Hothouse Climate Slowed Dinosaurs’ Rise

It gets hot at the Hayden Quarry. Hot enough to keep away the biting gnats - eternal foe of the field paleontologist - and to require a brief siesta every afternoon in the cool of a nearby streambed. The August monsoons do little to help. The New Mexico desert greedily slurps every drop of moisture and within a few hours you forget that water ever falls from the sky. But that's as it should be. It helps get you in the mindset of creatures that lived and died in the spot over 211 million years before, back when ancient aridity kept early dinosaurs down.

We often think of the ...

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