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November to December 2014
Due to inactivity, there was no new featured article in November and December.
October 2014carcharodontosaurid from the Cretaceous. It was one of the largest theropods to ever live.
Giganotosaurus was a massive predator. It had a large body which was attached to a long tail. It had a short neck with a large head. Its jaws were lined with long, serrated teeth designed to slice flesh. On the top of its head, above its eyes, was a small head crest.
It had two, relatively long arm with three digits per hand. It also had a pair of long legs.
Giganotosaurus was mostly brown with a white underbelly. Its crest was dark green. Its legs had black spots running down the femur and white stripes along the tibia. (Read more...)
Due to inactivity, there was no Article of the Month in September.
Parasuchus would have acted and resembled a modern-day crocodilian, it even had the hard plating called osteoderms that crocodilians. But it was not what it seemed. Instead, it was a phytosaur: A sister group to archosaurs (dinosaurs, crocodilians, and birds).
The main characteristic that defines phytosaurs like Parasuchus from Crocodilia is the nostrils being close to the top of its head, as opposed to them being at the top of the snout.
It was one of the smallest members of the group, being only 2 meters in length compared to other phytosaurs that exceed its size.
Parasuchus' coloration was very similar to that of the Saltwater Crocodile.
July 2014Sea Monsters, and the third episode in the Chased by... series overall. It first aired on 9 September 2003.
After the introduction, Nigel Marven looks at the Time map, a long map that shows a timeline of prehistory. Nigel, on his quest to visit the seven deadliest seas ever, goes to his first destination, the Ordovician, a world of creepy-crawlies and an alien atmosphere.
June 2014Ice Age rhinoceros from the Pleistocene. It was a rhino fully adapted to the hostile conditions of the late Pleistocene.
The Woolly Rhinoceros was a large rhinoceros. It looked similar to a modern rhinoceros from the African savanna. However, unlike modern rhinos, it possessed a thick coat of brown fur several centimetres long.
The Woolly Rhinoceros had two large horns on its head. These horns were made of keratin.
The Woolly Rhinoceros was a type of rhino which lived during the Ice Age. Due to the extremely cold climate it lived in, this animal adapted to cope with its environment. One of its various adaptations was its thick, shaggy coat. This coat of fur were several centimeters thick and helped to keep it warm in the winter. It would shed its fur in the spring and summer months in favor of a shorter, cooler coat.
Woolly Rhinoceroses had significantly larger horns than its modern, African cousins. They most likely used their horns to dig up plants than had been buried by the snow. It was also used as a weapon against predators and rivals. The eyesight of the Woolly Rhinoceros was very poor. Its sense of smell and hearing on the other hand was excellent and would have alerted it to any danger. If it identified something as a threat, it would charge instantly at its target.
May 2014dinosaur that lived during the late Jurassic period in what is now North America.
A large, heavily built, herbivorous quadruped, Stegosaurus had a distinctive and unusual posture, with a heavily rounded back, short forelimbs, head held low to the ground and a stiffened tail held high in the air. Its array of plates and spikes has been the subject of much speculation. The spikes were most likely used for defense, while the plates have also been proposed as a defensive mechanism, as well as having display and thermoregulatory functions.
Stegosaurus had a relatively low brain-to-body mass ratio: its' brain was only the size of five walnuts, but it didn't have a true second brain in the back, but only an accumulation of nerve ganglia that helped Stegosaurus move its' hind quarters. Stegosaurus also had a short neck and small head, meaning it most likely ate low-lying bushes and shrubs. It was the largest of all the stegosaurians (bigger than genera such as Kentrosaurus, Tuojiangosaurus, Dacentrurus, Weurhosaurus, and Huayangosaurus) and, although roughly bus-sized, it nonetheless shared many anatomical features (including the tail spines and plates) with the other stegosaurian genera.
April 2014dinosaur television documentary mini-series that was produced by the BBC, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, and first aired in the United Kingdom in 1999. The series was subsequently aired in the United States on the Discovery Channel with the Branagh's narration replaced with that of Avery Brooks. The series uses computer-generated imagery and animatronics to recreate the reign of the dinosaurs, beginning in the late Triassic period and concluding in the late Cretaceous period at the K-T boundary mass extinction event, 66 million years ago.
The Guinness Book of World Records reported that Walking With Dinosaurs was the most expensive documentary series per minute ever made.
Imagine you could witness a prehistoric sunset - imagine you are watching insectivorous pterosaurs chase moths in the moist evening air and bull Triceratops lock horns over a young female. This is no longer a dream.
Walking With Dinosaurs makes that distant world as real and natural as images from today's Serengeti. Tracing the 160 million-year history of dinosaurs, from their first appearances to their abrupt demise, this series marks a watershed in television imagery.
Classic natural history techniques, leading edge computer technology and animatronics combined with the latest scientific findings, recreate the sights and sounds of an endlessly fascinating era. Walking With Dinosaurs brings to life the mystery and excitement of the age when these reptiles roamed our planet.
March 2014sharks featured in Sea Monsters.
Superficially, Megalodon resembled modern great white sharks, but with the overall body length of 17-23 meters, they had jaws with a 2 to 3-metre-wide opening span, studded with teeth that are quite different from the modern white sharks, up to 5-8.5 inches in length, and could swallow them whole. Weighing up to 93 tons, Megalodon was the largest shark of all time and the biggest carnivorous fish ever to roam the seas, weighing as much as the Argentinosaurus!
Being so big, Megalodon hunted practically everything that lived in the late Cenozoic oceans - dolphins, primitive whales, manatees, etc. The second and third episodes of Sea Monsters has examined this feature in length, examining the hunting techniques of a juvenile Megalodon hunting an artificial Odobenocetops and then an adult Megalodon hunting a larger prehistoric whale as well.
February 2014theropod coelurosaurian dinosaur that lived in the Late Cretaceous period and lived up until the extinction of the non-avian dinosaurs. It's featured in several of Impossible Pictures' prehistory-based documentaries, such as Walking With Dinosaurs. It is the most famous and popular of all the dinosaurs, known for it's cultural impact, even more than Apatosaurus (formerly known as Brontosaurus). It is also called the King of the Dinosaurs. T. rex is among the largest land predators ever. The theropods Giganotosaurus and Spinosaurus may be bigger, but this is not known for any real certainty.
January 2014BBC Earth named after the well-recieved 1999 TV documentary miniseries. It was released on December 20, 2013. Unlike the TV series, the dinosaurs featured in the film were voiced by actors and were fully computer animated with no animatronics. However, the sets filmed live action. The goal is to make audiences feel like they've gone back in time.
Set in North America in the late Cretaceous period, the film follows the lives of three Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi, Scowler and Juniper from infancy to adulthood. Their story is related by Alex the Alexornis who has a symbolic relationship with the trio. Their enemy is a Gorgosaurus named Gorgon, a fearless hunter.