Kenneth Faried, of the Denver Nuggets, holds the MVP trophy after the Rising Stars Challenge basketball game at NBA All-Star Weekend, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)The Denver Nuggets have put out targeted trade feelers on Kenneth Faried to gauge his value, according to multiple sources around the NBA.According to Grantland, the Nuggets have put Kenneth Faried on the trade market, gauging his value and demanding a very good return. Faried averaged 11 points, 9.2 rebounds and won the MVP award of the Rookie-Sophomore Game at All-Star Weekend last season. Faried is entering the third season of his four-year rookie deal, and given his per-game numbers, he figures to get paid on his next contract.Faried is a highly valued player, he has well-above average athleticism, and a motor that seemingly never stops. There will definitely be offers, but the asking price would undoubtedly be extremely steep.Though the Nuggets organization denies putting Faried on the market, sources around the league say that the Nuggets are just trying to get a feel of what they can get for him.It’s highly unlikely that Faried will be traded, but it does make sense for Nuggets head coach Brian Shaw to see what he can get for his big man.
Shaquille O’Neal21 PLAYERWON TITLELOST TITLE Michael Jordan62 Dave Cowens10 LeBron James26 The Cleveland Cavaliers’ season could come to an end Monday night, and with it the latest chance for the city to end its half-century championship drought. A pair of NBA Finals losses is not the legacy LeBron James was hoping to leave when he returned home two summers ago.As usual, it isn’t because of a lack of statistical performance on James’s part. In these finals, he’s averaging 24.8 points, 11 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game, which would mark only the second time since 19841The first year for which Basketball-Reference.com has complete game-level data. that a player has averaged at least 20, 10 and 8 in the finals. (The only other time? That would be when James did it last year.)In terms of average Game Score in the series, nobody else on the Cavaliers — or the Golden State Warriors — is close to James’s 20.2 per-game mark. And in the playoffs as a whole, James leads the NBA in value over replacement player (VORP), Win Shares and John Hollinger’s Player Efficiency Rating-based value metric Estimated Wins Added.Yet it’s not enough, as it seldom has been for LeBron. If he hangs on to his lead this year, James will have been the playoff leader by consensus of these three statistics eight times over his career, tying Michael Jordan for the most since ’74. But he’ll have won a championship in just two of those playoff campaigns; Jordan, by contrast, went six for eight. Elvin Hayes10 IN YEARS LEADING THE POSTSEASON, NUMBER OF TIMES … LeBron’s losses are out of place among playoff stars Tim Duncan20 Clyde Drexler10 “Lost Title” includes losses at any stage of the postseason.Source: Basketball-reference.com Magic Johnson30 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar12 Larry Bird30 How uncommon is it for a player to lead the NBA playoffs numerically and still not lead his team to a championship? Since 1974, the consensus best statistical player of the postseason also won the title about 70 percent of the time. James, on the other hand, has won a ring on only a quarter of the occasions he’s been the playoffs’ best individual performer. If he, like his peers, had 70 percent odds each time, there’d be only a 1 percent chance he’d go two for eight.On the one hand, this is kerosene-soaked kindling for fans who decry James as a choker with a disappointing postseason record. (For what it’s worth, a loss to Golden State would put him about 0.6 titles below expectation, after accounting for the strength of his finals opponents.) On the other hand, it’s tough to criticize LeBron too harshly for some of his off-the-charts statistical performances in losing efforts over the years, particularly given the supporting casts he’s been saddled with at times.But on the — um, third hand? — James’s teammates also have a history of undershooting expectations in ways that go beyond even their performances in the finals. As part of my research into Kobe Bryant’s career, I looked for the effect a player had on his teammates, in terms of whether they met their preseason projections while suiting up with the player in question. And among the top 100 players since 1974 by VORP, only seven2Elton Brand, Alvin Robertson, Charles Barkley, Josh Smith, Hersey Hawkins, Tracy McGrady and Andrei Kirilenko. were associated with bigger, more persistent shortfalls by teammates than James. Mystifying as it may be for a player known for his vision and playmaking skills, LeBron might simply be a difficult player to slot in next to and play your best alongside.All of this makes James’s legacy one of the most complicated to assess of any player in NBA history. And unless he and the Cavs can capitalize on Draymond Green’s Game 5 suspension — then conjure up miracles in games 6 and 7 as well — the stark juxtaposition between James’s own numbers and his teams’ record in the finals will continue to dog LeBron into the summer and beyond.Check out our NBA Finals predictions.
