Modern Snake Diversity Emerged only after End-Cretaceous Mass Extinction, Study Shows

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Somewhere in Gondwanaland, a snake explores the post-extinction world of the Early Paleocene epoch. Image credit: Joschua Knüppe.

About 66 million years ago, a massive asteroid crashed into Earth near the site of the small town of Chicxulub in what is now Mexico. The impact eradicated roughly 75% of the animal and plant species on Earth, including whole groups like non-avian dinosaurs and ammonites. New research from the Universities of Bath, Bristol, and Cambridge shows that snakes — a major group of predators comprising over 3,700 living species — started to diversify around the time of this catastrophic event.

The end-Cretaceous mass extinction caused the demise of numerous vertebrate groups, and its aftermath saw the rapid diversification of surviving mammals, birds, frogs, and teleost fishes.

However, the effects of the extinction event on the evolution of snakes remains poorly understood.

“Our research suggests that extinction acted as a form of ‘creative destruction’ — by wiping out old species, it allowed survivors to exploit the gaps in the ecosystem, experimenting with new lifestyles and habitats,” said senior author Dr. Nick Longrich, a researcher in the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath.

In the study, Dr. Longrich and his colleagues used fossils and analyzed genetic differences between modern snakes to reconstruct snake evolution.

Their results show that all living snakes trace back to just a handful of species that survived the Chicxulub asteroid impact 66 million years ago.

The researchers argue that the ability of snakes to shelter underground and go for long periods without food helped them survive the destructive effects of the impact.

In the aftermath, the extinction of their competitors — including Cretaceous snakes and the dinosaurs themselves — allowed snakes to move into new niches, new habitats and new continents.

Snakes then began to diversify, producing lineages like vipers, cobras, garter snakes, pythons, and boas, exploiting new habitats, and new prey.

Fossils also show a change in the shape of snake vertebrae in the aftermath, resulting from the extinction of Cretaceous lineages and the appearance of new groups, including giant sea snakes up to 10 m long.

“It’s remarkable, because not only are they surviving an extinction that wipes out so many other animals, but within a few million years they are innovating, using their habitats in new ways,” said Dr. Catherine Klein, a researcher at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

“The study also suggests that snakes began to spread across the globe around this time.”

The findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.


C.G. Klein et al. 2021. Evolution and dispersal of snakes across the Cretaceous-Paleogene mass extinction. Nat Commun 12, 5335; doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25136-y


Rare Cambrian Worm Fossil Found in Utah

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Arrakiscolex aasei. Image credit: University of Missouri.

A new genus and species of palaeoscolecid worm has been identified from two specimens found in the Burgess Shale-type deposits in Utah, the United States.

Palaeoscolecida is a group of extinct ecdysozoan worms that existed from the Ealy Cambrian to the Late Silurian period.

These ancient creatures were narrow and long, up to tens of centimeters in length.

They had an annulated trunk ornamented with circular patterns of phosphatic tesselating plates, a layered cuticle, and an armored proboscis.

“This group of animals are extinct, so we don’t see them, or any modern relatives, on the planet today,” said Dr. Jim Schiffbauer, a paleontologist in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Missouri.

“We tend to call them ‘worm-like’ because it’s hard to say that they perfectly fit with annelids, priapulids, or any other types of organism on the planet today that we would generally call a worm.”

“But palaeoscolecids have the same general body plan, which in the history of life has been an incredibly successful body plan.”

The newly-identified palaeoscolecid species lived during the Cambrian period, between 504 and 502 million years ago.

Named Arrakiscolex aasei, it had hundreds of tiny (20-30 μm) discoid plates on each annulus (external circular ring).

“The name of the new genus refers to the fictional planet of Arrakis in the novel Dune by Frank Herbert, which is inhabited by a species of armored worm,” the researchers said.

