Near the rugged cliffs in front of Hastings in southern England, a flock of gigantic iguanodons that ate from plants gathered 130 million years ago and left their fossilized soil footprints, according to Cambridge scientists last week. In the vicinity, the researchers also found the ancient traces of a huge dinosaur covered with chicas called ankylosurus. East Sussex was a busy place in the Juro times, it seems.
In addition, scientists at the Portsmouth University last week cited their discovery of a new species of flying reptiles that once crisscrossed Britain. This gigantic raptor, Klobiodon rochei, they had large pots that would be joined together to form toothpaste, from which prey would not run after they were caught.
Nor did these newly discovered fossil wonders be limited to Britain. Scientists from South Africa recently announced that they have found a new species of dinosaur for eating plants – Ledumahadi mafube – it was twice as big as the elephant, while details of feathered dinosaurs, the predecessors of birds today, emerge from China. It is never an examination of our prehistoric past was so productive.
It is a point highlighted by Professor Paul Barrett of the Natural History Museum in London. "It would be wrong to say that we will enter a new golden age of paleontology. In fact, we are in the middle of one in a few years."
This idea is supported by the fact that there are now more paleontologists working on the field than ever before; more countries are exploiting the remains of the dinosaur; more new species have been excavated and named; and more interesting work – using new technologies – is done on fossilized bones after they are switched off.
In this process, scientists learn how animals and plants react to the very different and often much warmer climates that prevailed in those days. In turn, this information could be crucial in understanding how our world could respond to global warming later this century, scientists say.
Nor is there a dispute over one of the most important factors that caused this re-birth of dinosaur studies. It was the movie The Jurassic Park, which was released 25 years ago. "Jurassic Park has played a tremendous and insufficiently valued role in the transformation of paleontology that we are now witnessing, "said Professor Steve Brousatte of the University of Edinburgh." It was a pretty cool academic theme run by old people in Oxbridge or Harvard. Today it is practiced by a diverse group of scientists in many parts of the world, and it was Jurassic Park who provided impetus for that change. "
The palaeontologist Susana Virgo from the Natural History Museum agreed. "When I was a teenager Jurassic Park came out, and although I was already interested in the dinosaurs by then, its mass popularity meant that I was no longer ashamed to talk about such a career. I did not feel like nervous. "
At Bristol University, Professor Mike Benton conducts a master's course in paleontology. "We have about 30 students per year, and we ask which factor was the main influence in their decision to study dinosaurs. Jurassic Park gets the biggest show of hands ".
However, other factors played a role in the rebirth of dinosaur studies. "Of course, national pride is involved," Barrett said. "Dinosaur fossils are now found all over the world, for example, China and South Africa have provided key locations, and this has important consequences."
Paleontology is an inexpensive science that does not require huge telescopes or particle accelerators to continue and can be used to learn scientific studies in a relatively poor country. "You do not have to invest a lot of money in the matter, but you can still strengthen your national reputation and develop a scientific expertise," Barrett said.
Paleontology also benefits from technologies such as CAT scanning, computer modeling, and microscopes with high-quality microscopes that reveal small pigment fragments and show how many dinosaurs can be colorful. Another example of this type of work was recently provided by researchers at Manchester University who used computer simulations to show that the world's most famous dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus rex, could not run for all and could deal with its prey. The shooting – did not run for prey – it was obviously a key part of his diet. "It's this ability to give dinosaurs color and real life, which also stimulates interest in them," added Brusatte.
For good measure, has influenced the studies of dinosaurs in the modern world. This is of particular importance for researching creatures and making them important for solving contemporary problems, said Demo. One of the most important of these mysteries is known as the gradient of the breadth of biodiversity.
"As you walk from the pole to the equator, you will see that the number of different species in a given area increases for every mile you travel to the equator," she said. "There are relatively few types of pillars and many of the equator. The problem is that we really do not know why the species are increasing in that way, because we have only one set of data – taken from this day.
"If we can learn how it happened in the past, when the continents were in different positions or there was no ice on the pillars, then we can gain an understanding of this phenomenon, and that will be crucial because global warming has an effect on wildlife. will affect the diseases and their vectors and how to disrupt the growth of food? Dinosaurs can learn a lot from us. "
In the end, however, it is simply a feeling of wonder that dinosaurs generate what made such a popular subject of investigation, Benton said. "Many of these creatures have simply missed the belief." You need to ask yourself, "What the hell did that work do?" How can something that is huge even go? You should consider the physics of these creatures and realize that they are doing something quite wonderful " .