The potential for success is there for the Ohio State men’s soccer team, but with 11 newcomers from last season there are questions at almost every position.Eighteen of the 25 players are freshmen and sophomores, but it’s the hope of coach John Bluem that competition at every position will be the ingredient for success.“We are young, we are inexperienced and there are going to be some growing pains along the way,” Bluem said. “But we’re beginning to see what players are capable of and where they might be able to play.”Despite all the newcomers to the team, the coaching staff has been pretty pleased. Six games into the schedule the Buckeyes stand at 3-0-3 heading into their game on Wednesday night. At the outset of the season, the team set out to be more fit and organized than any opposing team. They planned to exert maximum effort. The team worked on those things in the offseason. Bluem said that is the key to having a successful season. “If you do those three things, if you’re fit, organized and you work hard, you’re going to like the results,” he said. The offense is coming together and as OSU plays more games the underclassmen will gain more and more experience, helping to cut down the mistakes that a young team like this tends to make. The coaching staff is also still trying to find the starting lineup and style of play they want to run this season to put them in the best position to win. But so far the Buckeyes have to feel good about themselves, considering all the unanswered questions surrounding the team.“It’s a learning process to get good results,” Bluem said. “But at the end of the day we’re pleased.” Something seems to be working, as the team has not lost on the season so far and their last game was a 0-0 draw to SIU Edwardsville. The Buckeyes have now gone six games without a loss, the longest stretch since the start of the 2001 season when they opened 6-0-1.The team opened its season against Cincinnati getting a 5-1 win. The team’s other two wins included Cal State Fullerton and Butler. They also faced Gonzaga, Louisville and SIU Edwardsville, all three games ending in draws.The Buckeyes’ next opponent will be IUPUI on Wednesday at 7 P.M in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Although the Buckeyes’ wrestling season might not have lived up to expectations, the team is entering the Big Ten Tournament boasting five seeded competitors. Coach Tom Ryan called this tournament the beginning of the real season. Senior captain Colt Sponseller, 165 pounds, and redshirt freshman Nick Heflin, 174 pounds, were selected as No. 2 seeds for the weekend’s tournament. The two are tied for the most wins on the team at 19 each. Redshirt freshman Peter Capone, 197 pounds, redshirt sophomore captain C.J. Magrum, 184 pounds, and sophomore captain Ian Paddock, 133 pounds, all received seeds for the tournament. Magrum was given a No. 7 seed, while Capone and Paddock received No. 8 seeds. For the Buckeyes (2-11, 1-7 Big Ten), seeds do not mean much. “Seedings don’t matter,” Heflin said. “You have to beat everyone to win it anyway.” Although the Buckeyes’ season has not been great, Ryan said this is where the real season starts for the competitors. “In the competitive world, the season starts now. Records don’t matter; mentality matters,” Ryan said. “I’m sure all our guys are anxious to compete.” The team has been preparing hard for the Big Ten Tournament, and wrestlers said the week following their last dual was filled with two practices per day. “We’ve had a couple of hard weeks,” Paddock said. Capone said the team brought in Tommy Rowlands — who won two National Championships for Ohio State in 2002 and 2004 — to help the team prepare for the tournament. Capone welcomed the chance to train with the former National Champion. “He kills me for 10 minutes straight, then for another 10 minutes,” Capone said, “so I can’t even barely stand.” Capone said he hopes training will make facing someone in his weight class easier as he grows accustomed to wrestling the former heavyweight National Champion. Magrum said he is looking forward to a potential rematch with Iowa’s Grant Gambrall. “That was an upsetting one. I started off winning the match, and ended up getting beat pretty bad,” Magrum said. “I’d like another shot at that.” Sponseller said he’s looking to put the “icing on the cake” of his Big Ten career. “I want to go out there and win,” Sponseller said. “It’s the only thing I have on my mind right now is go out there and win a Big Ten title.” The Buckeyes began the season as the No. 12 team, but injuries and inexperience have contributed to their less-than-stellar record. The team is looking to salvage what it can in the Big Ten Tournament, and send as many wrestlers as possible to the NCAA Championships. “We just really want to go out there and get as many guys to nationals as we can,” Sponseller said. Ryan agreed. “Right now, this thing’s about qualifying for the national tournament,” Ryan said. “Right now, we got to get our guys to the national tournament and represent this program the way it needs to be.” The Big Ten Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday in Evanston, Ill.
