John Pickrell has been writing about dinosaurs and palaeontology for many years. Find some of his stories here in publications including National Geographic, Australian Geographic, Cosmos and New Scientist.
Digging for Dinosaurs in the Gobi
Fancy joining AG’s editor on a week-long dinosaur fossil dig in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert?
Once were dinosaurs
It seems the dinosaurs didn’t die out after all: a slew of discoveries is showing that many dinosaurs were feathered and much more bird-like than ever imagined.
New Dino Species Found on Dusty Shelf
Neglected for 20 years on the dusty shelves of a South African university, paleontologists have re-discovered the 215-million-year-old fossils bones of one of the earliest giant dinosaurs.
Rare dinosaur handprints discovered
Rare fossilised handprints of a carnivorous dinosaur have helped answer questions about the orientation of limbs which later evolved into wings in birds.
Australia’s largest ever dinosaur unveiled
Fossil bones of the largest dinosaurs ever discovered in Australia went on display yesterday. The 25-metre-long animals were 7 metres longer than the previous record-breaker.
Dinosaur-Era Spiderweb Found in Amber
Over a hundred millions years ago, one small spider wove its intricate silken web—a task spiders are thought to have performed for hundreds of millions of years. This spider lived during the Cretaceous period in what is now Lebanon, and shared its world with some of the largest dinosaurs to have ever existed.
Dinosaur-Era Bird Could Fly, Brain Study Says
The earliest known bird was discovered in a Bavarian quarry in 1861. Ever since, scientists have disagreed as to whether Archaeopteryx was fully capable of flight.
First Dinosaur Brain Tumor Found, Experts Suggest
Cancer isn’t just an affliction of the modern world, new research suggests. Scientists behind the preparation of a fossil belonging to a new Tyrannosaurus rex relative believe they may have discovered the first known fossilized brain tumor.
Dinosaur Tooth Found in Flying Reptile’s Spine
A hundred-million-year-old Brazilian fossil may offer rare evidence of an ancient encounter between a dinosaur predator and a flying reptile.
Two New Dinosaurs Discovered in Antarctica
Working in some of the planet’s harshest conditions, fossil hunters have found two completely new species of dinosaur in Antarctica. This increases to eight the number of dinosaur species found on the perpetually frozen southern landmass.
Two-Headed Reptile Fossil From Age of Dinosaurs Found
Palaeontologists have found a tiny dinosaur-era reptile with two heads—the first time the extremely rare developmental anomaly has been found in a fossil.
Terror Birds: Predators With a Kung Fu Kick?
Phorusrhacids would give even Alfred Hitchcock the shivers: Also known as terror birds, some were nearly 10 feet (3 meters) tall, weighed over half a ton (500 kilograms), and could swallow a dog in a single gulp.
Beetle Find Is One of the Oldest Colored Fossils
Paleontologists are used to drab brown and gray fossils. Sediments that seep in to cast the shape of ancient organisms in stone, determine the color. Instead, long-gone beasts and the ancient worlds they inhabited, spring to life in the depths of these scientists’ imaginations.
Ichthyosaur’s Turtle Supper Causes Extinction Debate
Wide-eyed and fast moving, ichthyosaurs were the giant carnivores of Jurassic and Cretaceous seas. These marine reptiles are thought to have been powerful pursuit predators, evolving to chase small and equally speedy prey.
“Probably the Oldest” Penis Found in Spider Fossil
Scientists think they may have uncovered one of the earliest examples of male genitalia recorded in stone. The 400-million-year-old fossil organ belongs to a harvestmen or daddy longlegs, a non-web-spinning arachnid, related to mites and ticks.
Peacock Plumage Secrets Uncovered
The peacock is one of the natural world’s most elaborate and showy males, mustering its physical resources to wow potential mates with its enormous and gaudy, fan-like tail plumage.
Instant Expert: Dinosaurs
Ever since the 1840s when Richard Owen – founder of London’s Natural History Museum – created the term dinosaur, his “fearfully great lizards” have gripped people’s imaginations like no other creature of the past. Dinosaurs have been the subject of countless studies, movies, books, exhibitions and toys.
From ‘how do you define a dinosaur?’ to ‘why did they grow to such enormous sizes?’, New Scientist answers some of the most common questions you might have about dinosaurs.
Top 10: Dinosaur Myths
Popular culture is littered with half truths and misconceptions about dinosaurs. Here John Pickrell debunks some of the biggest myths.
Instant expert: Evolution
In 1859 Charles Darwin published his theory of natural selection amid an explosion of controversy. Like the work of Copernicus in the 16th century revealing the movement of the Earth, Darwin’s idea shook the foundations of the establishment and profoundly altered humanity’s view of its place in the universe.
The reign of the dinosaurs interactive graphic
See which dinosaurs were around at which parts of the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous period with this interactive graphic.
Dawn of the dingo
The genes of dingoes, dogs and wolves suggests they all evolved from a long gone ancestor, turning existing theories of dog origins on their heads.
A different kind of extinction
Up to a third of dinosaur ‘species’ are actually the juveniles of other species, says Jack Horner. We join the dino hunter in the badlands of Montana.
Tasmanian tiger gene fragment resurrected
DNA from the extinct Tasmanian tiger has been successfully extracted and used to resurrect a functioning version of a gene fragment in a mouse.
Neanderthals hunted marine mammals
Animal remains from caves in Gibraltar show for the first time that Neanderthals regularly hunted and fished seafood from mussels and fish to seals and dolphins.
Drowned reef: world’s largest fossil
What may be the world’s largest fossil has been found off the coast of Australia. A reef perhaps as long as the Great Barrier Reef itself, it was drowned long ago by rising seas.
New horned dinosaur dug up in Canada
An ancestor of triceratops, with metre-long horns over its eyebrows, has been unearthed in Canada.
Who killed the iceman?
The murder of Ötzi the Iceman is perhaps the most challenging cold case in history. Archaeologists used a splay of forensic methods to piece together a detailed picture of his life – and death.