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.

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