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