Sunday, December 7, 2014

Telmatosaurus Transsylvanicus


Listen once again, to the story of the dinosaurs.  Great beasts who walked the Earth, slayers of kings and terrors of the mead hall benches!

What have I done.

As you can see, I don't have access to photoshop at the moment. So until I have it again, everything will be made in microsoft paint! HOORAY.  That means I might not be able to rely on visual gimmicks as much and might actually have to give you guys useful information! I can already tell this post is a mistake...

ANYWAYS. As you guys may have noticed, I haven't been around for a while (this is, in fact, the first post since SUMMER), so I thought I'd do a really exciting dinosaur. Telmatosaurus!

I lied. It's not an exciting dinosaur.  It's a hadrosaur.  But it was the dinosaur the book selected for me, so we're gonna do it.

Telmatosaurus has a rather interesting story relating to its discovery.  In Romania, circa late 1800's, several farmers presented their monarch with a skull they had found while tilling the fields. Intrigued, the son of the village's lord left to the University of Vienna, where he learned that the skull belonged to an unknown species.  Recognizing it as a hadrosaur, he decided to name it after the hadrosaurs presumed habitat, a swamp, with the name Lemnosaurus (Swamp Lizard).  This name was short lived, however, because it was soon realized that Othniel Charles Marsh (dude ruins everything) had already given a crocodile the name.  Looking for a similar name, Telmatosaurus was decided upon, meaning "Marsh Lizard," but not "Othniel Charles Marsh Lizard," because that would be Othnielia, which is horrible. Just like Marsh.

Now you probably want to know what makes Telmatosaurus unique.  I mean it is a hadrosaur after all, what is there to make it unique? I'll be honest with you.  Not very much.  It was small in hadrosaur terms, being only about 16 feet long.  It lived in the Late Cretaceous, and was pretty similar to most other hadrosaurs, but a few things set it apart.  For one, it had unique humeri.  These upper arm bones were different from other hadrosaur's because, to quote the book, "the delto-pectoral crest is small, projecting only half again the diameter of the humeral shaft."  Perhaps this will make more sense with a picture.

It was also different because of its teeth. It had the usual leaf-shaped battery like all hadrosaurs, but it also had strangely curved teeth, more like those of a carnivore. Here's a visual aid.

Personally I'd like to think of it as a cannibalistic hadrosaur. That, although unlikely, would be super terrifying.  In some ways it would be worse that a Tyrannosaurus, I think. You know, a huge awkward quadrupedal animal hurling itself forward to eat you. Anyway just a thought. Looking at you Jurassic World.

The next post will probably be something to celebrate 10000 views!! I mean we're not there yet (still like 9300), but we should be soon.  Suggest a dinosaur to celebrate and I'll do it.


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

Dalla Vecchia, F.M. 2009b Telmatosaurus and the other Hadrosauids of the Cretaceous European Archipelago: an Update. Natura Nascota, 39. 1-18.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kaijiangosaurus Lini

         Hail comrades! Today's post isn't a special anniversary one cause I didn't do it. It is however about a theropod, and everyone loves theropods, so you get a theropod.

        Our topic today is the little-known Kaijiangosaurus Lini, pronounced Ky-jee-ang-o-saurus. Kai was a Bathonian/Callovian Jurassic theropod from Sichuan, China.  Like all theropods it was a predator, and likely fed on the sauropods of the time, which were first starting to gain a substantial ecological foothold, and so were plentiful and easy prey. Fossils of Kaijiango are exceedingly fragmentary, so little is known about the body as a whole.  The specimens known to science include 5 neck vertebrae, a femur, shoulder blades, and several foot bones.