Arrakiscolex aasei is a pretty cool addition because it expands the number of worm-like things that we know about from 500 million years ago in North America and adds to our global occurrences and diversity of the palaeoscolecids,” Dr. Schiffbauer said.

“At the time, this palaeoscolecid was likely living on an ocean floor,” added Wade Leibach, a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Missouri.

“It is the first known palaeoscolecid discovery in the Marjum Formation of western Utah and that’s important because this represents one of only a few palaeoscolecid taxa in North America.”

“Other examples of this type of fossil have been previously found in much higher abundance on other continents, such as Asia, so we believe this find can help us better understand how we view prehistoric environments and ecologies, such as why different types of organisms are underrepresented or overrepresented in the fossil record.”

“So, this discovery can be viewed from not only the perspective of its significance in North American paleontology, but also broader trends in evolution, paleogeography and paleoecology.”

The discovery is described in a paper published online in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.


Wade W. Leibach et al. 2021. First palaeoscolecid from the Cambrian (Drumian, Miaolingian) Marjum Formation of western Utah, USA. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 66; doi: 10.4202/app.00875.2021


Listen Up...'Jurassic Park III' Is A Better Film Than You Think

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

When reckless human endeavour meets commercial interest, the ingenious world of Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park is born. With the spark of long-preserved DNA and revolutionary science, dinosaurs are farmed and cloned to create a new existence of island-bound beings that, in turn, are made into a tourist attraction. Of course, in Crichton’s classic novel and Steven Spielberg’s iconic film, this dreamland is never fully realised, with the creator of the park, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), flying a little too close to the sun, forgetting the sheer greed and folly of man in such an operation. 

The fact that ‘Jurassic Park’ never opens to the public is what makes the story so powerful. In an effort to exceed our own bounds of human capability we are, in turn, crushed by the enormity of our efforts. It’s a timeless parable that works so effortlessly, making Spielberg’s original film one of the very best of his illustrious career. In addition, it’s also a reason why the sequel Jurassic World trilogy has failed so miserably, ironically forgetting that at the heart of this story is a capitalist nightmare. For the story to succeed, the park must fail. 

What better representation of commercial failure and human folly than Jurassic Park III, the ugly duckling of the franchise that is often overlooked for its whimsical nature and action-focused plotline. Somewhat abandoning the spectacular narrative of the original 1993 film, as well as its sequel The Lost World that too focused on the idiocy of humanity, Jurassic Park III featured an altogether more reserved plot; a rescue mission devised by a desperate mother and father. 

Managing to recruit Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) of the original film by way of blackmail, the couple fly to Isla Sorna, site B from the original ‘Jurassic Park’ islands, landing on a disused runway together with Billy Brennan (Alessandro Nivola), Dr. Grant’s assistant. Their mission is to find the whereabouts of their son, dead or alive, who was part of a parasailing accident near the island’s coast. Though the motives to once again travel to this hellish island are questionable, they do make logical sense, particularly once it’s revealed that Dr. Grant was coerced into joining them.

Such creates a simple narrative that isn’t muddied with the complications of a wider, convoluted story. Their mission is quite simply to escape and find the missing child as an added bonus. With less focus on the grandeur of narrative, we are given more time together with the central characters, enjoying their company as each and every motive is slowly revealed and fleshed out. This all occurs as they walk across the fascinating island and explore its intricate failures, navigating the park in one of its most interesting iterations as a wasteland of capitalist dreams—a place illustrating the collapse of civilisation and the strange beauty that nature has transformed it into. 

Such is reflected in the story and villainous dinosaurs themselves, as a vast array of the creatures are depicted and explored, well depicting the madness and chaos that now overwhelms the land. From the Pteranodon that attacks the group in the aviary to the Spinosaurus that stalks their movements on land and in the water as they traverse the island. 

