STL Science Center

STL Science Center

28 February 2011

A short post today.

There are two documentaries that really focus on Utahraptors at any given time during them. One is Walking with Dinosaurs, which I've used many times over. The other being Jurassic Fight Club, which I'll leave up here today. Utah raptor hasn't really made its way into other realms quite yet at this point, but I'm sure it will very soon.

27 February 2011

Utahraptor displayed for the kids

Utahraptor turns out to love children! Who would have thought? Isn't that a familiar pose? This week there are some sources you can use all over if you or the kids in your life love dinosaurs; stationery and other things. Then there's always Dinosaur King for card game fans. And, of course, there are always good old fashioned toys.

26 February 2011

Utahraptor Images

Images of Utahraptor have abounded since the discovery of the animal. Some of my favorites include: Joe Tucciarone's pair

Todd Marshall's rather evil looking version
and I liked the CG raptors in Walking with Dinosaurs as well (despite its inaccuracies)
but it doesn't have feathers like this guy does

Tuomas Koivurinne's version, feathers and all, is pretty awesome:

25 February 2011

Utah's Predator

Part of the name alone generally incites wonder and fear, in part thanks to showboating on Spielberg's part, thanks to the popularization of the term "raptor" in dinosaurs by Michael Crichton. Of course he was talking about Deinonychus, which is smaller than Utahraptor but no less intelligent or quick. How different would Jurassic Park have been if Utahraptor had been discovered already? Be prepared to explore a dinosaur with the mentality of a wolf this week!


24 February 2011

The public face of a Zuniceratops

Zuniceratops, as stated before, only really appears in one documentary for anything worth noting. There may be passing references in other sources. It's too bad it was found so late in dinosaur history because it's really an important find; the first dinosaur we know of with brow horns is HUGE! I'm sure that toys will follow in the days to come, but for now, we don't have lunchboxes and toys and cartoons.

23 February 2011

The child's discovery

Zuniceratops christopheri was originally discovered in New Mexico in 1996 by the son of paleontologist Douglas G. Wolfe, one Christopher James Wolfe, age 8. In the time that has passed only one skull and a few other bones have been recovered, but they were enough to declare the find a new species, which was promptly named after the land it was found on and the discoverer. Zuni is for the Zuni basin where the Zuni people once lived, ceratops notes the horn faced aspect, and the species name christopheri, is clearly the young man's name.

22 February 2011

Zuniceratops in literature.

Oh the choices for papers to read today! What Zuniceratops lacks in visual media it makes up for in papers and books about or referring to the animal. Always best to start with something completely about our animal. The book in this link contains a section just on the Zuniceratops. Then there are a couple of articles by Horner, et al.  and Sampson, et al. that refer to Zuniceratops a few times. The first article is the most definitive in helping understand what this animal was like though. I'll leave you to your reading now.

21 February 2011

Zuniceratops of the silver screen?

Zuniceratops has been in one documentary that I'm aware of. It also made it into the Dinosaur King arcade game in Japan (above). The documentary in which the Zunis show up is When Dinosaurs Roamed America. They show up in these two parts here:

20 February 2011

Zuniceratops: Lack of family values

Zuniceratops lacks family values almost as much as the Nanotyrannus does. In all honesty, it's hard to blame the Zuniceratops. How many people in the mainstream society even know it exists? Looking at it without knowledge he just looks like a more slender trike, which is probably why they aren't so well known. I have today part of a dinosaur alphabet:

And some Dinosaur King cards:

19 February 2011

Zuniceratops images

Images of Zuniceratops are actually quite abundant. Let's run through a few favorites. The comparison with a white rhinoceros is great (Walter Myers) and is CG, but my favorites are paintings and pencil drawings mostly.

Julius Csotonyi (yesterdays) and the one to the left.

Todd Marshall

Eivind Bovor The last two belong to Bovor. The top one is acrylics (2006) and the bottom pencil.

