Like many birds and mammals today, ancient plant-eating dinosaurs migrated hundreds of miles each year as seasons changed, according to a study published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.
Scientists have long suspected that camarasaurus - a 50-foot-long, 20-ton dinosaur that lived 145 million years ago during the late Jurassic Period - migrated.
But what really surprised scientists was how far these big lizards walked: a six-month, 186-mile trek from lowlands to the mountains and then back again.
"That's a lot of walking to do over the course of a year," said the study's lead scientist, Henry Fricke of Colorado College.
The research touches on key questions among dinosaur experts: How did these giant beasts behave, and why were they so big?
Fossilized teeth and chemicals called oxygen isotopes may have unlocked a few clues.
Fricke and his team spent four years analyzing oxygen isotopes in fossilized camarasaurus teeth found in Wyoming and Utah.
Here's a basic idea of how it worked. Water across the ancient landscape contained specific ratios of two isotopes: oxygen 18, which has eight protons and 10 neutrons in its nucleus, and oxygen 16, which has eight protons and eight neutron in its nucleus. Researchers were able to track locations where the dinosaurs drank their water by examining the isotopes built up in the fossilized tooth enamel, like a "tiny tape recorder of what animals were drinking," Fricke said. From this data, scientists tracked the dinosaurs from lowlands in what is now Wyoming and Utah to mountainous regions to the west.
They also used the teeth to build a timeline to track approximately when the dinosaurs drank their water by examining the layers of oxygen isotopes in their tooth enamel, sort of like rings in tree trunks.
So, why did these giant beasts migrate? Their motivation was probably to find the food and water they needed to survive, Fricke said.
"They left the lowland basin in the dry season, presumably summer, when plant growth was limited and drought may have been common. They returned in the wet season, presumably winter." A wetter annual climate would have supported more plant growth, Fricke speculates, and may have resulted in less movement by the camarasauruses. Fricke believes analyzing tooth fossils of other large dinosaurs might bring similar results.
This general approach to studying animal migration has been around for decades, Fricke said, "but this is the first time it's been applied to dinosaurs."
Renowned Montana State University paleontologist Jack Horner, who served as technical adviser for the 1993 film "Jurassic Park," says behavior is among the most difficult things to learn about dinosaurs, because so much depends on what evidence is found.
"Unfortunately, it has to do with serendipity more than anything else," he said. "It's frustrating, but on the other hand, we make a lot of discoveries we may not expect."
"Jurassic Park" really drives home how hard it is to infer behavior based on fossil evidence, Fricke said. "All the questions that the paleontologists had in that movie were about behavior."
One question that paleontologists still don't have an answer for is, why did camarasaurus evolve into such gigantic animals? Fricke suspects there is a relationship between dinosaur size and migration.
"The ability to migrate gave camarasaurus an option to obtain food, which could allow them to get big," Fricke said. "Once you get big, it's easier to migrate, because you've got longer limbs to walk with. So it becomes a sort of feedback cycle."
At work there was this woman who told me ALL dinosaur bones are man made to fool us. This is after she was a born-again, most likely due to the fact she was the office whore who finally reached rock bottom and turned to god for salvation. Too bad god isn't going to take away her crotch rot. Then there was this jewish girl who told me it's ok if I believed my great grandfather was an ape, this was after we had a discussion on evolution, instead of just disagreeing with me she felt the need to insult me too. Not deep thinkers at all, aka sheep.
Like wow.. this is just sooo interesting lol
Once, upon this same earth, beneath this same sun, long before you, before the ape and the elephant as well, before the wolf, the bison, the whale, before the mammoth and the mastodon... was the time of the dinosaurs. Now the dinosaurs were of two kinds: some had flat teeth and ate the leaves of trees, and some had sharp teeth for eating meat, and they preyed upon the leaf-eaters. Then it happened that the leaves began to die. The mighty beasts who appeared to rule earth were ruled, in truth, by the leaf. Desperate for food, some dinosaur herds stuck out toward the west, searching for their Great Valley – a land still lush and green. It was a journey toward life. It was a march of many dangers. Sharpteeth stalked the herds, waiting to seize any who strayed. The leaf-eaters stopped only to hatch their young.
