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source Federico Babina
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Fossil bones from the dinosaur were pulled from a cliff at Praia da Vermelha just north of Lisbon.
Known as Torvosaurus gurneyi, this ferocious beast would have been some 10m in length and weighed perhaps 4-5 tonnes.
Its features are described in the latest edition of the Plos One journal.
It was a theropod - the kind of two-legged, meat-eating animal that everyone instantly recognises in something like Tyrannosaurus rex.
But T. gurneyi lived much earlier in time, in the late Jurassic - about 150 million years ago.
"We all know about T. rex, but Tyrannosaurus was a Cretaceous animal,” explains co-author Prof Octavio Mateus from the New University of Lisbon.
Scientists have now unearthed a number of body parts belonging to Torvosaurus from Portugal’s fossil-rich Lourinha rock formation. These specimens even include eggs and embryos.
But it is with this latest description of the dinosaur’s upper-jaw that the researchers believe they can put the creature in its proper context.
They say the Portuguese animal is distinct from the Torvosaurus already known from North America.
That fossil “cousin”, known as Torvosaurus tanneri, was found in rocks of similar age, from the so-called Morrison formation.
It means that both animals must have shared a common ancestor deeper in time, before the Atlantic Ocean was fully opened.
"One hundred and fifty million years ago, Portugal was already separated from North America and this meant the mechanism of speciation could occur," said lead author Christophe Hendrickx. "And this is why we have a new species of Torvosaurus in Europe.”
One of the most impressive features of the Plos One T. gurneyi find is its teeth - blade-shaped and more than 10cm long.
This indicates it must have been at the top of the food chain when it stomped around the Iberian Peninsula.
"Besides dinosaurs, we had turtles, crocodiles, those flying reptiles we call pterosaurs, and also small mammals," Mr Hendrickx told BBC News.
"And for the flora - it must have been quite luxuriant. A lot of conifers and gingkos. [It would have looked] something like a tropical environment."
Prof Mateus added: “This was an area with a lot of rivers, a lot of fresh water; and a lot of vegetation. So, it would have been good for herbivores, and with herbivores come some carnivores like Torvosaurus.”
Although a record-breaker for terrestrial Europe, Torvosaurus is not the largest predatory dinosaur known to science.
Carcharodontosaurus, Giganotosaurus and Tyrannosaurus from other parts of the world, and from the later Cretaceous Period, were all bigger land animals.
And of course there were marine predators in the Jurassic, such as plesiosaurs, that would have rivalled it for size.
The largest known herbivore in Europe was probably a sauropod from Spain whose bones suggest it weighed in excess of 40 tonnes.
Indeed, Crimea’s Tatar population, who have primarily supported the anti-Yanukovych protest movement and opposed Russian nationalists in their own region, are feeling understandably worried. After clashes between Tatar groups and pro-Russian protesters, that left two people dead and dozens injured, community leaders have urged Tatars to stay at home following today’s events.
Tatars are certainly have a grim history of being scapegoated. In 1944, after Soviet forces regained control of Crimea and two and a half years of German occupation, Joseph Stalin ordered that the entire population be deported under the pretense that they had collaborated with the Nazis. (It was a false accusation: quite a few Tatars had fought in the Soviet army.)
Officers from the NKVD, predecessor to the KGB, went from home to home ordering Tatars onto cattle trains. More than 180,000 people were deported, most of them to Uzbekistan. Many died on the train, many more in their new homes, where they found a harsh climate, and local inhabitants unprepared and unenthusiastic about supporting the new arrivals. About 46 percent of the exiles died.In 1953, after Stalin’s death, the charge of mass collaboration was withdrawn from the Tatars, (though the accusation is still periodically made today) but they were not allowed to return home until the late 1980s. Tatars argue that the deportation should be considered a genocide. Though generally pro-Ukrainian in their politics, they have pressed Kiev to do more to help them recover their land and property and called on Europe to make the recognition of Tatar rights a condition of EU membership.
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The French anti-aircraft gun is firing on the German Taube(Pigeon) fighter that is attacking the French plane below him.
Real color picture (autochrome), made in 1915 in Paris by a member of the Photography and Cinematography Organization of the French Army.
In all belligerent countries boys played war until they were old enough to be slain in reality.
photograph by Léon Gimpel
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from The 1962 report (Commonly known as The Yellow Book).
By Jørn Utzon + consultants.
via The Bowernest
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St. Louis, Mo., March 1, 1912, using parachute pulled from a conical pack attached to a Benoist aeroplane piloted by Tony Jannus.
photograph source Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
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