Tiny Pop Gigantosaurus – Bex talks Dinosaurs and Fossils with Palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax

Tiny Pop Gigantosaurus – Bex talks Dinosaurs and Fossils with Palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax!!!

To celebrate Gigantosaurus landing on Tiny Pop on Monday 1st June, Bex spoke to palaeontologist Dr Dean Lomax about all things dinosaurs!

What’s your favourite Dinosaur and why do you like them? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – Oh, great question! My all-time favourite dinosaur is called Baryonyx, a meat-eating dinosaur that is almost the length of a school bus. Baryonyx is my favourite for several reasons. The first is that it was discovered completely by chance in 1983 by a fossil collector called William Walker. William originally found part of what was an enormous, more than 20 cm long thumb claw. The other reason is that this dinosaur had its last meal preserved inside its belly, which contained fish and bones from another dinosaur!

What’s the rarest dinosaur ever found and why are they so rare? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – I would probably have to say that the rarest dinosaur fossils found are those preserved in amber, fossilised tree resin. Only a few dinosaur remains, such as feathers and a tail, have been found in amber. Amber usually only traps small animals, like insects, so finding evidence of dinosaurs, even small species, is incredibly rare.

Dr Dean Lomax (Center back)

Which countries have had the most dinosaur bones found? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – It is hard to say exactly, but it is between the USA and China. 

What is the most common dinosaur found? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – This is a tough question! In North America the most common types of dinosaur found are hadrosaurs, the often called “duck-billed dinosaurs”, like Ducky from the Land Before Time series. In Asia, the most common dinosaur is a small, parrot-beaked relative of Triceratops, called Psittacosaurus.

What type of soil are most dinosaurs found in? Bex age 9

Dr Dean Lomax – This may surprise you, but no dinosaurs are found in soil! Dinosaurs are found mostly inside rock, particularly sedimentary rocks like limestone and mudstone.

What do you think is the prettiest type of fossil? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – It is hard to choose just one. In my opinion, some of the prettiest fossils include the shells of squid-like animals called ammonites; sometimes the shells can be brightly coloured. Another type of really pretty fossil is called a crinoid or ‘feather star’. These fossils look a little bit like plants but are a type of animal related to starfish (I attach a photo of my favourite specimen, an enormous Jurassic crinoid called Seirocrinus, on display at the Hauff Museum in Germany. Finally, this one might surprise you, but some insects make for the prettiest fossils. We have evidence of fossil butterflies with their preserved wings that even show patterns and colour!

How many Dinosaurs have you found and how did you find them? Bex age 8

Dr Dean Lomax – Over the last 12 years I’ve been hunting for dinosaurs across the UK, in parts of Europe and in North America. I have spent most of my time dinosaur hunting in Wyoming, in the USA. Wyoming is really well-known for dinosaurs and thousands upon thousands of bones have been found. In my time, I have probably found and helped to excavate maybe ~50 dinosaurs! My personal highlight was discovering a relative of Tyrannosaurus rex, called Gorgosaurus, which I found in 2009 whilst in Montana, USA. I have also helped to name a Velociraptor-like dinosaur, which was found in Wyoming and which my team and I called Hesperornithoides miessleri! I attach a photo of me (in the middle) and part of the dino team, including Hesperornithoides peeking out in the background.

Gigantosaurus arrives on Tiny Pop on 1 June, and airs weekdays at 7.30am and 4pm and weekends from 1.30pm on Tiny Pop, Freeview 207, Sky 617, Virgin 737 and Freesat 605.

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