DINASOURS LEFT TRAILS OF HISTORICAL EVIDENCE THAT ALLOWED TIME AND EVIDENCE GATHERED ACROSS TIME TO PIECE TOGETHER A BROADER PICTURE OF WHAT HAPPENED MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO! MAYBE EVELUTION IS ABOUT TO UNVEIL A WHOLE NEW PICTURE OF WHATS TO COME! COULD WE BE GOING BACK IN TIME AS WE CONTINUN INTO THE 20TH CENTURY? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.
Comment # 13, don't desecrate the name of Homer. He/they was/were far better STORYTELLERS than the author of the Bible ever was. Nothing quite compares to the Odyssey or the Illiad.
@david u cant see or touch your brain either do u believe its there
Kevin, I would really love for you to tell God just how wrong He is! I'm pretty sure He has a special place waiting for you some day. You still have time to change your mind, though.
Again, which god? What version of which god?
WOW!!!!!! AWESOME AND INTERESTING
And learning this helps the world because......?
2Peter 3:8 read:"Let this one fact not be escaping your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah, as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day." Now multiple that time 6 days. Those dinosaurs perished during the flood in Noah's day.
Those dinosaurs died out 65,000,000 years ago. Your flood myth was 4,000 years ago. You're off by several orders of magnitude. Not to mention that there is zero evidence for a global flood – ever.
You're right about the years, wrong about the flooding. There's plenty of global evidence of a major flood. Check out the documentaries on Netflix... There's several that are non-religious that have to do with the geological growth of the world. But yeah... Dinosaurs were not around during the time religious texts describe Noah being around. Trying to decipher years by translating them into divine measurements doesn't work. Ask Camping.
i do not know if i believe in god or not. but i do believe in facts. i just can not get myself to believe in something i can not see or touch. or to believe in something that most people only follow when it will benifit them. like alot of you have said over and over the bible was written by men. and as we all know humans make up stuff to susport there own purposes ( churches ) but i do not knock anybodies beliefs.
Do you think the dinosaur migrated moved so slowly because of it's size, weight, and gravity forces working against, as maybe a single fall might kill it? Mass effect even? Ha, the Earth created in 7 days, what a load of crap.
Probably a combination of wanting to be able to stop without running into something and the stress it would put on the bones to absorb the shock of running.
Elephants migrate like this article describes. They do it to follow the water. When the water starts to dry up, they head where it's still flowing. When flood time comes they move back down to where the water doesn't flow so much. Perhaps the dinos were doing the same thing? Elephants migrate slowly as well. Some move so slow the water dries up before they can get to it and they die from dehydration. This happens a lot to small family units that have an injured member or a very young baby. I don't think I've ever seen an elephant run unless it was trying to kill something or outrun something that wanted to kill it. When you're that big, it takes a lot of energy to zip about.
Dinosaurs migrated because they were following the food. Believe what you want but there is no reason to call people names because they dont believe as you. Scientists almost have their religion but they need tangible proof to make sense of how we came to be and to try to correct the genetic mutations that have evolved over time. Those who are religious simply go on faith and there is not a thing wrong with that either.
Carrieanne- the problem is that there are still many religious fundamentalists who seek to have their religious myths taught as science.
If you read what some of the powers-that-be in the creationist and it's idiot stepchild ID camps, have written, their goals are to turn the US into a right-wing theocracy.
I am so embarrassed for America. Can someone with more than a 6th grade education please comment on this article without getting into Sunday School stories?
Some of us have. I'm not putting down anybody's beliefs, I just don't share them. (When 12/21/12 or the 'Rapture' is scheduled again, maybe they'll all be out in the yard. Then we can water balloon them! Then it will be, well God works in mysterious ways...again.)
What annoys me is the poor spelling, grammar, and 'shorthand' English that is so widespread online. I really worry about the language and whether we'll have real communication soon.
tony perry sound's ;like a gir'
Hi Vernz That's a pretty amnaizg discovery they made in Utah. We tend to take dinosaurs for granted here in Alberta because so many have been found here. There's a Dinosaur Provincial Park, and not far from there is the town of Drumheller where the Royal Tyrrell Museum has 40 dinosaur skeletons and more than 11,000 fossils. My youngest brother took his children there, then they came to visit us, and the kids were so excited. Drumheller has a dinosaur statue on almost every street corner! Way cool for kids! Kay
go some where else"""' MOve out
"MOve" out to where? And what's a gir'?
Sorry, I only speak American English.
Gir is a character from Invader Zim. Best character on the show, IMO.
in no way do my personal beliefs affect anyone else, and vice versa for anyone else. if you dont share the same beliefs as someone else, then agree to disagree. dont attack someone based on what they believe to be truth. every last person on this planet is entitled to a point of view.
