08 November 2013
A Different Branch of Dinosaur
Tyrannosaurids are always a fun branch of dinosaurs to discuss. After last week's nearly non-existent information on Aeolosaurus I think we ought to cover a nearly equally difficult to fossil carnivore. The love people show to tyrannosaurs ought to somewhat offset the little available fossil material of Alioramus remotus Kurzanov 1976 or Alioramus altai Brusatte 2009. Alioramus is a bit of problem child as fragmentary evidence of the two species has been recovered only from Asia and only as fragments. There is no real problem with being an Asian dinosaur, it is just that the fragments have only been discovered in Asia and that the dinosaur has been noted only as being related to Tarbosaurus bataar which, itself, has debated origins and positioning in the phylogenetic tree. There are some rather interesting similarities between Tarbosaurus and Alioramus that will need to be highlighted to understand where Alioramus belongs on the tyrannosaurid tree, and hopefully we can go over what makes this dinosaur an Asian tyrannosaur during the course of the week!