The Ohio State men’s golf coach said his team just couldn’t recover. The Buckeyes finished 11th among 11 teams with an overall score of 629 at the two-day Jack Nicklaus Invitational on Tuesday in Dublin, Ohio. Coach Donnie Darr was not pleased with OSU’s play, and attributed the team’s performance to losing its drive. “The biggest thing was we really struggled with our ball striking and we hit the ball in position where it was hard to get it up and down,” Darr said. “Once it started to go bad on us the momentum went away from us and we never recovered.” From the get-go, the team faced minor delays due to frost on Monday and Tuesday morning and the tournament was reduced to 36 of the original 54 holes. Freshman Tee-K Kelly led the Buckeyes tied for 23rd place with a score of 74 for the first round and 81 for the second round. Sophomores Boo Timko and Grant Weaver tied senior Matt Turner for 35th place. Timko scored a pair for 79’s for the first and final round, while Weaver scored 77 the first round and 81 the final round. Turner scored 78 the first round and 80 the final round. Following the trio tied for 35th place, freshman Max Rosenthal tied for 50th place with scores of 82 and 81 in the first and final rounds of the tournament, respectively. Behind Rosenthal, sophomore Logan Jones placed 59th with a score of 88 the first round and 85 the final round, while freshman Sean Busch followed Jones, finishing 60th with a score 86 the first round and 89 the final round. Darr said even though the team did not place its best Tuesday, he is still happy with the team’s play this season. “I think we had a really good fall leading up to this event, our first three tournaments we played very well and very consistent and we were growing as a team,” Darr said. “We just had a bad week this tournament, just a small set back, you are going to have good days and bad days.” The Buckeyes will compete in the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 29-30, for the team’s last tournament of its 2012 fall season.
Columbus Blue Jackets forward R.J. Umberger should be 10 games into his eighth NHL season as of Tuesday night. But instead of playing games at Nationwide Arena, Umberger can be found at the Schottenstein Center.With the NHL in the midst of its second lockout in nine seasons, Umberger has temporarily traded in his blue jersey for scarlet and gray as a volunteer coach for Ohio State men’s hockey team.“I’m very fortunate to be able to come here and help out, and I’m glad they want me to be here,” Umberger said.Umberger, who played at OSU from 2001 to 2003, said it’s fun helping out his alma mater, but he would rather be playing.The NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association expired in September, and the two sides have yet to reach an agreement. Until they do, the jobs of Umberger and every other NHL player are on hiatus. All scheduled games in November have already been canceled.The NHL and NHLPA resumed talks Saturday after more than two weeks apart, but Umberger said it was a “disappointing moment” when the previous round of negotiations ended Oct. 18 without a deal.“The NHL gave their offer and we came back at them and they kind of walked out in 10 minutes,” Umberger said. “That was a little bit of a reality moment … this could go a long time. This is something that might not end shortly.”Umberger said working with the Buckeyes has helped him stay focused during the lockout.“I’ve been on the ice so I’m staying in shape … (and) just being around the game and staying fresh and staying prepared mentally,” Umberger said. “This (lockout) is such an unknown thing, it could be tomorrow and they tell us we got to be at the rink, so it’s a challenge to stay fresh every day.”While many NHL players have continued to play professional hockey overseas during the lockout, Umberger said he decided to stay close to his family.“That first decision was staying in Columbus, and then it was … what can I do while I’m here in Columbus?” Umberger said. “(OSU coach Mark) Osiecki presented me with this offer, and it was something I couldn’t pass up.”Osiecki said having an NHL player leading by example at practices is “worth its weight in gold.”“His practice habits, how he takes care of his body after practice, what he puts into his body nutritionally, he can speak to that,” Osiecki said. “If you don’t approach the game that way … you don’t have a chance to get to the NHL level.”Junior forward Travis Statchuk said he has been motivated by practicing with Umberger.