Loren – the problem arises when the fundamentalists try and force everyone else to be as ignorant about science as they are. Especially when they keep trying to get their particular version of mythology taught as science in our public schools.
God rules all wrote, " I congratulate those of you that arn't afraid to stand up for what you believe. The rest of you...why do you get so insulted and...well...scarred when someone mentions God. I like the creation evolution debates".
Except of course there really isn't a debate. On one side you have actual scientists – 99.95% of whom state that evolution is a fact. On the other side, you have fundamentalist theists who purposefully choose to be ignorant.
I'm always fascinated by evolutionism, shipwrecks and true crime stories. I never could buy into the 6000 year theory. It's like the kids game "Operator". Whisper something to one person, they whisper it to the next, and by the time everyone is done, it's a whole different story. I think the Bible was written pretty much the same way.
The Bible was not a single book like it is today. It's a compiling of 66 manuscripts by more than 40 authors written over 1500 years. Not really a whispering concept at all.
Your bible is a written compilation after many many many generations of oral traditions told and re-told. It is the musings of nomadic bronze-aged shepherds trying to make sense of things going on around them that they could not explain.
It's called telephone
It's the key they used to unlock the scientific evidence. Oh, wait the key is broken.
Your statement shows that you choose to be ignorant about science and the scientific method. Instead, you take the AIG approach to science. Thet state, right on their website that, " By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. "
wow you know your stuff
Homer, why can't fundamentals like you quit arguing abput a few verses in Book of Genesis, and follow the commandents in the Old Testament & New Testament?
What about "love your fellows just like you love yourself?"
What about "Treat others as well as you want them to treat you."
What about "Don't judge other people unless you wan't to be judged the same way."
Why don't you realise that you are so tiny in comparison to God that you can't really begin to know what the Bible means?
Why don't just try to obey God's commandments as well as your tiny mind (in comparison to God) can understand.
Would God have given scientists the intelligence to learn how life started if He didn't want us to learn it.
Why don't you practice Christianity
and be as nice toward scientists and authors of science textbooks as possible even if you don't agree with everything they say.
Why don't you let biology teacher teach your children as they want and just tell your children "I don't
believe that, but
you had better not give the teacher & other students any trouble"?
Why can't you put your easily-bruised egos aside and admit you might be wrong about evolution
Well said. I would like to say that I might still be a Christian today, if it weren't for the emphasis Chirstians put on the evolution debate. Basically in my second college geology class, the instructor pointed out that whales had leg bones. Kind of silly for God to put tiny little leg bones there. That was what got me thinking about evolution. Christians told me you can't belive in evolution and be Christian, so now I am no longer a Christian.
Just googled whales with leg bones and if that is what turned you away from Christianity you might want to take another look. That evidence does not exist much as the Nebraska man(pigs tooth) creation.
Just so I am clear on this @ some point in this evolutionary scale we had fish comming out of the water and growing legs, while in other instances we had several tonned dinosaurs losing their legs and jumping into the water. I now that's a little condensed but is that about close to your belief.
@ frespech – whales do indeed have vestigal rear leg bones. And if there is a mutation with hox genes and homebox sequences, we can, and do, find whales with small malformed rear legs.
And yes, some aquatic creatures did evolve limbs and leave the sea.
The problem is that you are getting your science from non-science sources.
It doesn't count if you ignore the google reults you don't agree with. Let me guess, you skipped down to the article on forgottenancestry.org. try reading from a legit source next time.
@freespech: They didn't "grow" legs, such as a tadpole. Over countless millenia, their fins turned into feet. Look at a diagram of a fish fin. All the finger bones are present; this also applies to your whale argument. It took a long time, but fish developed limbs, and whales' ancestors developed into an otter-like creature, and eventually into our modern cetaceans. How does it feel to get burned by a fifteen year old?
I congratulate those of you that arn't afraid to stand up for what you believe. The rest of you...why do you get so insulted and...well...scarred when someone mentions God. I like the creation evolution debates. Go find some by ken ham?not sure if that the right spelling for his name but thats how you say it. I think everyone here would like them. I believe in creation and everything was created in 7 days. and yes time is different to God but he would tell us the way it was so 7 days means 7 days not millions of years. I don't want to offend anyone. And this article.....big whoop to 180 some miles lol my family walks a couple miles a day....my 4 year old walks that and hes short for his age! lol must have been a hop, skip, and a jump for those huge dinosaures.
