Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Siats Meekerorum / Lythronax Argestes

Greetings my comrades!
        Today's post was going to be just about Siats Meekerorum, a new species of theropod found in Utah, but then I decided that the good old tyrannosaurs had to be represented too, so this post will be about both Siats and the tyrannosaurid Lythronax Argestes.
        Hailing from the mid cretaceous, Siats Meekerorum is a species of neovenatorid. The neovenatorids were a family closesly related to the allosaurids, which were prominent during the Jurassic period. These neovenatorids continued the precedent of allosaur dominance through about half of the cretaceous, before the better-known-today tyrannosaurids came onto the scene. The name of this new species essentially means "demon-beast of Meeker." Siats is the name of a man-eating monster from the Ute tribe of Utah's mythology. It's a bit like Grendel.

I feel like the story would've turned out differently if Grendel was a dinosaur.

        This creature lived 78 million years ago, and serves to fill in a gap in the Cretaceous timeline between the time of the tyrannosaurs and the time that the allosaurs reigned. Siats was an enormous animal, the new specimen (thought to be a juvenile) is believed to have been 30 feet long and weighed 4 tons. It also had long arms which ended in three clawed hands, as well as a fairly pointed snout and the trademark eye crests of the allosaurs. This enormous neoventaroid is thought to have been one of the last of its kind, as the rest of the fossil record shows only tyrannosaurs. Siats still lived among some tyrannosaurs at its time however. Evidence in the same dig site of tyrannosaurid teeth show that many small (dog-sized) tyrannosaurids lived at the same time as Siats. It is thought that the enormous Siats would easily be able to defeat these small tyrannosaurs, and that it was thus the apex predator of its time. The article I read also introduced the idea that tyrannosaurs were forced to remain small because of the size and power of the neovenatorids, however I found a tyrannosaur that seemed to disprove this theory.
        Living at the same time, and even the same place,  was a tyrannosaur far larger than its small dog-sized brethren scuttling under the feet of the enormous Siats. Lythronax Argestes, the "Southern King of Gore" was the first large Tyrannosaurid.
It's good to be king.
        At 24 feet long and 2.5 tons, Lythronax was smaller than its allosaur antagonist, but that by no means means it was weaker. Lythronax had strong leg muscles made for running, compared to Siats with its much larger bulkier body (hence the large discrepancy in weight, but little difference in length). Lythronax also had the blocky head and incredibly strong neck and jaw muscles typical of the Tyrannosaurs. Along with this Lythronax had a larger brain case proportionally than Siats, meaning it had more acute senses and was more intelligent. In a fight, it seems to me that the Lythronax had a pretty good chance of winning. Although Siats would be a worthy adversary, the superior agility and proportionally stronger jaw muscles of Lythronax would probably allow it to win. The comparison is of a Hyperion to a satyr. Today's post is just full of literary references.
        Seeing as the two lived at the same time and place, this seems that to suggest that rather than the huge neovenatorids being an unstoppable evolutionary wall the tyrannosaurs had to wait out, they were more of an obstacle to be overcome. This would also help to solve the mystery of the final extinction of the neovenatorid family, since the Tyrannosaurs could have out competed them to extinction. Then again I suppose I am rather biased towards the Tyrannosaurs. Tyrannosaurs are the best. They've always been there for you. Always looking out for you. When you need a dinosaur to tear something apart, you look to your best friend the Tyrannosaurus. He cares about you. No one looks to an allosaur to do anything right, that would totally be betraying the king, and that would be treason. No uppity new allosaur discovery is gonna displace the Tyrannosaurs. Long live Lythronax, LONG LIVE THE KING. 
        Ahem. Anyway. I get emotional when it comes to Tyrannosaurs. They're just the most beautiful things. I think that's it for today's post. The next one will be about something else. Maybe a review of that new Walking With Dinosaurs movie. I loved the old documentary series, but I have a bad feeling about this new one...

