This tiny skull trapped in amber belongs to the smallest dinosaur ever discovered

The tiny skull, about the size of a thumbnail, trapped in amber may belong to the smallest dinosaur scientists have ever discovered. Paleontologist Lida Xing of the China University of Geosciences spotted the skull in a 99-million-year-old chunk of amber from northern Myanmar. From the New York Times:

[Xing, Chinese Academy of Sciences paleontologist Jingmai O’Connor, and their colleagues] called the bird Oculudentavis khaungraae — a name that comes from the Latin words for eye, teeth and bird. The dinosaur’s skull is only 14.25 millimeters, or a little more than half an inch, from its beak to the end of its skull. The animal had bulbous eyes that looked out from the sides of its head, rather than straight ahead like the eyes of an owl or a human.

“We were able to show that this skull is even smaller than that of a bee hummingbird, which is the smallest dinosaur of all time — also the smallest bird,” O’Connor said. “This is a tiny skull, and it’s just preserved absolutely pristinely"....

Most scientists now believe that birds are theropods, dinosaurs of a group that included tyrannosaurus and spinosaurus, but that birds were on their own evolutionary branch from a common ancestor. Paleontologists have long assumed that as birds evolved away from other dinosaurs, having teeth was a trait that was in the process of disappearing altogether. “But this specimen strongly shows that evolution’s really going in all different directions,” Dr. O’Connor said.

More at Nature: "Tiny bird fossil might be the world’s smallest dinosaur"

image: Lida Xing Read the rest

Skull headlight covers for your hot rod

Snazz up your older model grocery-getter with these skull headlight covers! I have no idea if they are DOT approved but they're sure to turn some craniums. (See what I did there?) Skullspiration writes that they are designed by Est2rad Custom in Watsonville, CA but the eBay search link in the post show products from the Russian Federation so... your mileage may vary.

(via Weird Universe) Read the rest

Coop's Randotti skulls: now available as tights!

Artist Coop's revival of the outstanding skulls of the Randotti Corporation (as seen at Disneyland and Walt Disney World!) continues with a line of tights featuring Haunted Skull, Voodoo Skull and Pirate Skull. Read the rest

Coop's tribute to Randotti Skulls, from the golden age of Haunted Mansion merchandise

From the 1950s until the 1980s, Randy and Dotti Smith supplied a line of fantastic cast sculptures sold in Disney theme-park gift shops, especially a line of skulls sold in shops associated with the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides; these Randotti skulls haven't been sold in decades, you can still find used ones (at high prices) online, as Boing Boing pal and fabulous illustrator Coop discovered when he sourced an impressive collection of Randotti sculpts.

Archaeological evidence for the Iron Age practice of embalming your enemies' severed heads with resin and displaying them

Ancient Roman texts and sculptures describe a Celtic practice of severing your defeated enemies' heads, embalming them with resin and plant oils, and displaying them as war trophies: now, archaeologists have unearthed evidence of the practice at Le Cailar, the 2,500 year old walled city near the Rhone. Read the rest

Bird skull rings, carved from cow bones

Eve (AKA Talismana Designs) carves these $32 bird skull rings out of slaughterhouse surplus cow-bones, custom carved to your size. (via Creepbay) Read the rest

Skulls and bones with magnifying-glass-burned "tattoos"

Damien Noll sez, "My skulls and bones are all burned (like black line tattoo) using just a magnifying lens and sunshine." Read the rest

Baking Skullzones, skull-shaped calzones, for Halloween or any time

Awesome baking project for Halloween. Read the rest

Lowpoly black skull candle

Perfect for all your Voodoo 3D needs. [Amazon] Read the rest

Bicycle Skull-themed playing cards

Be the dangerous bad boy with a deck of Skull cards!

My second favorite deck of cards is this Skull deck by the US Playing Card Company.

I flip back and forth between carrying a deck of Arch Angels, and these Skulls. The Skulls backs are just lovely, with mostly standard Bicycle 808 poker faces.

The black and white cards look fantastic in flourishes and are made with the usual USPCC stock and finish, so they fan and glide beautifully.

Bicycle Skull Playing Cards via Amazon Read the rest

Eccentric skull ring

Jeweler Camille "Tin Man" Walton features this gorgeous "ghost ring" on her Tumblr; no sign of it in her store, but fwoar. (via Super Punch) Read the rest

Pizza pockets shaped like skulls

Redditor Endeavy created these Halloween-themed skull hotpockets, augmented by dribbles of red, oozing sauce; they used these cake pans to mold the crusts. Read the rest

Kickstarting modern hobo coins

Artist Chris Ovdiyenko has created a series of modern hobo nickels based on "some of the most iconic coins," imagining what they would look like if they were overengraved by someone with a delightfully morbid sensibility. Read the rest

Fireproof human skulls for your gas fireplace, barbeque or fire-pit

They're $65 each, handmade from "lava granules plus significant heat ceramic refractory," available in black and white. (via Geekologie) Read the rest

The Misfits dress

Skulls on the front, wordmark on the back: $38, pink, green or purple, sizes 3-10. (via Punk Fashion) Read the rest

Glow in the dark molded latex skull purse

Kreepsville's $65, 8" x 10" x 6" Skull Collection Handbag glows in the dark, gets top marks from reviewers, features a spooky lining and an inside pocket, and can be delivered by Dec 24! Also available in black and pink. (via Punk Fashion) Read the rest

Skull and crossbones hair-bun covers

Salt Lake City's Wyre Art, AKA Kyle Wyatt, makes these amazing, $30 skull and crossbones bun covers, which are so popular that they're on back-order, and which ship in three sizes: "5" x 2" for longer/thicker hair, 5" x 1.5" for longer/regular hair, 4.75" x 1.75" for mid length hair, and 4.5" x 1" for shorter hair." (via Crazy Abalone) Read the rest

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