It’s the closest the series has come to reflecting true horror, taking the terror further than one fleeting scene of dinosaur head-biting, flicking humans into their mouths like M&M’s, preferring to imbue a constant sense of dread that endures. The plane sequence, aviary scene and climactic escape from the Spinosaurus aboard the boat are still scenes that remain pertinent in the series, demonstrating the most vicious, snarling moments of dinosaurs on-screen.

Traversing a capitalist nightmare punctuated by the remnants of civilisation, Jurassic Park III prefers to bathe in the very premise of Michael Crichton’s fictitious land than to add to its complicated bulging narrative. As the Pteranodon escape the island in the final scene in search of pastures new, we are treated to the mere thought of dinosaurs and humans coexisting without the actual bombastic action of such a reality.

As Jurassic Park III gracefully shows us, in spite of human intervention and grand plot, life merely finds a way to persevere.


Fossil of Extinct Kiwi Species Found in New Zealand

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

The little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii). Artwork by John Gerrard Keulemans, 1870s.

Paleontologists have described a new species of kiwi that lived during the mid-Pleistocene Epoch on the North Island of New Zealand.

Kiwi are an enigmatic and threatened group of birds, unique to New Zealand, with six living species recognized,” said Dr. Alan Tennyson from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Dr. Barbara Tomotani from the Netherlands Institute of Ecology.

“Note that ‘kiwi’ can refer to single or multiple birds because ‘s’ is not used to denote plural nouns in the Māori language.”

“While modern kiwi species are well represented in the Late Pleistocene/Holocene, the fossil record of kiwi remains extremely poor,” they added.

“Until 1998, the oldest known kiwi fossils were only about 50,000 years old (from Tuarangi Cave, South Canterbury) and were all similar to modern kiwi species.”

“Thus, the transition between the Miocene protokiwi and recent species remains unknown,” they said.

“When the kiwi crown group emerged continues to be debated with recent genetic studies concluding that it was either within the last 3.85 million years or within the last 12-14 million years.”

Dorsal view (above) and ventral view (below) of the tarsometatarsi of Apteryx littoralis and other kiwi species analyzed in the study; the differential diagnosis characters are marked on the figure: (a) narrower proximal end, (b) narrower distal end and narrow width across the trochlea, (c) deeper sulcus extensorius. Image credit: Tennyson & Tomotani, doi: 10.1080/08912963.2021.1916011.

The new fossil — the kiwi’s tarsometatarsus — bridges the gap between the Miocene fossil record and the modern fauna.

The specimen was collected in 1998 at a site near Marton in the North Island of New Zealand.

In the new study, Dr. Tennyson and Dr. Tomotani examined the fossil and compared it with 161 kiwi specimens.

They found that it is very similar to the tarsometatarsi of living species, most closely resembling Apteryx rowi and Apteryx mantelli in size and shape, but has a unique morphology: it differs in being stouter, with proportionally narrower proximal and distal ends.

The fossil is about 1 million years old (mid-Pleistocene period), making it the second oldest known record of kiwi.

“We can speculate that mid-Pleistocene kiwi were not only similar in size and appearance to modern kiwi but also lived in similar environments,” the researchers said.

The specimen represents a previously undescribed kiwi species, named Apteryx littoralis.

Apteryx littoralis was probably restricted to a coastal region due to volcanic activity in the central North Island,” they said.

The team’s paper was published in the journal Historical Biology.


Alan James Drummond Tennyson & Barbara Mizumo Tomotani. A new fossil species of kiwi (Aves: Apterygidae) from the mid-Pleistocene of New Zealand. Historical Biology, published online April 23, 2021; doi: 10.1080/08912963.2021.1916011


Jurassic World Evolution: Everything You Need To Know About Contracts

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Contracts can be a lucrate source of income in Jurassic World Evolution, here's what to look for and how to profit from contracts.

Jurassic World Evolution allows you to build your own Dinosaur park that will hopefully avoid the doomed fate of previous ones. There are numerous aspects that you need to master in order to have a successful park, it's not solely about having the most Dinosaur breeds as it's also about running a profitable business.

