A Little Late Cretaceous Monster from the Banks of the Wapiti

By Corwin Sullivan, University of Alberta and Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum Huge dinosaurs like Pachyrhinosaurus and Edmontosaurus roamed the Grande Prairie area about 70 million years ago, but such heavyweights never had the Cretaceous world to themselves. There were plenty of smaller dinosaurs around, like the little carnivore Boreonykus, and dinosaurs were only one...

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(R)Evolution!

(R)Evolution! ‘Chickenosaurus’ and the Science of ‘Evo-Devo’ Occasionally in nature, animals are born with mutations that cause them to exhibit ancestral traits. For example, snakes can be born with legs, whales with tiny hindlimbs, horses with toes, and even humans with tails. These traits, which occur in both plants and animals, are called ‘atavisms’ or...

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Under the Roof of Stegosaurus

How have we not talked about Stegosaurus here yet? Simply unreasonable. It goes without saying that Stegosaurus is one of the most recognizable dinosaurs ever. Every kid who knows what a dinosaur is knows about Stegosaurus. That said, many people don’t know Stegosaurus as well as they think they do. There’s a lot of pop culture myths and misunderstandings around this strange beast. Stegosaurus was discovered at just the right time to earn its status…

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The Real Parasaurolophus

It’s safe to say that Parasaurolophus is easily one of, if not the most, popular hadrosaurs amongst the general public. It’s as iconic as it is weird looking, with that long, backward-curving, tube-shaped crest. It’s an almost alien creature in a way. Despite its popularity though (which seems to have arisen around the time of the dinosaur’s bit-part in Jurassic Park), Parasaurolophus remains a relatively rare hadrosaur compared to other famous duckbills from Cretaceous North…

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Amber: Big Info From the Smallest Fossils

Many of us are familiar with amber thanks to, of course, Jurassic Park. It’s often thought of as that yellowish, cloudy rock made of fossilized tree sap often containing prehistoric insects with the potential to bear the incredible resource of preserved dinosaur DNA. However, as with most things dealing with palaeontology in pop culture, the truth is different than what you see on this screen. Amber is a real thing, yes, and it does originate…

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Swimming Dinosaurs

In late April 2020, a description of the tail vertebrae of Spinosaurus was published in the journal Nature (Ibrahim et al., 2020). Most publications on the slowly-unveiled anatomy of this enigmatic giant theropod tend to get a lot of attention, and shocks. The Ibrahim et al., 2020 paper was par for the course in this, with its assentation that long, delicate spines on the top of Spinosaurus’ tail, features which until recently hadn’t been fully…

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The Real Allosaurus

Try to imagine, if you can, a world before Tyrannosaurus was the definitive carnivorous dinosaur. There was actually a time when that was indeed the case. Dinosaurs were first defined as a group in 1842, and Tyrannosaurus wasn’t described until 1905. That’s over sixty years of scientists and the public being aware of dinosaurs, but unaware that the tyrant king of reptiles lay buried in late Cretaceous rocks in western North America. The first dinosaur…

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The Weird Dinosaurs Saga: Carnotaurus

Imagine the world roughly 70 million years ago, during the late Cretaceous period. Global temperatures overall are quite warm, and the continents have yet to take the configuration we know them in today. Unbeknownst to them, the non-avian dinosaurs only have about four million years left. An endless expanse of time to us humans, but a drop in the greater cosmic bucket. During this little slice of time, if you were walking around Alberta, Canada,…

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The Real Pachycephalosaurus

Everyone knows Pachycephalosaurus, that bipedal dome-head that ran around head-butting other dinosaurs all day long, but few people ever stop and give it much thought beyond that. The history and biology of Pachycephalosaurus and its relatives is complex, and for a family of dinosaurs that’s been a pop culture staple for so long we still don’t know a whole lot about the pachycephalosaur family. This is an odd group of dinosaurs, with Pachycephalosaurus being the…

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