        Tragically, there's like no information about Kaijiangosaurus in existence. However, many scientists speculate that the imaginatively named Gasosaurus (it's name literally means gas lizard, a gasoline company owns the quarry it was discovered in), is in actuality one and the same as Kaijiangosaurus. Since Kaitiang was found before Gasosaurus, the official scientific name would be Kaijiangosaurus, certainly saving this genus from the ever-present threat of embarassing nomenclature. All the cooler named dinosaurs would have made fun of it.
You have to imagine Kaijiangosaurus with a really whiny voice.

         Kaijiangosaurus was roughly 3-4 meters long, which even with information about Gasosaurus added in isn't for certain, since finds of both have been relatively fragmentary.  The most defining feature I've read about in both is the fact that their shoulder blades were significantly larger around the joints then the rest of the bone, so I guess they had pretty big shoulders. What these might have been used for seems unclear to me, since their arms (from what is known) probably weren't too long, but who knows? I doubt they could have acted as much defense, since as the illustration shows, the weaponized sauropods of the time had some pretty deadly spikes. Kaiji would certainly be better off hunting the more familiar un-thagomizered sauropods, which were also around at the time, but I guess the battle makes for a more interesting picture.
         What else is there to say about Kaijiangosaurus? I don't know. It existed, for one thing. It had limbs. Um, it was a dinosaur, that one's for certain. It was charming, yet repugnant. Wise yet foolish, honestly what isn't there to say about Kaijiangosaurus? In seriousness though, little is known about Kaiji so there isn't much to say. It's a pretty underground dinosaur. See cause "underground" because their fossils are still undiscovered, and also cause no one knows about... I give up.

Hipster Kaijiangosaurus, because other dinosaurs are too mainstream. 

        There is hope however. There have been more recent finds of this species that are still yet to be described, so while she maybe currently absent from the field of scientific investigation, Kaiji will certainly return when new papers are published on these discoveries. Why did I pick a dinosaur that there's virtually nothing to say about? I have no idea. The great book makes all decisions for me now.

It is the book's will that I write about Kaiji.

I must obey the book.

Next time will be something else. I'm thinking Scipionyx.


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

Martin, Anthony J. Introduction to the Study of Dinosaurs. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub., 2006. Print.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Ammosaurus Major

Hail Comrades!

        So I was going to do a 1 year anniversary special post thing, but my amazing wondrous plan for it was just too massive of an undertaking. Or maybe I'm just too lazy. Anyway maybe I'll do it next week or something. Today however is about Ammosaurus.

        I picked out Ammosaurus at random, and it had a name that reminded me of the ammonites, but it has nothing to do with ammonites. It's just a prosauropod. A dinosaur ammonite hybrid would be awesome though. It would probably look a bit like Cthulhu.
Oh jeeze it's horrifying.

       Ammosaurus Major (the only currently known species of Ammosaurus)'s name means "Primary Sand Lizard." These "Sand Lizards" roamed what is now known as Connecticut, which was at the time (along with most of North America) a dry desert-like ecosystem. The time being the Carnian stage of the Triassic, 228 million years ago (wikipedia says the Jurassic. It liessssss). Ammosaurus was about 4m or 13ft long, and resembled many of its prosauropod brethren. It had a long neck and four legs, although it was apparently well suited for either bipedalism or quadrupedalism. Thus far, an Ammosaurus skull has never been discovered, but from teeth, it seems that Ammosaurus could have been an omnivore. This ability would've been especially helpful in the desert ecosystem it was native to, where food was scarce, but melange plentiful.

Connecticut-Carnian-Desert Ecosystem

        Despite the fact that prosauropods would evolve into some of the most well known dinosaurs known today, it's worth noting that they were fairly rare in the late Triassic. This is probably due to the dry climate, as they became far more plentiful and successful as the world became more humid. Also interestingly, many prosauropods (Ammosaurus included) ate insects and plants, hence the omnivorous teeth.  Once they became larger 100% sauropods, they settled for only eating plants.
         Ammosaurus was discovered by that jerk-face Othniel Charles Marsh in 1889.  It was once thought that Ammo was one and the same species as Anchisaurus, a very similar prosauropod.  This theory has since been reputed thanks to "the emarginated proximal portion of the pubis in Anchisaurus versus emargination of the proximal end of the ischium in Ammosaurus" (that's a quote from the big book). Don't you love heavy-handed scientific terms? Essentially that's saying that the two have notches on different parts of their hips, so they're different species. So, for now at least, Ammosaurus can sleep soundly knowing its existence has been ascertained.