Contracts are one of the most important aspects of the game that you need to understand because they can be crucial sources of income when you need them the most. Also, many of the contracts involve you learning the ropes of how to run a successful business.

What Are Contracts?

Contracts are essentially tasks that you can pick up throughout the game. Each Contract will have a different set of tasks or requirements that you need to fulfill in order to complete the Contract and earn the reward for it. The rewards from them can vary from money to unlocking new items to use in your park. Some tasks will be easy such as selling a Dinosaur but some will be more complex and take a little more planning.

Contracts themselves can come from the different divisions operating within your park (Science, Security, and Entertainment), and by completing the Contract, you will earn a reputation with the division that created it. Gaining favor with the divisions will pave the way to you getting perks from them but if you fall out of favor with one, they can cause you problems.

The best thing to do is try to balance out your Contracts between all three.

What Are Time Limited Contracts?

Some Contracts have tasks that need to be completed within a certain time frame. This can be anything from maintaining a certain number of guests in your park for a period of time, this is where the timer will fill up. Alternatively, it can be having no Dinosaurs eating your guests for two minutes and this will have the timer counting down.

Apart from the time requirements, these are no different from normal contracts.

How To Get Contracts


When you are playing through the game, you will organically have contracts offered to you by the different divisions and you can choose to accept or deny them. Don't worry, if you deny a contract then it isn't gone for good and you will be offered it again at a later time.

Requesting Contracts

If you want a new contract but one isn't coming up then you can always request one. You can only have three active contracts at one time, if you have three then you will not be able to request more.

To do this, you will need to press square (for PlayStation Players) to go to your Management Screen:

You need to head down to here, this will take you into the contracts screen:

On this screen, you will be able to see your active contracts.

If you want to request an additional contract then you need to click here:

Then you will be able to choose which division you want the contract to come from. Click your desired one and they will offer you one. However, if you decline the offered contract then you will have to wait a few minutes before you can request another one.

Which Contracts Are The Best?

No one contract is better than another, the contract that is best for you will depend on how you wish to play your game. If you want to gain more favor with the Security division then taking their contracts will be best, but if you want to gain favor with the Science division then theirs will be best.

There are a few key questions you should ask yourself before taking a contract:

  • Will it benefit me? - Some contracts will need you to invest a hefty sum into your Park, therefore you should ask yourself if the investment will be worth it for the rewards. If it isn't, then maybe it isn't worth taking for the time being.
  • How will it divide the divisions? - Now, the divisions aren't always particularly fond of one another in the game and if you accept a contract from one, it can negatively affect your reputation with the others. When you accept a contract, you will be able to see the effects of it. It will look like this:

  • Is it achievable right now? - Sometimes you will be offered contracts with tasks on it that might not be achievable in the given time frame. If you think you will not be able to complete the contract in the required time, then turning it down and waiting for a bit won't hurt.

By asking yourself those questions, you should be able to determine which contracts are the best ones for your park.


Early Eocene Primate Had Dental Caries

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Archicebus achilles, a tree-dwelling primate from the Eocene of China. Image credit: Xijun Ni / Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Dental cavities or caries is a common disease among modern humans, affecting almost every adult. New research shows that Microsyops latidens, a species of stem primate from the Early Eocene epoch, had a high prevalence of dental caries (7.48% of individuals), with notable variation through time, reaching 17.24% of individuals from a particular interval.

Microsyops latidens lived in what is now the United States some 54 million years ago (Early Eocene epoch).

It is one of the best-known species in the family Microsyopidae and is represented by thousands of specimens.

Microsyops latidens likely weighed about 670 g on average based on body mass estimates derived from teeth size.

However, the ancient animal was likely arboreal, sharing similarities with arboreal primates and colugos.

In terms of its diet, Microsyops latidens was likely an omnivore, relying on a combination of fruits and possibly leaves.

