STL Science Center

STL Science Center

17 April 2012

Tuesday Edition of the Paper

Monolophosaurus; unique, Chinese, studied off and on, much debated. It is strange how little people seem to agree on where to place this animal in the spectrum of life. The original paper by Zhao and Currie, which is not available online, did a good job of describing the animal and made the wise concession that with much of the post-cranial skeleton missing it was difficult and nigh on impossible to precisely place Monolophosaurus taxonomically. They did however go on to say that the dinosaur was much closer to Allosaurus than it was to most other theropods. Sadly, as noted, this paper is not free to the public due to copyright restraints and is not hosted anywhere as more than the abstract. Brusatte, Benson, Currie, and Zhao decided to try to tackle  Monolophosaurus and where it fit in 16 years later, in 2010, by analyzing the impact that the animal has had on what we know of theropod evolution. In attempting this task you have to assign it a place either in the beginning or in the end of your reasoning else you cannot state how its skull, the main evidence in debate, influenced later theropods. If it was a Ceratosaur, an Allosaur, a Megalosaur, or a Tetanuran it becomes highly relevant to what animals may have been affected by the existence of Monolophosaurus; these by the way are the placements that are debated over still for Monolophosaurus. In the end, after a very detailed, long, and in depth study of the skull of Monolophosaurus and what it means for theropod evolution, the paper concludes that...

That Monolophosaurus is indeed dangerous.

I'll just let you read the paper and find out their conclusion!

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