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Monster find brings back dinosaur junior – share your thoughts

September 18th, 2009
04:27 PM ET

If there is anything that takes me back to my childhood, it is news about dinosaurs. [cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/science/09/17/tiny.t-rex.dinosaur.discovered/art.raptorex.eight.courtesy.jpg
caption="Newly identified dinosaur had powerful legs, long claws and razor sharp teeth ."]

Today when I came in to the newsroom, amid the updates on Afghanistan’s election and the latest volleys on the missile defense shield, one story caught my eye: scientists were about to reveal a brand new dinosaur.

It is essentially a miniature Tyrannosaurus rex, the most feared monster that ever roamed this planet. Only this one, rather than measuring upwards of 13 meters, stood a mere 2.8 meters. But it still had all the characteristics –- the powerful legs, the long claws and the razor sharp teeth –- that are the stuff of nightmares.

And with that I was seven again. Pouring over any book in our local library that had the words "Jurassic" or "Triassic" in them, comparing the diets of one with the migratory patterns of another and wondering – which would win in a fight (because, frankly, that’s what seven-year-old boys tend to think about)? Later going out in my backyard, shovel in hand, digging under our porch, hoping to make a discovery of my own.

Dinosaurs gave way to space adventures, both lost out to adolescence and then adulthood. But there will always be that part of me –- when I am in a museum or even passing by a toy store with plush dinos –- that remains a budding paleontologist. And that young boy inside will be watching with rapt attention when the show tonight explains more about this new discovery, and what it means to our understanding of these magnificent beasts.

What do you think about the new dinosaur discovery? Share your thoughts with us.

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Rob Fargher

    Two things I see probably wrong in the sketch of _Raptorex_, a theropod dinosaur, that accompanies this article. It is shown as having cheeks, a mammalian feature. Birds, extremely closely related to therapod dinosaurs (if not being dinosaurs themselves), do not have cheeks.

    Also the posture: _Raptorex_ is shown in full speed motion. If it fully extended its legs in the vertical position, as shown, it would move very inefficiently expending far too much energy bobbing up and down as it ran. More likely it ran like an ostrich, with full leg extension coming only at the end of the leg swing.

    September 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  2. Panos Gionis

    I beleive the name BRONTASAURUS meaning 'thunder-lizard' is not from the Latin, but from the Greek, where VRONTA is Greek for thunder and SAURA is Greek for lizard

    September 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Reply
  3. Raphite1

    The "cheeks" on that illustration are very small, more like just some connective tissue. It's not just a mammalian feature; other dinosaurs (non-therapod, admittedly) are postulated to have cheeks, such as hadrosaurs and ceratopsians.

    September 18, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Reply
  4. og warner

    Rob Fargher

    ur a geek get a life

    September 18, 2009 at 11:28 pm | Reply
  5. Robert Jones

    How much more preferable to admire and love dinosaurs than other big, ferocious beasts we encounter in X-Men, Terminator, Transformers, Spiderman, Superman, etc., etc. Dinosaurs were real, within the evolutionary possibilities of cells, blood, flesh and bones. They are tied to us in our natural world and tell us more about ourselves and our real possibilities as living entities than the human created, physicallly impossible creatures conceived in the wishfull thinking minds of Hollywood writers. They carried a bunch of our genes and had the same objectives as all living creatures; survive. find a mate, reproduce and do what they could to ensure their offspring also had an equal shot at life.

    September 19, 2009 at 1:51 am | Reply
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    February 23, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply

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