Plants and Animals

Newly Discovered Fossils Hint That ALL Dinosaurs Had Feathers

Photo credit: Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus in its lacustrine environment. Image credit: Andrey Atuchin

Over 30 species of non-avian dinosaurs have been confirmed to have feathers, either from direct fossilized evidence of feathers, or other indicators, such as quill knobs. Up until now, all of those dinosaurs were confirmed to be carnivorous theropods, like Velociraptor and the ancestors of birds. However, fossilized remains of a new type of herbivorous dinosaur indicate that all dinosaurs may have had feathers. The study was led by Pascal Godefroit from the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural History in Brussels and the results were published in Science.

Plants and Animals

Crows Understand Displacement Better Than Six Year Olds

Photo credit: Jolyon Troscianko. The extraordinary intellectual capacities of New Caledonian crows have been proven again.

New Caledonian corvids, already considered the world’s smartest birds, now have even more to crow about. A new study found that their understanding of water displacement matches that of 7-10 year olds.

Earlier this year, a study found that Aesop’s Fable of the crow that uses pebbles to raise the water level of a pitcher to allow it to drink actually undersells their capacities.

The Brain

Religious Children Struggle To Separate Fact From Fiction

Photo credit: Steve Evans, via Wikimedia Commons.

The ability of young children to distinguish fact from fiction varies considerably with exposure to religion, two new studies have found. Children who did not attend parochial (religious) schools or church were significantly better at identifying characters in religious or fantasy stories as pretend than those who did. The studies have been published in Cognitive Science.

Plants and Animals

New Evidence Suggests Tyrannosaurs Were Social Creatures

Photo credit: Richard McCrea. The first of the seven tyrannosaur prints found near Tumbler Ridge and the context in which it was found

What is scarier than a tyrannosour? Try a herd of tyrannosaurs. But that would never happen because they were solitary hunters, right? All the movies tell us so. Turns out, tyrannosaurs may have been a whole lot more social than we thought.

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