“The etiology of caries has been studied in great depth in humans, and to some degree in non-human primates,” said Dr. Keegan Selig and Dr. Mary Silcox from the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

“Studies have also examined caries in a handful of fossil mammals from the Mid-Miocene to the Late Pleistocene, including studies on fossil primates, bears, and artiodactyls.”

“However, these incidences are rare, with only small samples of individuals showing caries.”

“Very little is known about caries in older fossil mammals, or about how caries frequency may vary over time within a single species.”

In their new study, the authors examined 1,030 individual dental fossils (teeth and jaw sections) of Microsyops latidens.

The specimens were collected over the course of an almost fifty-year field project from the Willwood Formation of the Southern Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, an area that has produced the largest sample of stratigraphically controlled mammalian specimens in the world.

Of 1,030 Microsyops latidens fossils, 77 (7.48%) displayed dental caries.

“The sample represents the earliest known incidences of caries among fossil mammals and the largest known collection of carious individuals for any fossil vertebrate taxon,” the researchers said.

They also found that the earliest and latest occurring specimens had fewer caries compared to the rest of their sample, which may indicate that the primates’ diet fluctuated between foods with higher and lower sugar content.

“Fluctuating climates during the Early Eocene may have impacted vegetation growth and food availability,” they noted.

They also found that there was a higher prevalence of caries in the fossils of Microsyops latidens compared to the frequencies reported in studies of primates alive today.

“Only the genera Cebus (such as capuchins) and Saguinus (such as tamarins) had a higher prevalence of caries than Microsyops latidens,” they said.

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.


K.R. Selig & M.T. Silcox. 2021. The largest and earliest known sample of dental caries in an extinct mammal (Mammalia, Euarchonta, Microsyops latidens) and its ecological implications. Sci Rep 11, 15920; doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-95330-x


Carnotaurus Had Scaly Skin with No Feathers, Paleontologists Say

Saturday, September 11, 2021

An artist’s reconstruction of Carnotaurus sastrei based on the scaly skin described by Hendrickx & Bell. Image credit: Jake Baardse.

Paleontologists have described in detail for the first time the scaly skin of Carnotaurus sastrei, an abelisaurid theropod that lived in South America during the Late Cretaceous period, sometime between 72 and 70 million years ago.

The newly-described fossil of Carnotaurus sastrei was originally discovered in 1984 by the Argentine paleontologist José Bonaparte.

The skeleton, which came from Chubut Province of Patagonia, was preserved along with sheets of its scaly hide.

In a new study, Dr. Christophe Hendrickx from the Unidad Ejecutora Lillo and Dr. Phil Bell from the University of New England looked at the skin from the shoulders, belly and tail regions of Carnotaurus sastrei.

They found that the dinosaur’s skin was more diverse than previously thought.

“The scaly skin of this abelisaurid is the most completely preserved of any theropod and the only example of this form of integument known outside of Tetanurae, excluding footprints,” they said.

“The skin is preserved in the shoulder, thoracic, tail and, possibly, neck regions.”

“It consists of medium to large (2-6.5 cm in diameter) conical feature scales surrounded by a network of low and small (less than 1.4 cm) non-imbricating basement scales separated by narrow interstitial tissue.”

The fossilized skin of Carnotaurus sastrei. Image credit: Hendrickx & Bell, doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2021.104994.

Unlike more recent discoveries of feathered dinosaurs, particularly from China, Carnotaurus sastrei was entirely scaly, with no evidence of feathers.

As an active predator, the authors suggest the scales would have been important in regulating the animals body temperature, as they do in modern reptiles.

“Given the presumed active lifestyle of Carnotaurus sastrei and the necessity of shedding excess heat, particularly at large body sizes (over 1,000 kg), we speculate that the skin may have played a vital role in thermoregulation; a role consistent with integument function in extant mammals and reptiles,” they said.

The team’s paper published in the journal Cretaceous Research.