18 February 2011

Zuniceratops, grandfather of Triceratops

An ancestor of (almost) everyone's favorite Cretaceous tank, Zuniceratops was one of the first animals, and the earliest humans have found in the Ceratopsian family, to wield large brow horns. Small differences, including the cow like size of adults compared to the rhino and larger size of Triceratops and others, show that Zunis are the grandfathers of later Cretaceous frilled herbivores in North America. This is the kind of thing I'm trying to get into grad school to study! This wee's picture was lent out courteously by its creator, Julius Csotonyi. Everyone should check out his other work as well.

PS- I'm going to spend some time redesigning this blog this evening, so it may look a mess all weekend, but I'll have it sorted out and the Zuni posts will be ready on time every day.

17 February 2011

Post 100 (overall)!

Not number 100 about dinosaurs, but overall since I decided to start this blog. I looked at the math, with Friday's post (2-18-11) I only have 99 and 65 of them are non-dinosaur of the week (they may still be about dinosaurs, but only 34 are DotW). I have no idea why my post count is over 100 when I only have 99.

As for the dinosaurs... The biggest pop culture impact Nanos have made is Jurassic Fight Club, which I featured on Monday.  This has been a long week for Nanos though, and I'm sure they're glad to have their rest!

16 February 2011

Discovery, description, redescribing.

Nanotyrannus was discovered in 1942 by David Hosbrook Dunkle and described in 1946 by our old friend Charles W. Gilmore under the name Gorgosaurus lacensis.  in 1986 it was redescribed by Bakker, Currie, and Williams as Nanotyrannus lacensis. I've included a link to a short article on Dunkle here.  We've discussed Gilmore many times. Below are links to Bakker, Currie, and Williams along with some photos of these great guys.



and Williams. (his picture is contained in the pdf linked)

15 February 2011

Nanotyrannus studied

I looked over and over for two opposing side pieces of the argument for and against Nanotyrannus. I came up with two for. One is a description of the new species authored by Bakker, Williams, and Currie (1988) entitled NANOTYRANNUS, A NEW GENUS OF PYGMY TYRANNOSAUR,FROM THE LATEST CRETACEOUS OF MONTANA. If anyone wishes to read this one Robert Taylor of The Theropod Archives was kind enough to email the pdf to me and I would gladly share it. However, I also found Currie, Hurum, and Sabath's article on tyrannosaurid skull structure and evolution here. The authors mention that Dr. Holtz of the University of Maryland argues that Nanotyrannus is congeneric with T. Rex and not distinct at generic or specific levels, but I guess that's as close as we're going to get to a solid paper refuting the existence of Nanotyrannus today.

14 February 2011

Some Nano videos.

Welcome to Monday. There are a few movies for Monday; thankfully we won't have a repeat of yesterday! First of all, there's Jurassic Fight Club which approaches the idea of a Nano hunting juvenile T. Rex. Interesting idea. Then two Dinosaur George answer sessions have questions related to Nanos

In one of them he also calls the Dracorex-Stygimoloch-Pachy debate totally unrealistic, in his opinion, but it made me laugh because he was so adamant about it. Anyhow, he treats Nanotyrannus as its own species, which is what we're trying to decide on this week, so it's a nice opinion to add to our evidence. Tomorrow I'll have more evidence for and I'm looking like crazy for evidence against, to be fair.

13 February 2011

Nanotyrannus doesn't love children!

