived around a giant lake 200 million years ago. The fearsome predator specialized in eating and catching giant sharks and huge bony fish that, when consumed, would have been "like biting through chain mail," Utah State paleontologist James Kirkland said. These dinos also make it to the top of the “10 Dinosaurs You’d Never Want to Pet” list. Link

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New 4-Story Tall Prehistoric Species Discovered: One of World’s Largest Dinosaurs

Futalongkosaurus Paleontologists have discovered a nearly complete fossil of a new species of giant dinosaur that once roamed what is now northern Patagonia. It is one of the three biggest dinosaurs yet found on the planet.

Named Futalognkosaurus dukei, the massive herbivore lived about 80 million years ago. It measured an estimated 105 feet to 112 feet and was as tall as a four-storey building.

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The 6th Mass Extinction?

Banner_gd4Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

The classical "Big Five" mass extinctions identified by Raup and Sepkoski (1982) are widely agreed upon as some of the most significant: End Ordovician, Late Devonian, End Permian, End Triassic, and End Cretaceous.

According to a recent poll, seven out of ten biologists think we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. Some say it could wipe out as many as 90 percent of all species living today. Yet other scientists dispute such dire projections.

The following link will take you to a great debate sponsored by PBS on the issue; they also consider how one species -- Homo sapiens -- may be triggering the sixth great extinction event.

PBS Link