“It’s a huge honor for us having him on the ice,” Statchuk said. “For a guy like that who’s obviously a veteran in the NHL to come back and give back to where he played college, he didn’t have to do that.”Umberger, who completed his bachelor’s degree in marketing from OSU in 2011, said “one small reason” for finishing his degree was so he can pursue coaching following his playing career.As a minor league player at the time, Umberger said he was not affected by the league’s previous lockout in 2004-2005 but said the current lockout is unnecessary and disappointing.“I think both sides just need to realize they need to … meet in the middle,” Umberger said. “Both sides got to be willing to give concessions. Both sides got to realize that there’s more damage that could be done by letting this (lockout) progress any longer.”
Sophomore Alabama running back Kenyan Drake (17) avoids defenders during a game against Kentucky Oct. 12 at Commonwealth Stadium. Alabama won, 48-7.Courtesy of MCTThere are few things that bring us together as a country like football.Small towns everywhere gather together under Friday night lights to bask in the glory of high school games. College towns huddle together through scorching heat and blistering cold for the love of the game. Even big cities jump on board to cheer on their own professional teams.Quite simply, football is inescapable. Hell, other countries call it American football. It’s ours. We made it and we love it. We have parties based around it, and companies across the nation bid for their advertisements to be featured alongside the game.So to imply that half of the population can’t follow football is insulting and downright sexist.Yet, here we are. Bring in University of Alabama running back Kenyan Drake, who tweeted Jan. 20 from his personal account, @KDx17, “Most girls like basketball more than football (because) they can follow it alot (sic) easier.”Sure, we can blow it off as another stupid thing an athlete sent out to the cyber world and another thing for which an athlete received a major repercussion (re: backup OSU quarterback Cardale Jones’ infamous tweet about how he didn’t come here to “play school” but rather to play football). But to me, it’s more than that.The idea that women can’t “follow” football easily is a blatant exclusion of women from part of the American identity and it’s downright insulting. Football has always been a boy’s club, sure, but there would be a great deal fewer fans without women filling the stands.But let’s play along with his stereotypes.All those women who cook your meals before games and after practices (because that’s where women belong, right? In the kitchen?) don’t know what’s going on in the game. They’re just there to serve you.Same with that woman who knows how to get grass, blood, mud and the smell of sweat out of your uniform. Football is too complicated for her to realize how all those stains got there, but thank God she can wash it for you.And don’t forget the cheerleaders who follow you to every game, throwing themselves in the air to celebrate your achievements? Surely they have a man nearby telling them when to cheer because they’re too stupid to know what’s happening by themselves.Most importantly, what about all the mothers out there? All the mothers who drive their sons to practices, adorn themselves with buttons with their son looking dashing in his uniform so they can properly cheer him on, pray for his safety in every single play and never miss a game — all those mothers are so blissfully ignorant of what their son is doing.Of course, football has always been a male-dominated sport. It takes almost no common sense to figure that out. But to say girls can’t follow it is sexist, insulting and dated.Sexism starts in the most basic jokes. Saying someone can’t follow something or that they follow a certain stereotype, even in a joking matter, makes sexist comments down the line seem less insulting and detracts from the reality of exclusion.The worst part to me is that Drake later retweeted Iowa State redshirt-sophomore offensive lineman Duaron Williams (@UntamedBigDawg), who replied back “Or cuz they basic lol,” as a response to his first tweet. He isn’t sorry for what he did and he doesn’t realize his actions are insulting.But football has and always will be a part of my life that I definitely can follow and no, I’m not “basic.”