Typically Sunday is reserved for family time; information geared for children, coloring, cartoons. You know I love finding things that children can do or families can work on together on Sundays. In fact, while everyone's in church around here I'm usually burying my nose in a dinosaur book (The Dinosauria edited by Dodson, Weishampel, and Osmolska right now) at the laundry mat or sketching out something that I can share with the kids that love dinosaurs that I know. Dinosaur study is kind of a religion for me I suppose. Anyway, Nanotyrannus, it seems, has no love for the babies in our lives... well, they might make a nice snack on the run for a Nano, but they're not very friendly on the coloring pages and they don't even have a fact page on the site I usually grab kid's fact cards from for us. There are, of course, many reasons that this probably happens to be a cold spot in the Nano world but I blame two factors exclusively:

1. The debate about whether or not Nano is its own species makes toy makers, coloring books folks, and all other children's ware producers wary after the whole Brontosaurus episode. How many of them want to build a mold just to trash it if science changes its collective mind about the existence of something?

2. That debate has made the animal a bit obscure to the outside world. People with interests in paleo news know about the animals and the debate, but because the debate leans one way and then another, there aren't really many highly popular opinions being put out there for the animal and since it looks so much like other predatory animals to the layperson why would they distinguish it from a T. Rex or an Allosaurus? Lack of popularity itself drives the market down for demand of the Nano to be represented in popular culture.

In fact, I found only one toy, and it's not a pretty one. Check it out here and here.

12 February 2011

Nanotyrannus illustrations

The first illustration is up on the Natural History Museum in London's website. It's an interesting study of two animals feeding. I've seen a larger color version with a third living animal, but have only been able to find a tiny thumbnail (below). It has an NMH watermark though, so it could be on their website somewhere. I also found this just now.

The second image is a unique image that shows a Nanotyrannus fishing a Hesperornis out of a coastal shallow while other Hesperornis dive for safety and a few that even appear almost calm on rocks near the attack. Done in pencil by Tuomas Koivurinne in 2006, it's an awesome study of the subject and the Hesperornis as well.

The next image is almost too active to follow, but you can try anyhow. I haven't found an artist as yet, keep an eye out for me world!

This last image is clearly a painting, artist is still being searched for, and I don't know for certain if it is hanging anywhere public. However, it contains an interesting profile as well as a head on look at the eyes of a Nanotyrannus and is therefore one of my favorite depictions found so far.

11 February 2011


This week's dinosaur is a debated genus. The paleo community hasn't decided unanimously whether Nanotyrannus is a juvenile T Rex or another species or another genus. Some clues in the teeth, skull shape, and brain case point toward a different species at least, but the jury is still out on this animal. We're going to build up the evidence this week and we can all decide for ourselves which way we feel it should fall!

10 February 2011

Short post today on Dryosaurus.

Dryosaurus has made it into a couple of documentaries but its saturation of popular culture sort of dies out there. It has been modded into Zoo Tycoon  games (which I love). There are toys floating around but none of them are exquisitely popular, which is okay honestly. If you get a small herbivorous dinosaur in a bucket of dinosaur toys that seems very generic, it could be one of these guys.

09 February 2011

Dryosaurus and Dysalotosaurus

Dryosaurus altus: Marsh 1878 as Laosaurus altus. The entire Laosaurus genus has been considered nomen dubium by this point, the animals belonging to other species. Dryosaurus lettowvorbecki: Virchow 1919 as Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki. Lately Virchow's Tanzanian Dryosaur has been cast back as Dysalotosaurus by some members of the paleo community. It is a fluid community to belong to and things are always changing up. If someone finds info on H. Virchow, a German anatomist, please share!

An interesting story of Dysalotosaurus: There is a double entendre in this fossil's name.The name Dysalotosaurus - ("uncatchable lizard") is sometimes thought to be a reference to its gracile, sleek, morphology, but in fact the species name, lettowvorbecki, suggests the real intent behind the name. A World War I German general, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck stationed in Tanzania, proved uncatchable to pursuing British and South African armies. In 1919 (just after the end of Word War I), the unrepentant German paleontologist, H. Virchow, in naming this Tanzanian dinosaur; celebrated this fact with its name.

08 February 2011

Dryosaurus Articles

Here's an article about baby Dryosaurs. This article makes use of Dryosaurus in its discussion so it may be of interest to everyone as well. There are other articles, but most require a subscription or a download fee. Check them out for yourself. I'm pressed for time today but if I find anything more during the day I'll be sure to come back to everyone and share!