Thanks for reading, sorry this took forever to get up. Now it's up though. I'll try to do that one year anniversary post soon.


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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fulgurotherium Australe

Tidings Comrades. Sorry I haven't posted in ages, I've been busy with pretty much nothing. I'm just lazy.

        Today's post is on Fulgurotherium Australe.  I found this one by opening my largest book of dinosaurs to a random page and there it was. Fulgurotherium's name means "Southern Lightning Beast," which is a pretty sick name in my opinion. It received the lightning part of its name (fulgur) not ( disappointingly) because it had the power to wield electricity, but because it was found at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales, Australia.  Interestingly the hip of this dinosaur was partially opalized, just like another fun Australian psychopathic dinosaur we know.  Maybe Australia has tons of opal. Anyway Fulgurotherium is also interesting because it uses the name therium, and is one of the only examples of its usage where the organism named is not a mammal. Fulgurotherium thus finds itself nomenclaturally among a variety of densely furred rhinoceros and the like. But Fulgurotherium doesn't mind, because Fulgurotherium runs a successful coffee buisness, and of course (like most brands of coffee) it caters toward the mammals.

Ahhhh there were two jokes and I couldn't resist doing them both.
        Delicious Fulgur's classic roast is made of only the finest quality low-growing Cretaceous plants, and is brewed using water from Antarctic glaciers to assure only the finest.  But seriously, Fulgurotherium was a Cretaceous Hypsilophodon, and as such was an herbivore. It had the overall body shape of a theropod, but was in fact an ornithopod (like Camptosaurus). It lived in Australia, which during the Mesozoic was in the Antarctica area, so this would've been one of those crazy polar dinosaurs. The species was named off of a single hip, and that is to date the only positive fossil evidence we have of its existence. There are also some random teeth that have been attributed to Fulgur, but the accuracy of these claims cannot be ascertained without at least a jaw from the organism. Fulgurotherium is thought to have been 1-1.5m long, and would have been a fast runner, as this was a hypsilophodon's only defense from the savage parka-wearing allosaurs of the antarctic. Ahem. Anyway.
       That's it for today. Something else next time.


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

"Fulgurotherium Australe." Australian Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Camptosaurus Dispar

Hail comrades!
         I was going to do Edmontosaurus, but again I just couldn't motivate myself to. I really wasn't sure what to do for this one, but I settled on Camptosaurus Dispar.
        Camptosaurus Dispar was an ornithopod of the group Iguaodontia, similar to the groups namesake (and one of the first dinosaurs discovered) Iguanodon. Camptosaurus lived in the Late Jurassic 150 million years ago, and was one of the first large Iguanodontids, as the group would only truly dominate come the Cretaceous. Campy was 5 meters long and lived in the Utah-Wyoming area. The name means "Seperate Flexible Lizard," which was an impressively difficult name to find the complete meaning of, since all the sources I checked only had the genus name's meaning defined (Flexible lizard.) I ended up finding the meaning of Dispar from an article about a species of moth, go figure.
        Camptosaurus was an herbivore and would've foraged for food close the ground. It had a distinctively arched back which would have helped it keep its face near to the ground. It also had remarkably strong thumbs, meaning the animal would have probably been one of the champion thumb wrestlers of the Jurassic Period. This has also led scientists to believe that, although its hips are primarily built for a bipedal organism, it could have moved around on all fours to better forage for food, as its strong thumbs could help support the weight.
Quasicamptmodosaurus be in yo cathedral, eaten all yo low lying foliage
        Camptosaurus also has an interesting story regarding its skull. Campto was long thought to have had a very boxy rectangular skull. This skull was discovered by Othniel Charles Marsh, the famous paleontologist, but it was recently revealed that this skull did not belong to Camptosaurus. This skull had actually belonged to a different animal, Theiophytalia, this whole time. Camptosaurus had a more sloping skull, as seen above. This is pretty ironic, since Marsh viciously mocked his rival Edward Drinker Cope for putting the skull of an Elasmosaurus on the end of its tail instead of its neck. But hey, at least Cope put the skull on the right animal.
        That wraps up today's post. I'm not sure what to do next, someone should suggest something. Leave a comment and I'll do it.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dahalokely Tokana

