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Dinosaurs 'aren't extinct' - they turned into birds

Australia's Cassowary is known as a "living dinosaur". Credit: PA

Dinosaurs are not extinct - they just just evolved into birds, according to Oxford University scientists.

The reptiles that ruled the world for almost 200 million years never went away, the theory says.

Researchers have shown that shrinking was key to survival, which became one of the most diverse and abundant families of animals alive today.

Only those dinosaurs destined to be birds broke the lower body weight limit of one kilogram seen in their relatives.

Lead scientist Dr Roger Benson, from the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University, said: "Dinosaurs aren't extinct; there are about 10,000 species alive today in the form of birds."

Scientists reveal 'chicken from hell' dinosaur discovery

A new species of dinosaur, which has been dubbed "the chicken from hell" by US scientists, has been discovered.

An artist impression issued by the Carnegie Museum of Natural History of Anzu wyliei. Credit: Mark Klingler/Carnegie Museum of Natural History/PA Wire

The long legged Anzu wyliei was a 10ft tall bird-like dinosaur, weighed 500 pounds and had a bony crest on top of its head.

The dinosaur, which lived alongside the Tyrannosaurus rex 66 million years ago, also had feathers, sharp claws and a toothless beak. Experts believe it was an omnivore, eating both vegetation and small animals.

Dr Matt Lamanna, from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, said: "We jokingly call this thing the 'chicken from hell,' and I think that's pretty appropriate."

The bones were found at sites in North and South Dakota in a rock formation known as Hell Creek, which has been a rich source of dinosaur fossils in the past, including those of the T. rex and Triceratops.

Although the remains were discovered years ago it took time for scientists to study them and their findings appear in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE.


Tyrannosaurus Rex's 'smaller cousin' discovered

A new species of dinosaur described as Tyrannosaurus Rex's "smaller cousin from the north" has been discovered.

An analysis of 70-million-year-old fossilised skull remains discovered in northern Alaska has shown them to be from a new pygmy Tyrannosaurus, according to research published in the journal PLOS ONE.

In this graphic, A is the Nanuqsaurus hoglundi and B is the Tyrannosaurus Rex

Scientists examined fragments of the skull roof, maxilla and jaw, and concluded that the species, named Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, had an adult skull length of 25 inches (63.5 centimetres), less than half the size of the 60 inch (152.4 centimetre) skull of a T Rex.

Dinosaur bones found near Red Sea

Dinosaurs have been identified in Saudi Arabia for the first time, highlighting how widespread the creatures once were.

Scientists unearthed tail bones from a giant plant-eating "titanosaur" together with teeth from a 20-foot-long predator, thought to be a distant relative of Tyrannosaurus rex.

The 72 million-year-old fossils were discovered in the north-west of the Kingdom along the Red Sea coast.

The dinosaur bones discovered belonged to a type of titanosaur. Credit: REUTERS/Victor Ruiz Caballero

When the dinosaurs were alive, the Arabian landmass was largely under water and formed the northern coastal edge of the African continent.

The titanosaur identified by the researchers was a lumbering giant with a long neck and tail that stood on four legs.

In contrast, the meat-eating abelisaurid whose teeth were recovered was a fast-moving, bipedal theropod.

Giant skeleton of a dinosaur sold for £450,000

A giant skeleton of a dinosaur which last roamed Earth more than 150 million years ago has fetched £450,000 at auction.

The image of the skeleton Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

The 55ft (17m) specimen of the long-necked Diplodocus longus went under the hammer at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex.

The sale of the female skeleton, 19ft (6m) tall and nicknamed "Misty", was the first UK auction of a large dinosaur skeleton, according to experts.

The female skeleton is nicknamed "Misty" Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

"There are probably about six of these in the great museums of the world, including in Pittsburgh and Washington," natural history expert Errol Fuller said.

It was found almost completely intact in 2009 by the sons of renowned palaeontologist Raimund Albersdoerfer near a quarry in Wyoming in the United States.

The skeleton was bought by an undisclosed institution and it will go on public display, auction officials said.

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