07 February 2011

Dryosaurus movies

The only place I've seen Dryosaurus pop up in documentaries, lately at least, is in the John Goodman narrated "When Dinosaurs Roamed America" from Discovery. If you recall the Camarasaurus video clip from that series there were some little guys zooming around under their feet, picking up their scraps and one even got eaten by a Ceratosaurus when they wandered away from the Camarasaurs. Watch that old clip, or watch the entire show starting with part one below

06 February 2011

Spreading the word to the kids!

Dryosaurus kids' pages are slightly less numerous but I can still start out with our favorite kids' fact sheet. This week there are a couple good coloring options

but you can also draw your own to color if you have the time!  Don't ask about the crests, I don't know where people got this idea! The top coloring picture was drawn by Dragonfire767 on DeviantArt

05 February 2011

The many, supposed, colors of a Dryosaur.

Dryosaurus is your pretty basic dinosaur as far as looks are concerned. Tail, small head, body, arms and legs, nothing spectacular here. That doesn't mean that Dryosaurus hasn't been portrayed with different colorations though: the mottled look below


A slightly different mottling (with our buddy from last week the Ceratosaurus in hot pursuit too!)

and a plain green

The problem we have with dinosaurs is, of course, their coloring is pretty much non-discernible most of the time. Thanks to human intuition and deduction as well as an understanding of science and nature, I think that we've come quite far in getting it narrowed down to a good educated guess. Regardless, all of these animals depicted above are very well depicted. I like the coloring of the one that's interacting with the humans a lot and I'm going to figure out what's going on up there for is today.

04 February 2011

New dinosaur this week, but not much to say today.

This week I was waiting for permission from the artist to work on the profile picture, but I can't seem to get in touch with them at all. I'll do the picture this evening then. In the mean time, sate your dinosaur palate with Dryosaurus

03 February 2011

Pop Culture Thursday

Ceratosaurus has made many appearances in popular culture starting its starring role in movies in 1914 with Brute Force.

One Million Years BC, The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, and Jurassic Park III (more of a cameo) followed. Two episodes of Jurassic Fight Club, and When Dinosaurs Roamed America also followed. Then there are toys, books and other entertainment areas. Ceratosaurs have been busy in our culture since they were first unearthed and described. Amazon actually contains 64 links for Ceratosaurus, which is fairly good for any dinosaur outside the top twelve recognizable dinosaurs/ancient reptiles.

02 February 2011

Two old discoverers revisited today.

The type species of Ceratosaurus (nasicornis) was described by O.C. Marsh in 1884 and redescribed in 1920 by Charles W. Gilmore (last week's describer of Camarasaurus). The next two species, magnicornis and dentisulcatus (Welles and Madsen), were then described in 2000. Paul notes in his latest book magnicornis may be a descendant or misplaced nasicornis and then includes dentisulcatus and one other unnamed species. Meriani, ingens, and stechowi, however, are also described species from the Morrison Formation. My assumption is that meriani, ingens, and stechowi are lumped together as the unnamed species by Paul, but I haven't thought to ask him, so only he knows for sure.

01 February 2011

Ceratosaurus Articles on this wonderful Tuesday

Starting on page 47 of The Dinosauria is a detailed article by Tykoski and Rowe about the Ceratosauria. I'm starting to read the book slowly and haven't gotten to that part yet, but I will soon. As such I haven't read this yet; you think I would have for this week's animal! Additionally, the pdf found on this page is a fantastic resource for all carnivorous dinosaurs of America including Ceratosaurs. This second article comes from the Smithsonian Institute records of proceedings and in house research. They are both great reads (well, I haven't read the first one so that's an assumption but the second one, the snippets on Ceratosaurs are informative). Please feel free to share any more articles! Everyone is always looking for good research!