Wow! So where do you find to sleep at night? Anyway, your post gives rise to so many thoughts I wouldn't know where to begin. You sound reasonable - to a point. However, those other posts were placed by folks in denial. A 'debate' is a presentation of differing views on a point. Denial, however, is a refusal to even consider the opposing idea and the sign of a closed mind. If everybody was like that nothing would ever be learned about anything. We sure wouldn't have this cool place for some people to advertise their ignorance.
Man: God, how long is a million years to you?
God: It's like a second
Man: God, how much is a million dollars to you?
God: it's like a dime.
Man: God, can you spare a dime?
God: Yeah, in a minute....
I believe in creation to, but not 7- 24hr days, furthermore I think we are still on the 6th day of creations- as Hebrews says the Sabbath is a foreshadow of things to come meaning the Sabbath hasn't happened yet (remember G-d in his anger swore the israelities in the desert would not enter into his “rest”- well if the Sabbath has/had already occurred how could G-d make that claim? He could only make that claim if humans have not yet reached that 7th day Sabbath). Few questions for you to think about- 1. How could the 1st day be 24hrs when the sun and moon were just being created- they would first have to be created before using them for time measuring. 2 G-d created man on the 6th day right- day starts at night (How much time do you think it took to make man?) then G-d brought every animal for Adam to name (hard to do that in dark so assume this was done in morning/daylight)- how long do you think that all that naming would take? Then Adam noticed there was no mate for him- think that would be obvious in the 1st few hours of life or would that take some time to realize? Then G-d put Adam in a deep sleep (how long do you think he slept?- sound a lot like how we do medical operations today by putting the patient out) Then Adam named his wife. Just saying there is not enough time to do all the things claimed (create, name animals, realize you don’t have a mate, go into a deep sleep, wake up and name a women) in 24hrs. Also 24hr creation is to say G-d did all this in 7days but then needed 6000+ yrs to “save” man? He can create everything in 7days but then needs 1000’s of years to fix our mistake? Also if you noticed in the creation account is say “replenish” the earth signifying/suggesting that the earth was once inhabited by other beings before humans. Just saying if you read the bible with the understand of today’s technology it makes way more sense and there is way more in there than the simple story book account given to you in most churches. I believe what is written in the bible is correct
i am a Christian. i believe the bible to contain the revelation and inspiration from God as well as history. i also believe the Bible if rife with mistranslation and some garbage—mind you it was written and translated by imperfect humans some with political motivations. that said, the origin of the subjects and the stories and accounts in this record make it a sacred text—you just have to use the brain God gave you to sort through it what is important. mind you much of this text is written by bronze age men with not context for understanding or describing what they witnessed. given the fact that so few words are used to describe the creative process that Moses witnessed, we might assume that it really is not that important as far as the message the scriptures were meant to portray. maybe the intent was simply that God made all this stuff as a place to put man for his purposes and his design. that there was order and a plan with man at the end. and that's it that's all. not a recipe for planetary construction, just a message from God saying "oh if you are wondering why you are here, i put you here. Now be nice, better yourself and prove your worthiness for the rewards i want to give you."
i believe life is not an accident, and in divine creation. i also believe in evolution. now where in the Bible does it say exactly HOW God did things—it doesn't. creationism means simply that a divine power did it with a purpose. it does not mean that evolutionary processes can't be the tools God uses. evolution and creationism are not mutually exclusive. the earth is billions of years old—FACT. Dinosaurs once roamed this planet millions of years before man did—FACT. evolution is happening all around us ever second of every day—FACT. the only question is, is it random or divinely driven? and that is a matter of faith/belief and has no bearing in my mind one way or another on evolutionary sciences. seaking the mysteries of God can happen equally in a church as they can in a laboratory IMHO.
depending on the translation you use, the use of the "day" is pretty ambiguous. "god called this period the X day." the message i read is one of ordered purpose and intent as described by a bronze age goat herder. i would have described it differently, but i live in a different context and with a different understanding of the natural world around me than Moses. i can live with this.
i bothers me that so many christians are so close minded that they cannot even try to understand their beliefs within the context of science. at the same time it also bothers me that so much of the scientific community closes it's mind to the possibility that in a way they don't understand divinity might be behind the wonders they are struggling to comprehend. but given the ignorant comments from the religious right that i see posted on this board, i can at least understand why science mocks the religious.