Christophe Hendrickx & Phil R. Bell. 2021. The scaly skin of the abelisaurid Carnotaurus sastrei (Theropoda: Ceratosauria) from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia. Cretaceous Research 128: 104994; doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2021.104994


Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis: New Species of Giant Meat-Eating Dinosaur Identified in Uzbekistan

Friday, September 10, 2021

Life reconstruction of Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis and a smaller tyrannosauroid. Image credit: Julius T. Csotonyi.

A new genus and species of carcharodontosaurian theropod dinosaur has been identified from a fossillized jawbone found in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Carcharodontosauria is a group of medium to large-sized predatory theropod dinosaurs.

These theropods thrived on the southern supercontinent Gondwana from the Late Jurassic epoch to the end of the Cretaceous period, but disappeared on the northern supercontinent Laurasia after the Turonian stage of the Cretaceous.

They attained extreme body sizes, greater than 6 tons, rivaling those of tyrannosaurids and spinosaurids.

Considered as the apex predators in Laurasia until the mid-Cretaceous, carcharodontosaurians and other large-bodied theropods disappeared after which tyrannosauroids occupied top predatory niches during the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous period.

Scientifically named Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis, the new carcharodontosaurian dinosaur roamed our planet during the Late Cretaceous epoch, between 92 and 90 million years ago.

“We described this new genus and species based on a single isolated fossil, a left maxilla, or upper jawbone,” said lead author Dr. Kohei Tanaka, a paleontologist at the University of Tsukuba.

Left maxilla of Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis. Image credit: Kohei et al., doi: 10.1098/rsos.210923.

The large left maxilla of Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis was found in the Bissekty Formation — a formation yielding a rich and diverse assemblage of dinosaurs and other vertebrates from fragmentary remains — in the Kyzylkum Desert, Uzbekistan.

“The preserved portion of the maxillary tooth row from the second to the eighth alveoli is approximately 23 cm (9 inches) in length, which is at least about 20% longer than a relatively large (greater than 1 ton) allosauroid, such as Yangchuanosaurus,” Dr. Tanaka and colleagues said.

“The measurement indicates that this individual of Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis was at least 7 m (23 feet) in total body length and over one ton in body mass.”

“Additional regression analyses using estimates of the maxilla length and maxillary tooth row length measurements indicate it was 7.5-8 m (24.6-26.2 feet) in body length.”

Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis was probably the apex predator of the Bissekty ecosystem and co-occurred with smaller tyrannosauroids and dromaeosaurids.

“The discovery of Ulughbegsaurus uzbekistanensis fills an important gap in the fossil record, revealing that carcharodontosaurians were widespread across the continent from Europe to East Asia,” said senior author Professor Yoshitsugu Kobayashi, a paleontologist at the Hokkaido University Museum.

“As one of the latest surviving carcharodontosaurians in Laurasia, this large predator’s coexistence with a smaller tyrannosauroid reveals important constraints on the transition of the apex predator niche in the Late Cretaceous.”

The discovery is reported in a paper in the journal Royal Society Open Science.


Tanaka Kohei et al. 2021. A new carcharodontosaurian theropod dinosaur occupies apex predator niche in the early Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan. R. Soc. open sci 8 (9): 210923; doi: 10.1098/rsos.210923


Meet Titanokorys gainesi, Giant Radiodont from Burgess Shale

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Reconstruction of Titanokorys gainesi. Image credit: Caron & Moysiuk, doi: 10.1098/rsos.210664.

Paleontologists have described the largest Cambrian hurdiid radiodont known so far, named Titanokorys gainesi, from the Burgess Shale, British Columbia, Canada.

Radiodonts, a group of primitive arthropods that evolved during the Cambrian explosion, were among the largest and most diversified Paleozoic predators.

These animals were widespread geographically, occupying a variety of ecological niches, from benthic foragers to suspension feeders and apex predators.

The most iconic representative of this group is Anomalocaris, which may itself have approached 1 m (3.3 feet) in length.