Then-junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) rushes the ball during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Lantern file photoWith kickoff just a little over a month away, the best players from the Big Ten are set to join their coaches for a media frenzy in Chicago scheduled for July 28 to 29.There will be plenty to talk about as the players and coaches take the podium, but here are 10 of the top storylines to look for during the 2014 Big Ten Media Days.10. Player unionizationThe topic of player unionization has been discussed throughout the past year with former Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter leading the charge for the players. While the discussion of player unionization has died down over the past few months, look for it to resurface in Chicago, especially when Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and his players take the stand.9. Michigan vs. Notre Dame in its final yearWhen Notre Dame signed a contract last year to play six ACC teams per season, it was announced that the Fighting Irish would not renew their yearly battle with the Wolverines after the 2014 season. Michigan coach Brady Hoke famously called out the Fighting Irish last spring saying that Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the rivalry game.Michigan went on to win the 2013 matchup in Ann Arbor, Mich. However, with the final year of the rivalry game looming, expect more bulletin board material coming from the Wolverines.8. Record amount of night games for Ohio StateOSU coach Urban Meyer has always been an advocate of night games in college football, and with the recent announcement of the Buckeyes’ fifth night game in 2014, he has gotten his wish. The Buckeyes are scheduled to play Virginia Tech, Cincinnati and Illinois at home under the lights as well as Penn State and Michigan State on the road in prime-time starts.The matchup with the Spartans is the game that seems to be circled on everyone’s schedule as the game of the season, as the two met in the 2013 Big Ten Championship game when MSU won 34-24, snapping a 24-game winning streak for OSU.7. OSU’s defenseFor a team that went 12-2 last season, the Buckeyes boasted a less than stellar defense.Enter new defensive coordinator Chris Ash, who joined the Buckeye staff after leaving Bret Bielema’s staff in Arkansas. Ash is no stranger to the Big Ten, as he coached under Bielema while he was at Wisconsin, even helping coach the Badgers to an upset win against the Buckeyes in 2010 –– the only game OSU dropped that season.Expect OSU’s only defensive representative, defensive lineman Michael Bennett, to receive plenty of questions about not only Ash but also of longtime Penn State coach Larry Johnson Sr., who replaced Mike Vrabel after he bolted for a coaching job with the Houston Texans in the NFL.6. Braxton Miller’s off-seasonEver since getting banged up in the Orange Bowl against Clemson, OSU senior quarterback Braxton Miller has stayed out of the spotlight, something a Heisman Trophy candidate usually doesn’t do.Miller sat out all of spring practice after undergoing minor shoulder surgery as redshirt-sophomore Cardale Jones and redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett took the majority of the snaps.Buckeye fans are hoping for a Troy Smith-like jump from Miller’s junior to senior year, but Miller and Meyer will surely be bombarded with questions as to whether Miller can stay healthy for an entire season.5. Addition of Maryland, RutgersWith Maryland and Rutgers now in the Big Ten, we will see two new coaches and a handful of players who largely have not been heard from by Big Ten fans and members alike.Coaches Randy Edsall of Maryland and Kyle Flood of Rutgers will likely be bombarded with questions as to what their expectations are in the Big Ten East Division and how they plan to make a smooth transition. Players to watch for from these two teams are Maryland wide receiver and preseason all-conference selection Stefon Diggs and now-former Rutgers quarterback Philip Nelson.Nelson was a two-year starter for the Minnesota Golden Gophers before transferring to Rutgers this offseason. He was then involved in an altercation with another man and is facing charges of first and third degree assault. He was kicked off the team by Flood. Expect both Flood and Golden Gophers coach Jerry Kill to receive plenty of questions on the situation.4. Penn State coach James FranklinThe second coach to take the reins of the Penn State program since the unfortunate Jerry Sandusky scandal, Franklin will face the Big Ten media for the first time.The former Vanderbilt coach led the Commodores to three consecutive bowl games, something that had never been done in the history of the Vanderbilt program.Franklin inherits