Switek, Brian. "Newfound Giant Dinosaur Ruled Before T. Rex." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 22 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
Vergano, Dan. "Newfound "King of Gore" Dinosaur Ruled Before T. Rex." National Geographic Society National Geographic Society N.p., 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.
"Allosaurus Fragilis." Fossilworks: Gateway to the Paleobiology Database. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Troodon Formosus

Hello comrades, sorry it's been a while!
        Today's post is on the Late Cretaceous theropod Troodon. Troodon lived in North America (specifically the Alaska area) 65 million years ago. It had longs slender arms and legs, and is popularly known as the smartest dinosaur. This really isn't saying much, however, since dinosaurs in general aren't really known for their intelligence. The brain to body size ratio for Troodon would probably mean it would be about as smart as a modern day emu or ostrich, and no, even at this level of intelligence it still couldn't open a door knob, if that's what you were thinking.
       Troodon's name means "Wounding Tooth" after it's serrated steak knife like teeth. Originally this tooth was the only evidence of Troodon's existence, and the species was named off of this one fragmentary specimen. Later it was discovered that a separate dinosaur species, Stenonychosaurus, was in reality a Troodon, giving scientists today a relatively complete specimen. Troodon was 3m long, and like most dromaeosaurs had a large raised claw on its foot. Scientists believe that it would've eaten pretty much anything, from small mammals and lizards to medium sized ornithischians. Some scientists believe that the teeth are so rough on the edge that they may have even been able to cut through vegetation, giving Troodon access to a very diverse dietary menu. Its comparatively larger brain would've allowed it to have superior eyesight, so Troodon could do its hunting and scavenging at night. Further analysis shows that its large brain also gave it good hearing, so the larger brain really did give the animal an advantage.
        Many scientists believe that Troodon also practiced parental care. Several fossils have been discovered with Troodon seemingly protecting a nest. It was discovered these protectors were without medullary bones. These special bones are present only in females (they're a special bone used to help incubate eggs), so these were actually the males protecting the nest. In most animals today, the male does not stay to take care of the young, so this is a very interesting development. Comparing this practice to the few species of birds in which males care for the young brings up the possibility that Troodon practiced monogamy.
        I found several sites that claimed that, should the asteroid not have hit and the K-T event never happened, Troodon would've become the sentient, human replacement for the planet. Despite Troodon's relatively impressive brain, it is unlikely this ever could've happened. However if it could, I think that Troodon probably could have given much to the literary world. They just look like poets.
The fuzzy mammal rolled down my gullet
Tastes so delicious I will digest 
That was so good, should've made a crumpet
roar roar roar roar croak.
This one is horrible. Do you know how hard it is to get a suit on a Troodon? GEEZ.

I apologize for that. I'm really tired. Next time will be something. I don't know.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Kakuru Kujani

Hello comrades! Today's post is about Kakuru.
        I picked up my big book of the Dinosauria today and opened it to a completely random page, I then looked down this page to the very bottom of the left hand corner and saw at the very edge of an enormous chart the name  Kakuru Kujani. I then decided it would be today's dinosaur. It turns out very little is known about Kakuru, so the research was kind of difficult, but what I did find was pretty interesting. Kakuru Kujani was an Early Cretaceous theropod from what is today Australia.The name means "Rainbow Serpent of the Kujani," the Kujani being an aboriginal Australian group. There were no approximate measurements of the animal I could find, probably since the only known bone from it is a tibia, the lower half of the leg bone. However, because I know about comparative anatomy, and because I'm the most swagalicious scientist ever, I decided to use the tibia measurements to try and figure out the size of the rest of the animal. I found that the femur would be 42.96 centimeters long, making the total leg length 75.96 centimeters. Using the length of the leg I calculated the total body length to be somewhere in the large neighborhood of 317.5 cm, or 3.175 meters. I got these numbers by comparing the lengths with those of Kakuru's close relative, Ornitholestes. Ornitholestes did have a disproportionately long tail, so I had to kind of try to work that into the measurements.
        Another interesting fact about Kakuru is that it is one of the only dinosaur fossils ever found to be "opalized," that is, instead of normal rock, the bones are comprised of opal. This gives the bones a striking blue appearance.
Seriously though, das HOT
        Being a theropod, Kakuru was most likely a carnivore. Many scientists agree that it would probably have had long slender arms to match its elegant legs. At the end of these arms would've been wicked claws, ideal for dragging away small corpses. The only picture I could find of the actual animal was this one, where it kind of looks like, to me at least, a serial killer.

I did, admittedly, add the knife, but still that face. Gives me shivers.
         Well that's Kakuru. Sorry if this entry was kind of lame, finding stuff was hard, and I just wanted to get something out since there weren't many in september. Anyway that's it. Next time will be one of my favorite dinosaurs, Troodon.