Like all radiodonts, Titanokorys gainesi had multifaceted eyes, a pineapple slice-shaped, tooth-lined mouth, a pair of spiny claws below its head to capture prey and a body with a series of flaps for swimming.

Within this group, some species also possessed large, conspicuous head carapaces, with the new species being one of the largest ever known.

Titanokorys gainesi is part of a subgroup of radiodonts, called hurdiids, characterized by an incredibly long head covered by a three-part carapace that took on myriad shapes,” said Joe Moysiuk, a Ph.D. student at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum.

“The head is so long relative to the body that these animals are really little more than swimming heads.”

Titanokorys gainesi carapace. Image credit: Jean-Bernard Caron, Royal Ontario Museum.

With an estimated total length of 0.5 m (1.6 feet), Titanokorys gainesi was a giant compared to most animals that lived in the seas at that time, most of which barely reached the size of a pinky finger.

“The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling, this is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found,” said Dr. Jean-Bernard Caron, also from the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum.

Why some radiodonts evolved such a bewildering array of head carapace shapes and sizes is still poorly understood.

The broad flattened carapace form in Titanokorys gainesi suggests this species was adapted to life near the seafloor.

“These enigmatic animals certainly had a big impact on Cambrian seafloor ecosystems,” Dr. Caron said.

“Their limbs at the front looked like multiple stacked rakes and would have been very efficient at bringing anything they captured in their tiny spines towards the mouth.”

“The huge dorsal carapace might have functioned like a plough.”

paper describing the discovery was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.


J.-B. Caron & J. Moysiuk. 2021. A giant nektobenthic radiodont from the Burgess Shale and the significance of hurdiid carapace diversity. R. Soc. open sci 8 (9): 210664; doi: 10.1098/rsos.210664


Jurassic Park May Be Getting a New Mobile Game

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

A new trademark filing by Universal City Studios found online may be a sign that Jurassic Park is getting yet another mobile game.

With any beloved movie series comes the many video games made to throw fans directly into the world portrayed in them. With fantastical settings and ideas such as those present in Aliens and Jurassic Park, there are many ideas available that could spark the idea for a game or two for gamers to enjoy. Jurassic Park, in particular, has seen tons of video game titles across the years, and it seems like fans may have a new mobile game to look forward to soon if a trademark filing is to be believed.

With the advent of mobile games, plenty of companies have tried to create accessible experiences for players on the go, like MiHoYo's wildly popular open world title Genshin Impact, as well as newer games with Pokemon UniteJurassic Park already has two active mobile games at the moment with Jurassic World: The Game and Jurassic World Alive.

A new trademark filed by Universal City Studios has been found on Trademarkia for "Jurassic World Primal Ops" with a lengthy description that gives away a few things, but not too much. The description describes what the trademark is for as "downloadable interactive multi-media software for playing games," mentioning computers, wired and wireless communication devices, and video game consoles.

What's leading fans and theorists who visit the page for the trademark to believe it's for a mobile title is that the keywords for the trademark only mention mobile devices and computers. Some have speculated that through the description for the game, this may be another AR title like Jurassic World Alive, making players wonder how well it'll do with two of them on the market.

Some fans are disappointed at the fact that there seems to be yet another Jurassic Park mobile title coming, but nothing is confirmed just yet. The trademark may be filed, but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt until an official announcement is revealed, as plans can still change with this "Primal Ops" project during development. It's hard to even say the project could be only mobile just yet, as the description mentions consoles, and even the keywords mention computers.

Mobile titles having a PC version isn't something new, as games like Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, among others, have a PC port. There is still a high chance of it being a mobile title, but there may be other ways for fans to play it than just that. Some fans have speculated that if this game isn't only mobile-bound, it may be announced at the next State of Play, but for now, the only thing players can take with this game is speculation as they wait for more Jurassic Park news.

Source: Trademarkia /