AUTHOR Adam Laing

I am a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University's paleontology department. I love dinosaurs and all other manner of prehistoric beasties, please always feel free to ask me about them!

Movies A Brief Overview of the Dinosaurs: Part 7, Paraves

Welcome to the last segment of A Brief Overview of the Dinosaurs! When we left off, we had traversed most of the way up through the theropod tree. The group that we have reached now is called Paraves, which means “next to birds.” This is a bit of a misnomer, though, because the vast majority […]

Movies A Brief Overview of the Dinosaurs: Part 6, Coelurosauria

As we continue our jaunt through the evolution of theropod dinosaurs, we grow inexorably closer to birds. As we get closer to birds, we find dinosaurs that are more and more similar to birds as well as evidence of increasingly complex feathers. The story of Coelurosauria (SEE-lure-oh-SORE-ee-uh) shows us the evolution of feathers from simple […]

Movies A Brief Overview of the Dinosaurs: Part 5, Basal Theropoda

Here’s the post that you’ve all been waiting for! This is the second-to-last post in my Brief Overview series, and it finally includes many of the most popular dinosaurs — the theropods. This large group includes all known carnivorous (meat-eating) dinosaurs such as Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus rex as well as several very strange groups that reverted to […]


It’s time for the next installment of dinosaurs! All of the dinosaurs that have been previously discussed belong to the order Ornithischia, which means “bird-hipped dinosaurs.” However, we are now moving into the realm of the Saurischia, the “lizard-hipped dinosaurs.” The first major clade in the Saurischia is the Sauropodomorpha.  This is the group that […]

Movies Thyreophora

Rounding out the Ornithischia (“bird-hipped dinosaurs”), we have the Thyreophora (“shield bearers”), more commonly known as the armored dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are exemplified by the ankylosaurs and the stegosaurs. The ankylosaurs are the dinosaurs that were covered almost entirely in bony armor from head to tail, and many also had either bony spikes or a […]

Movies Torosaurus dinosaur, artwork

Hello, all!  In the second part of this series, we will be exploring the Marginocephalia, from the Latin for “fringed heads.” This group of dinosaurs includes both the famous horned dinosaurs (the Ceratopsians like Triceratops) and the dome-headed, head-butting dinosaurs like Pachycephalosaurus. As mentioned in Part 1, this group and the Ornithopoda form a group of […]

Movies A more modern interpretation of Iguanodon

Hello, all! After too long of a break, I have returned for more posts about dinosaurs! I thought that I’d start out with a series of posts outlining the various groups of dinosaurs and their relationships to one another. This way, in future articles, I can link back to these descriptions so that you can […]


I’m sorry that this post is late!  There were some weird technical problems with uploading the pictures. Welcome to the last installment of my summer travels!  Just a heads up, but this is going to be the end of my presence as the “Special Feature.” Future posts will simply be under the heading “Science.” After […]

Movies Adam Laing on site

Hello, all. I’m sorry that my post this week is a little late.  We’re nearing the end of my summer travels with my last trip being out to the Beehive State — Utah! Picking up from where I left off, I flew out of Beijing on July 14 on a 13-hour flight with 12-hour jet lag, […]

Movies Me enjoying the view in China

Hello, all!  I left off with our little work site on the mountainside. As it happens, our bones were located right in the middle of a big mess of really hard sandstone.  After a couple of days getting nowhere fast with hammers and picks, we brought out the power tools.  We actually dragged a generator […]

Movies The owl that Henry stumbled upon as we hiked up toward our first fossil site

Hey, so before I get started on this post, I want to apologize.  In my previous post, I mentioned that I would be updating on a more regular basis, but then I got distracted by the end of the summer with moving back in to Philadelphia and school starting up, and I haven’t actually had a chance […]

Movies Hills of Gansu

Hello, everyone! I’m sorry about the long wait, but I’ve been pretty busy.  From now on, my posts should be much more regular than the past two months.  My first new post will be about my time in China. I flew out of New York on June 21st, arriving in Beijing with a 12-hour time […]