Weishampel, David B., Peter Dodson, and Halszka Osmólska. The Dinosauria. Berkeley: University of California, 1990. Print.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Dinosaur Relationships

        Hello comrades! Today's post is on dinosaur relationships (my OTP is Troodon and Velociraptor) and nomenclature.

        The Dinosauria is an enormous clade of organisms, encompassing 1500 known species and still thousands more undiscovered. The system of species division of the Dinosauria was created by a paleontologist by the name of Harry G. Seeley, whom you may remember from Agrosaurus. Seeley decided that Dinosauria should be split into two main orders, ornithischia, meaning bird hipped, and saurichia, meaning lizard hipped. These names turned out to be rather confusing later on when it was discovered that in reality, saurichians were the ancestors of today's birds. The saurichian group was incredibly diverse, including everything from Tyrannosaurus, to Apatosaurus, to Velociraptor. On the ornithischian side, all animals were herbivores, and dinosaurs like Torosaurus, Stegosaurus, and Parasaurolophus were in this group. Both of these groups then split into families, the most well known on the Saurichian side being the sauropods and theropods, and on the best known on the Ornithaschian side being the ceratopsians, ornithopods, and thyreophorans. The sauropods included pretty much everything with a long neck, like Brachiosaurus. The theropods included the well-known Velociraptor, Tyrannosaurus, and many other bird-like dinosaurs such as Aurornis. The ceratopsians included animals like Triceratops, the ornithopod group was very diverse and included animals like Parasaurolophus and Iguanodon. The thyreophoran group was home to the armored dinosaurs, like Ankylosaurus, and Stegosuaurus. I made up this kind of lame game thing to help explain how all these groups are related, so check it out.

        Anyway that wraps up today's post. Sorry this took a while to get up, I've been busy with life, or lack thereof. Have a nice day!


Palmer, Douglas. Dinosaurs. New York: HarperCollins, 2006. Print

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tapejara Imperator

        Hello everyone! Today's post is about the ancient pterosaur Tapejara.
        I'm not really sure where the idea for today's animal came from. I decided that I would write about Tapejara but then couldn't find anything about it in any of my books. Which was odd, since some of my books are nearly a thousand pages long. So I really have no idea where the idea for Tapejara came from, or how I know of its existence at all, but I guess I'll write about it.
        Tapejara Imperator was an Early Cretaceous pterosaur from Brazil. The name means "The Old Being Emperor" in the now-dead language of Tupi, the language of the original indigenous Brazilians. I tried to look more into the Tupi language so I could learn to speak it, but apparently the only word anyone knows is "Tapejara," so I guess I wouldn't be able to hold much of a conversation. Still Tapejara is a great sounding word, so I'll probably name one of my children it.
        Tapejara was 1.3 meters long and weighed 50 kilograms. The wingspan was 5 meters. But the most impressive measurement of them all was the 1 meter crest projecting vertically from the creature's head. It is believed that they would have had a flap of skin held taut behind it to make it seem even larger, and that they would have used this crest to display to prospective mates.
Thanks to their fabulous do, many Tapejara today enter the modeling buisness

        These animals would most likely have consumed fish, because Brazil was, at the time, the coast of a prehistoric ocean. Analysis of the sclerotic rings around the being's eyes revealed that Tapejara was cathemeral, meaning that it was neither diurnal nor nocturnal and would have been active whenever it felt like it. Tapejara doesn't care about your preconceived notions of circadian rhythms.

        That wraps up today's post. Sorry it took a while to get this post up, looking for sources not in books was annoying. Next post will probably be a guide to dinosaur nomenculture, for those of you who might be confused about theropods and ornithiscians and all that stuff.

Website I used for this one

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Parasaurolophus Walkeri

        Hello everyone! Today's post is about Parasaurolophus.

