STL Science Center

STL Science Center

25 June 2016

Old Friends... In Space

This is the last full week of June for blog purposes. The cosmonaut dinosaur for this month is the popular and previous discussed, at great length, Compsognathus longipes. The "elegant jaw" dinosaur was a small animal whose remains were recovered in continental Europe. The orange and green silhouettes in the scale drawing presented here are from France and Germany respectively. The remains of these French and German animals are the most extensively known and most complete skeletons attributed to Compsognathus. There have been random feet and legs attributed to the species from time to time; Sinosauropteryx, from China, has been described at least once as a species of Compsognathus. The beauty of the two skeletons is that both are complete and even integument is preserved in the fossils. The German specimen has been described as having fatty deposits preserved along the abdomen. The German specimen preserves this level of detail because of its exquisite limestone base. The French specimen is also encased in a limestone base but did not preserve integument with the level of precision that the German fossil has. There is more to discuss in the preservation of the animals and a lot more that has been inferred and hypothesized from these remains. It will be a full week of discussion to be sure.

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