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.