        Parasaurolophus Walkeri was discovered in 1922 by William Parks in Alberta. It was named from a skull and partial skeleton. Parasaurolophus' name means "near crested lizard" and it is one of the world's most famous dinosaurs. Parasaurolophus lived during the Late Cretaceous, and was a member of the hadrosaur family, making it one of the many "dinosaur cows." It measured about 9 meters long and about 2 meters tall. Parasaurolophus is thought to have been native to forests all over north america, since many scientists believe the subspecies discovered in New Mexico, Parasaurolophus Cyrtocristatus, was a female or juvenile of P. Walkeri.
        Parasaurolophus is most well known for the huge 3 foot crest projecting out from the back of the beast's head. This crest was hollow, and connected to the nasal cavity. Most scientists agree this crest would have created a deep, resonating, rich, buttery call to signal to other members of the species. In fossilized crests, the delicate passages are damaged too much to allow air through them anymore, hence why no one plays the Parasaurolophus crest in today's instrumental groups. It is also to be noted that since the discovery of Cyrtocristatus, it is believed that these animals exhibited sexual dimorphism, with only the males possessing these crests. Analysis of the skeleton also revealed that these dinosaurs had remarkably strong shoulder muscles. They would use these muscles to push through the dense foliage of their forest homes.
Parasaurolophus: Don't Mess With The Best

        That's it for today. I'm not sure what will be next. I'll have to think of something.


Paul, Gregory S. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2010. Print.

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Public Service Announcement

        Hello friends! Just an interesting bit of information for anyone who cares about dinosaurs, which I would expect to be you since you're reading this. The University of Alabama is offering a free online course in basic dinosaur paleobiology. You can read more about it here. Since it's free and I can, I decided to take it, so I'll be giving my opinions on some of the lessons as it goes on. If you're interested, you should sign up too. MAYBE WE'LL BE IN THE SAME CLASS!! We might get to make a cool poster like this one.
I lied. This poster is really horrible.


Agrosaurus (Thecodontosaurus)

        Hello everyone! Today's post is about Agrosaurus because I saw a figurine of a sauropod looking thing with the name Agrosaurus on the bottom. I had never heard of the dinosaur before, so I looked into it.

        The name Agrosaurus means "field lizard," unfortunately not, as I had assumed, something along the lines of "really angry lizard." It was believed to be a Triassic protosauropod discovered in Australia. It would have been the oldest fossil found in Australia. But while looking into this dinosaur I came across an interesting piece of information. I discovered that Agrosaurus does not exist.

(Maybe its name does mean "really angry lizard")
        Agrosaurus was tragically a mistake made by scientists transporting fossils from Australia.  Harry G. Seeley, (also the paleontologist who created today's system for classifying dinosaurs,) got the claws of a Thecodontosaurus from western Britain mixed up with a box of Australian fossils, and so declared it a new species. So in reality Agrosaurus is a Thecodontosaurus.  
        Thecodontosaurus' name means "socket-tooth lizard."  It was an herbivore from the Triassic that lived in the Bristol Channel area. This area, during the Triassic, was an enormous network of caves. Thecodontosaurus would spend its entire life in these caves, making it a subterranean dinosaur. Occasionally the ceilings would collapse, trapping organisms in rock to be fossilized.
        Thecodontosaurus was 1-3 meters long, only about .4 meters tall, and weighed 20-30 kilograms, so it was a fairly small animal. Thecodontosaurus fossils are quite common today. I even have a tooth belonging to one in my collection.
Isn't it shiny?
        Anyway that's it for today. Next post will be about Parasaurolophus just cause.

Lucas, Spencer G. Dinosaurs: The Textbook. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education,
        2007. Print.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Oviraptor Philoceratops

        Hello everyone! Today's post will be about the Oviraptor.
        Oviraptor Philoceratops was a late cretaceous dinosaur that resided in the Mongolian desert. It was discovered by Roy Chapman Andrews during one of his famous expeditions to the Gobi desert between 1922 and 1928. These expeditions uncovered many fossilized dinosaur eggs, and a multitude of new species. For this reason Andrews is considered one of the greatest paleontologists of all time.
        Oviraptor was 1.6 meters long and weighed 22 kilograms. It had a large bone crest on its head and is believed to have possessed a large amount of plumage. The lizard skeleton discovered in its gut suggests its diet was composed of small animals. This was not always the thinking however. Upon its discovery, scientists found the animal collapsed over a nest of eggs. It was assumed that the eggs belonged to another nearby nesting dinosaur of the time, Protoceratops because many of the Proto's nests were found in the area. For this reason Oviraptor was given its name, roughly meaning "Egg Thieving Lover of Ceratopsids," ceratopsids, of course (if you remember Nasutuceratops) being the family including Triceratops and Protoceratops. Oviraptor was soon seen as the most evil creature of the cretaceous. It would creep by night to the nests of its herbivorous neighbors and consume their in-egg children. But all was not as it seemed. About 50 years later, paleontologists studying the find discovered that the eggs the creature sat over did not belong to Protoceratops, they belonged to the Oviraptor itself. This proved that not only was the Oviraptor a loving mother, but also it wasn't eating Protoceratops' eggs.
Does that look like the face of a killer to you?
        And that's it for today's installment. I guess I'll do another dinosaur next time, probably Agrosaurus.
- Athos