a scholarship-deprived team in Happy Valley but brings an intensity that could very well be contagious in the PSU locker room.3. College football playoffAlthough it has been discussed for years, 2014 will be the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff. Gone are the ways of the controversial BCS, and players and coaches will undoubtedly be asked about their feelings on the new process.This topic will be very hit-or-miss as coaches will either dismiss the questions concerning the process completely or express strong opinions either for or against the playoff.2. OSU vs. Michigan State rematchAs alluded to earlier, the Buckeye-Spartan rematch is being tabbed as the biggest game in the conference this year –– as it should be.The Spartans’ upset of OSU in the Big Ten Championship game last year kept the Buckeyes out of the national championship discussion and sent MSU to Pasadena, Calif., where it defeated Stanford.The winner of the Nov. 8 showdown will be the favorite to go on to represent the East Division in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game, and both Meyer and MSU coach Mark Dantonio will probably be asked if it is circled on their calendars just like it is on everyone else’s.1. Bob Bowlsby’s commentsThe Big 12 commissioner’s comments concerning the NCAA have sent wavelengths through not only the college football landscape but college athletics in general.Bowlsby thrashed the NCAA saying that “cheating pays” and that the NCAA “enforcement is broken.” This will absolutely be one of, if not the most, discussed topics at Big Ten Media Days, especially for OSU and PSU, who have been the most recent Big Ten schools to receive heavy punishments for NCAA violations.
The Princess Royal has moved to allay fears about the Queen’s health by insisting she was feeling “better” despite missing church at Sandringham for the second successive Sunday.Concerns for Her Majesty have been growing since a heavy cold prevented her from joining the Royal family at church on Christmas Day, the first time in 28 years she had missed the service.Her absence from the New Year’s Day service came after Buckingham Palace announced she “does not yet feel ready to attend church as she is still recuperating from a heavy cold”.Her Majesty has enjoyed such robust health throughout her life that it is rare for her to miss any public appearance, and her continued absence has led to speculation around the world about the extent of her illness. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Duke, 95, had recovered sufficiently by Christmas Day to walk to church, though he was driven to the New Year service to avoid heavy rain. He was accompanied in the car by the Countess of Wessex.The Earl of Wessex and his daughter Lady Louise Windsor, 13, chose to walk to and from the church with Princess Anne and Sir Tim.The Earl wished a Happy New Year to onlookers, saying: “Let’s hope it gets better. It can’t get much worse.” The Queen has not been photographed since December 9, when she attended a function at Buckingham Palace, and will not now be seen in public until at least next Sunday, when she will again be due to attend St Mary Magdalene Church, 400 yards from Sandringham House.If she does make an appearance, it will be the first time in a month that she has been photographed.She has stayed indoors for almost a fortnight, though royal sources have insisted she is “up and about”. Prince Harry had already left Sandringham and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been spending the Christmas break with the Middleton family in Berkshire.Among the wellwishers outside the church were horticultural worker John Disdel, 69 of Gedney Drove End, Lincolnshire, who said: “I didn’t really expect the Queen to attend. Being wrapped up warm at home is the best place for a 90-year-old who is ill. You can’t read anything into her not being here.”Catherine Jarvis, 40, of Loughton, Essex, said: “We are just hoping she is OK. She doesn’t have to come out and prove anything to us. Christmas is all about being with your family.” Show more The Duke of Edinburgh arrives by car with Sophie Countess of Wessex at the church service on the Sandringham estateCredit:Albanpix.com/Matthew Usher The Queen first started feeling unwell before Christmas, cancelling her planned train journey to Sandringham from London on December 20.She and the Duke of Edinburgh were both poorly, and they flew to Norfolk by helicopter on December 21 instead. Clare Gerada, former head of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said a particular nasty cold strain was hitting people of all ages this winter, taking three weeks to clear.She said: “We are seeing an awful lot of people this winter with a virus that is more severe than a normal cold, almost a type of bronchitis.