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.