The Bone Wars is the name given to a period of intense fossil speculation and discovery during the Gilded Age of American history, marked by a heated rivalry between Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. Each of the two paleontologists used underhanded methods to out-compete the other in the field, resorting to bribery, theft, and destruction of bones. The scientists also attacked each other in scientific publications, attempting to ruin the other's credibility and cut off his funding. Originally colleagues who were civil to each other, Cope and Marsh became bitter enemies after several personal slights between them. Their pursuit of bones led them west to rich bone beds in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming. From 1877 to 1892, both paleontologists used their wealth and influence to finance their own expeditions and to procure services and fossils from dinosaur hunters. By the end of the Bone Wars, both men exhausted their funds in fueling their intense rivalry. Cope and Marsh were financially and socially ruined by their efforts to disgrace each other, but their contributions to science and the field of paleontology were massive; the scientists left behind tons of unopened boxes of fossils on their deaths. The feud between the two men led to over 142 new species of dinosaurs being discovered and described. (Read more...)
... that Irritator is only known from a skull that was badly obscured by plaster which was added by the commercial fossil-collecting fossil-poachers who illegally sold it in hopes of making the fossil look more complete and valuable?
... that rhynchosaurs had unique teeth that were modified into broad tooth plates?
... that a trackway produced by an unknown crocodyliform that measured approximately 12 meters in length was uncovered in the Galve region of Spain?
The Crurotarsi ("cross-ankles") are a group of archosaurs, whose name was erected as a node-based clade by Paul Sereno in 1991 to supplant the old term, Pseudosuchia. Crurotarsi are by definition the sister group of the Avemetatarsalia (all forms closer to birds than crocodiles). Crurotarsi is one of the two primary daughter clades of the Archosauria. The skull is often massively built, especially in contrast to ornithodires; the snout narrow and sometimes tending to be elongate, the neck is short and strong, and the limb posture ranging from typically reptilian sprawling to dinosaur or mammal-like erect (although this is achieved in a different way to dinosaurs and mammals). The body is often protected by two or more rows of armored plates. Many crurotarsans reached large size: approximately around three meters or more in length.