“It is causing a hacking cough and if the Queen has got it, then she is probably exhausted from coughing. It may well be affecting her sleep as well, which would leave anyone feeling exhausted, never mind a 90-year-old.“It’s taking three to four weeks for people to completely recover, and the length of time the Queen has been ill would be in keeping with that.” The Queen has not been photographed since December 9, when she met the High Commissioner of Bangladesh Credit:Getty /John Stillwell Prince Philip smiles at wellwishers on New Year’s Day morningCredit:Andrew Parsons/i-Images The Royal family rarely comment on health matters, but when she was asked by a member of the public how the Queen was feeling, the Princess Royal smiled and said: “Better.”Her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence was asked the same question and said: “Not too bad.”The Duke of Edinburgh looked anything but worried as he attended the New Year service, smiling at wellwishers and appearing to make jokes about the weather.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. A hatchling Protoceratops andrewsi fossil from the Gobi Desert Ukhaa Tolgod, MongoliaCredit:Amercian Museum of Natural History M. Ellison In contrast, birds and small mammals only took a few weeks for their offspring to emerge giving them a distinct advantage.The discovery was made by scientists at Florida State University and the University of Calgary, who realised it was possible to calculate how long it took for dinosaurs to hatch based on marks on the teeth of embryos and babies.Just like tree rings growing a new layer each year, teeth grow a new layer each day, which can be seen in microscopic lines in the dentine.By simply counting the lines, scientists found that it took dinosaurs between three and six months to hatch. However, similar sized reptilian eggs typically take twice as long, ranging from several weeks to many months. To find out where dinosaurs fitted in, the team studied the fossils of dinosaur embryos.“Time within the egg is a crucial part of developmentt, but this earliest growth stage is poorly known because dinosaur embryos are rare,” said Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of geoscience at the University of Calgary.“Embryos can potentially tell us how dinosaurs developed and grew very early on in life and if they are more similar to birds or reptiles in these respects.”The two types of dinosaur embryos researchers examined were those from a protoceratops, a sheep-sized dinosaur found in the Gobi desert whose eggs were quite small, and hypacrosaurus, an enormous duck-billed dinosaur found in Alberta, Canada with eggs weighing nine pounds.The team ran the embryonic jaws through a CT scanner to visualise the forming dentition. Then, they extracted several of the teeth to examine them under sophisticated microscopes. Growth lines on the teeth showed researchers precisely how long the dinosaurs had been growing in the eggs. Prof Erickson said the teeth are “kind of like tree rings, but they’re put down daily. So we could literally count them to see how long each dinosaur had been developing”.Their results showed nearly three months for the tiny protoceratops embryos and six months for those from the giant hypacrosaurus.The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Gregory Erickson is a professor of biological science at Florida State UniversityCredit:FSU Photography Services Researchers examined a fossilized embryo of the dinosaur HypacrosaurusCredit:Credit, courtesy of Darla Zelinitsky The mystery of why the dinosaurs became extinct after the Cretaceous meteor strike, while birds and mammals flourished, may finally have been solved.Paleontologists have discovered that dinosaur young took so long to hatch and grow into adulthood that populations failed to recover quickly enough after the devastating impact 65 million years ago. This image shows the daily growth lines in the dentine of an embryonic tooth of Hypacrosaurus Credit:G.M. Erickson The lengthy incubation period – in comparison to small mammals – made the hatchlings, and their parents, vulnerable to predators and left them struggling to re-establish their species.“Some of the greatest riddles about dinosaurs pertain to their embryology, virtually nothing is known,” Gregory Erickson, professor of biological science at Florida said.“We suspect our findings have implications for understanding why dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous period, whereas amphibians, birds, mammals and other reptiles made it through and prospered.” Because birds are living dinosaurs, scientists have long assumed that the duration of dinosaur incubation was similar to birds, whose eggs hatch within 11 to 85 days.