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 Phytosaur

5/30 We drove back out to the field site along with some extra volunteers and colleagues.  There were now five of us at the campsite and several more staying in rooms at a nearby mission. With more people and extra cars, we finally allowed ourselves to go out to a basin badland area we’ve affectionately […]

Movies Our featured writer on location

5/21 – 5/23 I flew in to Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday the 21st and met up with doctoral student Brandon Hedrick and undergraduate Samantha Cordero, both from the University of Pennsylvania.  Over the next two days, we packed up our gear in the car and drove out 7 hours to our field site in New […]

Movies Sinosauropteryx

Dinosaurs are reptiles. Reptiles are cold-blooded.  Birds are dinosaurs.  Birds are warm-blooded.  When did warm-bloodedness — more accurately referred to as endothermy — evolve?  This is a question that has been debated and is rife with controversy for over a century. The traditional viewpoint was that dinosaurs were giant lizards that lived in swamps in […]


Hello, everyone!  I think that it’s about time to go through Jurassic Park and explain what’s real science and what’s completely fictional.  In order to do this, I have decided to sit down and watch the movie for what is probably around the hundredth time, so the following will be in chronological movie order. ·         […]

Movies Deinonychus RPR Model

In my last post, I promised to explain how raptors may have used their protowings to hunt.  A recent and intriguing hypothesis, called the Raptor Prey Restraint (RPR — pronounced “ripper”) model, claims that they would have hunted using a process called “prey-riding.”  Prey-riding is exactly what it sounds like.  The predator jumps on top […]


One of the most striking transformations in our perception of dinosaurs in the past couple of decades is the revelation that many of them had feathers of one sort or another.  As I discussed in my last post, birds are living dinosaurs.  However, feathers are incredibly complex structures.  They couldn’t have just popped up out […]

Movies Dimetrodon is not a dinosaur

Hello again!  To get started with this special feature, I’m going to explain just what it is that makes a dinosaur a dinosaur.  There is a lot of confusion among the general public about what constitutes a dinosaur.  Before I get into the details, a couple of rules of thumb are these: 1) dinosaurs walk […]


Hello, everyone!  My name is Adam Laing, and I am a student of paleontology. I got my BA and MS in paleontology at the University of Pennsylvania and am now pursuing my PhD at Stony Brook University.  I’ve been obsessed with all things prehistoric ever since I can remember.  I basically grew up in the American Museum […]