A mile a day would barely be considered migration – most herd animals that migrate exceed that several times over (reindeer, elephants, etc). There is a great deal of speculation in the article. A varience in O16 and O18 might indicate movement, but to say where or why would require the geography and water tables to have remained unchanged since that time. Earth is a bit more maleable than that.
So, movement between water tables? Check. Everything else? Conjecture. (Not that this is inheirently bad, palentology is by necessity rooted in conjecture.)
One day n gods eyes can b 10,000 Years so yes millions of years could b one day n gods eyes. Do believe god made the universe n millions of years and us n one day from adam and eve. N the book of isaac he sees dinosaurs n the bible and that was several thousand years ago.
Why is it that the folks who denigrate science are the same ones who purposefully choose to be ignorant about science? The universe is 13.7 BILLION years old, not millions. And, your god got the whole order of creation wrong.
Look, it's your right to be ignorant. But wearing that ignorance as a badge of honor is just sad.
Crap! This is a place for postings written in English, not 'Chatlish'. Or maybe you're young enough that that is the way you learned to write?
Lol! did satan put dinosaur bones there to confuse us about creationism? (yes, this theory has been expressed to me!) egad!
Grasping at straws....silly even!
This is such a myth. God created the earth in 7 days 6000 years ago. Why do these sorces lie?
what's a sorces?
why do you trust the source of your god myth? written by bronze age goatherders.
First of all, learn to spell before you post your ignorance in public. Second, DON"T post your ignorance and denial of facts in public, or anywhere else. If you keep your mouth shut and your mind open, you might learn something.
I wonder what kind of fuel goes in his big car?
Everyone knows that you have to tip the midget waitress double because it takes her twice as many steps to get across the room so how far is far to a dinosuar? Maybe he wasn't migrating, maybe he was just constantly lost.
Or you tip half as much because it took twice as long
"...what really surprised scientists was how far these big lizards walked: a six-month, 186-mile trek from lowlands to the mountains and then back again."
my dog will walk more than that in 6 months. i am glad there is a science article, but still looks like the unremarkable being hyped into a news story. the article would have been more accurate to say scientists discovered one of the shortest annual migrations for a macro/mega herbivore.
why does everything need to be sensationalized. dinosaur migration is very old news. why make it sound like the story is something it is not. cut out the hype and relay the facts without the drama. X Study using X process shows that X dinosaur migrated from point A to point B. scientist can trace a migration route millions of years after the fact—that is cool science. it does not have to be packaged up to sound like these animals did anything extraordinary when in reality they were doing the very ordinary, very expected, and very well documented for some time.
i am sorry, i am tired of everything being turned into breaking news whether it is or not. cool science stands by itself and the people who enjoy this type of story don't need it dolled up with sensationalism.
one mile per day for a 50 ft dinosaur is like me walking to my mailbox and back.
What if you weighed 20 tons?
yea' why don't they find a cure for Cancer' instead of trying to impress us with all this million's of year's ago' that we really can not understand'???? the Human Mind can't stay up with million's of year's when average life is 75 little oh year's????
I work my a*@ off everyday studying cancer.
I hate it when people like you talk crap about the scientific community.
Well, a paleantologist would not be qualified to cure cancer. People love to throw around the cure for cancer question. Should we make studying anything other than cancer illegal. Your criticizing anyone who chooses to study something other than curing cancer. Maybe Mcdonalds should stop selling hamburgers and have there minimum wage burger flippers study cancer.
Let's see...Is this an apple or an orange? That's your problem. There are a lot of scientists out there studying the past, the present, and even trying to figure out what the future might hold. You may, or probably aren't, be aware that a lot of cures for a lot of things have been discovered by studying what native people do to cure their ills. Some things even have been discovered by looking at the past, and even at the fossils of different species.
was the hamburger good' what is in it"""' slow down on your ass" you need it to show the World"""
A refreshing article .
Haha John, well played!
This article is very interesting. I agree with mitchell below...more of this please!
Oh no! the two things the GOP hates the most proof of evolution and inmigrants!
Woohoo God can create some cool animals praise you Jesus
Now that was funny!
Nice a CNN article on science, which is once in a blue moon. It really would be nice to get more stuff like this rather than that crap on the GOP.
Nice a CNN article on science, which is once in a blue moon. It really would be nice to get more stuff like this rather than that crap on the libtards.
I thought the picture was showing the teeth of dinosaurs morphed into a key