Hail comrades!
        Today's post is not about Edmontosaurus. I lied. Sorry Edmontosaurus fans. You'll just have to do whatever it is Edmontosaurus fans do elsewhere. Today's post is about Dahalokely Tokana, a relatively new theropod from Madagascar.
         Dahalokely's name means "Lonely Bandit," so it probably would've prowled the Madagascarian west, stealing all the other dinosaurs' cows and horses and holding up dinosaur banks. Dahalokely Tokana was named from a few vertebrae and fragmentary rib pieces.  These bits were enough to identify it as an abelisaurid.  Abelisaurids were the apex predators of the southern continents, and the family included such notable members as Carnotaurus. They were known for having slightly longer fore arms than their distant tyrannosaur cousins and shorter more blunt snouts, whether their vocal cords were capable of partaking in soulful campfire songs is still unknown.  Dahalokely was 3.5m long and lived 90 million years ago (midish lateish Cretaceous), 2 million years before Madagascar split from Africa and became its own whackily diverse island. When Madagascar did eventually split, it carried Dahalokely's descendants with it and they diverged from the species of the main land into their own. #allopatricspeciation. Due to the fragmentary nature of Dahalokely's fossil, not much is known about it, but seeing as it is the only currently known dinosaur of its kind living in the area at the time, it was probably the top predator and as such was a fast runner with a ferocious bite.
Somehow I doubt that mask is fooling anyone.
That's it for today, sorry it's late and lame. I be slackin.

Edwards, Tim. "Dahalokely Tokana: New Madagascan Dinosaur Could Be Ancestor of Indian Species." BBC Walking with Dinosaurs. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Alioramus Remotus

Good tidings comrades!
        Today's post is about Alioramus Remotus because it has swag.
        This dinosaur was a rather interesting one, since the only place I've ever heard of it was on the DINOSAUR ride at Walt Disney World. I checked all of my books, and only one of them had information on the creature, so here you are.
        Alioramus Remotus was a Late Cretaceous theropod. A member of the Tyrannosaurid family, it was about 6 meters long and weighed about 500 kg. The name means "The other branch from a remote location" which is a reference to the dinosaur's genealogy. It was discovered in Mongolia and is thought to have been closely related to Tarbosaurus from more northern parts of Asia, hence "remote location." It was discovered by a Soviet expedition in the 1960s and was named by Dr. Sergei Kurzanov, which sounds like Raskolnikov, but I doubt there's any relation. Comrade Alioramus was named from a very fragmentary skeleton, only the skull was mostly in tact. They were able to name it from the skull thanks to it's uniqueness. The snout of the skull was covered by several bony protrusions- like the dinosaur version of Star Trek's Bajoran nose ridges. These ridges probably served an ornamental purpose and were probably rather delicate. Being a Soviet dinosaur it was big on communism, and would have probably met with much animosity in the largely capitalist world of Late Cretaceous Mongolia.
Don't worry, that crocodile was a capitalist
        That about wraps up today's post. The next one will be about something else. Maybe Edmontosaurus
- Athos

Long, John A., and Peter Schouten. Feathered Dinosaurs: The Origin of Birds. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2008. Print.