STL Science Center

STL Science Center

05 September 2013

No One Knows Me

Nyasasaurus is a little known dinosaur. Even the name of the lake that lends its name to the dinosaur has changed in the years since it was discovered and initially named. Nyasasaurus is included in some encyclopedic works on dinosaurs but does not have its own specialized books (neither those geared toward scientists or general audiences). Nyasasaurus did gain some popularity in the media when the latest study named it as one of the oldest dinosaurs to have existed. Images of Nyasasaurus that were shared due to this news were typically snippets of the Mark Witton illustration shown here earlier in the week; however, images from the study were also shared with the public. Probably the best image was the one shown below which highlights some of the better aspects of the discovered bones and has cross sections of the humerus shown as well, for all of the histology fans out there.
The humerus specimens of Nyasasaurus parringtoni seen in (a) anterior and (b) posterior views, as well as (c) complete cross-section in transmitted light, (d) cross-section through the entire cortex, and (e) cross-section through the outer portion of the cortex. (f) Rearticulated sacrum in right lateral view with interpretive drawing. (g) Posterior presacral vertebra in right lateral view. (h) Partial posterior presacral vertebra in dorsal view. (i) Anterior cervical vertebra in left lateral view with interpretive drawing. (j) Anterior cervical vertebra in left lateral view with interpretive drawing. Scale bars: (a,b,f-j) 1 cm, (c) 4 mm, (d) 1 mm, (e) 500 nm.

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