Paul, Gregory S. The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2010. Print. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ammonites 101

Hello comrades! Today's post will be about ammonites.
        I was planning to make this post about one specific species of ammonite, but there were just so many different kinds, that I thought it would be more interesting to talk about the entire order of ammonites and their fascinating multiformity. First of all, ammonites are obviously not dinosaurs, so this goes under that whole "things" category. They are a specific order of aquatic animals belonging to the phylum mollusca, the same one that including squid and snails. They were common throughout the Mesozoic Era, the same time as the dinosaurs. The whole order went extinct at the same time as the dinosaurs as well. Their closest living relative today is the nautilus, which looks similar to how many scientists today think an ammonite would have looked in life.
        Ammonites came in a surprisingly diverse variety of shapes and sizes. The most famous of these shapes being the coiled spiral or "evolute serpenticone." There are technical terms to describe pretty much every conceivable variation of this shape, so a guide is included below.
       Ammonites could be enormous or incredibly small depending on the species. Serpenticone's like Promicroceras were only 1.5 cm across, whereas others like Parapuzosia were 2.6 meters across! These are always just the shells that are found as fossils. The soft bodied parts obviously could not survive the fossilization process. The shells were composed of aragonite and so are quite durable. Ammonites would've eaten small prey like minnows and isopods, which are small swimming crustaceans. Depending on the thickness of their shells they could have swam to all sorts of different depths.

       That's that for ammonites. The next post will be on some kind of dinosaur.


Monks, Neale, and Philip Palmer. Ammonites. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 2002. Print.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Nasutuceratops Titusi

        Hey guys, today's post is about the recently discovered Nasutuceratops!

        Nasutuceratops was a Late Cretaceous dinosaur belonging to the family ceratopsidae, the same family as the famous Triceratops. The animal was about 4 meters long, 1.5 meters tall, and a ton in weight. It was discovered in Utah, which was, during the Cretaceous period, an enormous area of swamp land. This ceratopsid made a bit of a stir in the media thanks to its unusual name, which translates from latin to mean "Big nose horned face." However it is not the dinosaur's nose that is most peculiar, many other members of this family such as Pachyrhinosaurus had similar large sets of nares. It is the horns that make Nasutuceratops unique. Here's a comparison with Triceratops, see if you can spot it.
I drew those arrows myself. I'm so talented.
        It's the horns. Nasutuceratops had horns that, unlike the rest of its family, stuck horizontally down its face. These horns are confusing, since unlike other ceratopsids, they could not use them as self defense. On Triceratops, for example, the horns are pointing up, so if there was a large predator like a Tyrannosaurus, it would be able to thrust out its head and gore the enemy. Nasutuceratops' horns are not at an angle that would allow it to gore anything, and even if it tried to attack something lower down, its beak would get in the way. In my opinion, Nasutuceratops' genus probably evolved to have more head butting contests than its evolutionary siblings, contests in which large forward pointing horns could be broken or damaged. These flatter-to-the-face horns would also help to cushion blows when ramming each other. In this manner, they would be more like a Pachycephalosaurus in their mating and territorial disputes, rather than the rutting behavior scientists believe other members of ceratopsidae would have engaged in.

    (click to enlarge)
   And that about wraps up today's entry. Next time it will probably be an ammonite or something. I haven't done one of them yet.


For this one:


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Hello comrades, today we'll be covering a better known dinosaur, brachiosaurus.

        Brachiosaurus was a late Jurassic sauropod. It was first discovered during Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh's famous "Bone Wars." Marsh discovered a skull of the beast in Colorado, and from this one bone he eagerly classified it as a new species in an attempt to beat out Cope. He then proceeded to idiotically place the skull on the body of an apatosaurus and call it a brontosaurus, opening a sardine can of confusion in nomenclature that would carry on even until today. Congratulations on your fantastic legacy marsh.

