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Originally posted by rickymouse
I kinda wonder how they know a dinosaurs age. I mean we don't even have a live dinosaur to compare it to. Maybe they found a birthday cake at the site of a dinosaur and counted the candles
It seems to me that it would only be speculation since these animals lived so long ago and we don't have any direct relatives around that are anywhere near the same. They say T-Rexs were old at 35. I can't in my mind understand what kind of evidence they have to derive that.
Originally posted by Byrd
Ah, the Jurassic...
No, not Jurassic Park, the REAL Jurassic, when dinosaurs stomped around, chomped on mammals, and sneered at the earliest birds. Pangaea (not the rock band) was breaking up, and a whole lot of shaking was going on.
Most of the rocks with Jurassic material have been eroded away (or buried under younger rocks) but one of the few places they can still be found is China. These largely unexplored fossil beds are now a very active research area, producing new and exciting finds like this newly announced juvenile therapod (meat eater) that dates from the Jurassic. When it died (about 160 million years ago), it was around a year old, was about 3 feet long, and weighed about 3 lbs.
No, that's not a typo by anyone. Therapods (coelurosaurs, specifically) are relatives of the birds and are built very lightly -- this little darling was about the length and weight of a macaw (those big red (or blue) parrots from the Amazon.)
The skull they show is beautifully preserved, showing the characteristic facial structure and teeth of a therapod (with a US quarter in the photo to show scale (good paleontological practice!)).
Like most wild animals, dinosaurs grew very quickly during their first year of life... the adult would possibly be 9 feet long.
Some additional information here (here)