         Brachiosaurus would've fed on leaves from the tallest of trees. It was able to reach them thanks to its enormous 32 foot long neck. The neck was so huge that each vertebrae was 3ft and 3in in length. This isthmus of an esophagus would allow it to reach higher than any other known organism. This neck was also incredibly heavy, so brachiosaurus needed some of the strongest front legs in the animal kingdom to keep it up. These front legs were noticeably longer than the back, and this sauropod needed the strong limbs to keep its body from collapsing, so Jurassic Park's famous bipedal brachiosaur is a little inaccurate.
        Another striking feature of brachiosaurus, as you can see from the good doctor up there, was it's head crest. A wall of bone ran down the middle of the dinosaur's head, separating the nasal cavities. These huge nostrils would perhaps given the beast a good sense of smell, although what it would use this sensitivity for is unknown. 

       And that's it for today, next time will be about nasutoceratops, which will also be the blog's first ceratopsid.

- Athos

Palmer, Douglas, Simon Lamb, Guerrero Angeles. Gavira, and Peter Frances. Prehistoric Life: [the Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth]. New York, NY: DK Pub., 2009. Print.
(MLA format is just my favorite thing ever)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Hello everyone, sorry about the lack of posts, and the lack of sauropod in this post. I just got back from vacation in florida, so I decided I would make a post about something that lived in florida. That something is Ophthalmosaurus.

        Ophthalmosaurus was a jurassic ichthyosaur about 19.5 feet long. It fed on squid and other small marine life. It had a long toothless beak, which would have been ideal for squid and other soft bodied animals. Another interesting fact about this animal is that it gave birth to live young underwater. These baby Ophthalmosaurus would emerge tail first to prevent drowning. Ophthalmosaurus had thick bony plates surrounding it's extraordinarily large eyes. These plates are called sclerotic rings, and aid in supporting the eye.
     Several of the sources I read stated that an Ophthalmosaurus would swim to a maximum depth of 600 meters. To me, this seemed a rather small number, so I decided to compare this depth with some modern day air breathing hydrophiles, the whales. I chose the species most similar in size to an Ophthalmosaurus, the Short-Finned Pilot Whale, or Globicephala macrorhynchus. These modern day sea giants can swim to a depth of 1000 meters, with nothing but a breath of air and some relatively strong bones. Using this information, I approximate that an Ophthalmosaurus could dive to a depth of around 1300 meters. Being a reptile, Ophthalmosaurus has a slower breathing rate than it's modern day equivalent, so it could spend more time swimming down. The enormous sclerotic rings of the Ophthalmosaurus also bring me to believe it could swim deeper than a pilot whale, as these rings could help keep the soft vulnerable eyes safe from pressure changes. Diving deeper would also account for the fact that the eyes were huge, these would be necessary in the low light. This depth would also place an Ophthalmosaurus in the top layers of the bathypelagic zone, home to more soft bodied organisms which Ophthalmosaurus' toothless beak could easily prey on. 1300 meters makes more sense because of the Ophthalmosaurus' body, and is not at all unreasonable looking at the depths of some air breathing underwater animals, such as the sperm whale, which can swim to depths of 3200 meters.
  That about wraps up today's ancient organism. Next time it'll be a sauropod, I promise.

Thanks for the information goes to:

Friday, June 7, 2013

Aurornis xui

Today's post is on the new and controversial Aurornis xui!
An illustration of a theropod dinosaur.
        Aurornis Xui is a newly discovered bird like theropod from late Jurassic of China, about 160 million years ago. Aurornis was about 50 cm long, had claws, a toothed jaw, and was feathered. The animal looked a heck of alot like an Archaeopteryx,  raising questions about which species was the first bird. Archaeopteryx was from 150 million years ago, meaning Aurornis came first, so it could be that in reality Aurornis, rather than Archaeopteryx was the first bird. I would find this kind of disappointing, because that would mean today's birds are not, as everyone currently believes, deinonychosaurs, the family that includes all dromaeosaurs, like velociraptor. Instead they would be from a lineage before the deinonychosaurs, and so would be more of a cousin to the dromaeosaurs than a direct descendant. It's a shame because I've really enjoyed picturing my Thanksgiving turkeys like this.
Anyways thanks for reading, next update will be about a sauropod I'm thinking.


Information for this one from

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pegomastax Africanus

So today's post will be on pegomastax. Enjoy!
        Pegomastax was an early jurassic herbivore with one heck of a face.  It had two large fangs on its lower jaw, which many scientists believe were used to dig up roots and tubers.  It is also possible they could have used these fangs in territorial fights and disputes with mating rivals. This animal was just 2 feet long and weighed only 15 pounds, and in body shape looked pretty much like a little theropod.  Another surprising feature of pegomastax was its great number of porcupine-style quills, which some scientists believe would've been used to make the animal look larger to predators. In my opinion, it seems more likely that these quills, with proper coloration, could have functioned as some kind of camouflage, helping it blend into the Jurassic ferns.  All the pictures I found of pegomastax pictured the animal with an incredibly belligerent look on its face. Maybe that was just the fangs.

How could Quetz pass her up with a head of hair like that?

Nah, it wasn't just the fangs. Needless to say this little herbivore would probably put up quite the fight if you tried to take her roots and tubers.

Next one will be about another dinosaur methinks.


Information I got for this one:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


So it's not a dinosaur exactly, it's a flying reptile, and I haven't heard any news about one for a while, but this thing is one of my favorite ancient animals of all time, so it seemed to deserve a post.
        Quetzalcoatlus was a late cretaceous pterosaur, and it was enormous. Sources I found didn't usually seem to agree with each other on the exact wingspan, but mostly they seemed to average around 37ft, or 11m. That's a pretty huge animal. You could use its wings to make carpets. Chances are they would be pretty stylish carpets as well, seeing as (like most pterosaurs) old Quetz would probably have been adorned with vibrant colors. Especially on the crest. Here's a picture I found of what is apparently an accurate portrayal of a quetzalcoatlus on the ground.

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Personally, I don't really buy it. With the size of that head, it would need some really strong neck muscles to hold it up. The problem with that is muscles are weight, and weight is not the friend of an already possibly 100kg animal who is trying to fly. In my opinion, a quetzalcoatlus on the ground probably wouldn't move much, since moving would probably also be difficult, and it would probably need it's front legs angled more forward than in this picture. If it could keep its body in the air with little effort, it might spend incredibly long amounts of time in the air. But hey, what do I know. I think the best part of that picture is the unemployed hipster who's just standing there checking out the quetzacoatlus' chest. He wants it.
Above: An artist's interpretation of a quetzalcoatlus on a flight break

Above: Uncle Quetzalcoatlus' vexatious wife

Annyways. Next time we'll probably talk about Aunt Pegomastax. Or whatever. I'll decide later.


The sites I used for this:

Thanks for the Uncle Quetzalcoatlus picture goes to Miss Emma from A Pinch of Pixie Dust.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Albertadromeus Syntarsus

So, for the first dinosaur discussed here, and the most recent dinosaur discovery I could find, let's talk about Albertadromeus. Al Dromeus was discovered recently in Canada, which is, if you don't know, one of the hottest dinosaur sites on the planet. Anywhere with a troodon is a cool place in my book. This new dinosaur has been named from a leg bone, and according to this femur, it was an herbivore and an incredibly fast runner. Several scientists believe it would have been a highly maneuverable animal, so it would probably have been good at dodging bullets.
The beast was about 15 feet long and weighted 16 kilograms, "comparable to a turkey" says the article. So if you wanted, you could duct tape some knives to it's feet and watch it duke it out against a velociraptor. But that might count as some kind of prehistoric animal abuse. If laws like that exist. This find makes Albertadromeus the smallest currently known herbivore in Canada, so I guess that's interesting.
Here's the article if you want to check it out.

Next time it will be some other kind of dinosaur. I'll have to decide.


Hey hey hey hey everyone!
        My name is Athos the incredible and enigmatic, and I will hopefully be your guide in the wonderful world of dinosaurs. I've been reading articles about our prehistoric friends for a while, and I was thinking "Huh, there's no hilarious yet educational provider of dinosaur knowledge. Someone like that could really make my day." So that's what I'm here for. To make YOUR day. Because I'm a fantastic person. And I love you. So sit back, laugh, and learn. But mostly learn. I hate laughter.

Next post will be about Albertadromeus!