|Cast of the David Sole specimen.|
31 July 2013
30 July 2013
People have written about Scelidosaurus and they have also studied it a lot. The older the dinosaur the more it has been studied would be a nice rule of thumb, but we know that is not the case. Regardless, this dinosaur does pretty well follow that ideal for a variety of reasons including its position as one of the most basal members of its group. Being the first complete dinosaur discovered had its advantages, such as the wonderfully in depth description provided by Owen in his 1863 publication A Monograph of the Fossil Reptilia of the Liassic Formations, Parts 1-3. He starts the discussion by noting that the skeleton available to him is a young Scelidosaurus and not an adult; this constitutes a very important distinction when considering the life histories of specimens. Owen was also using a lot of jumbled material, however, and a little over 100 years later, in 1968, B.H. Newman wrote a paper describing the lectotype of Scelidosaurus, Lydekker 1888 (a right knee joint/complex), as a megalosaur and calling for a new lectotype to be raised. He proposed that the skull and associated skeleton be placed as the lectotype in the place of Lydekker's lectotype. Newer research and discoveries have been conducted as well. In 2003, for instance, soft tissue was discovered and publicized in a Scelidosaurus find. Not as new, but still of great importance to the study of Scelidosaurus is the discovery of Scelidosaurus remains in Arizona in 1989, making Scelidosaurus not only one of the earliest complete dinosaurs discovered, but also one of the many that have been found in what, even during its lifetime, was a great range of lands and habitats.
29 July 2013
Scelidosaurus is not in any documentaries nor does it have any great influence in cartoons or many other forms of media. It does appear in one game, an educational game known as Dinosaur Safari (see below), but it does not even figure as a main animal there. There are quite a few animals in the game though, so it is good enough that it made the cut. It may look a little shoddy, but it is a bit older, and as such that is actually a pretty good looking game overall and I will not complain.
28 July 2013
A reason that younger readers/viewers may get confused is that Scelidosaurus is a basal member of the group and therefore looks a bit like a stegosaur and a bit like an ankylosaur without being either. That said, there is no reason that the children of the world should not get acquainted with KidsDinos and Enchanted Learning. Additionally, they can color online or print out a copy of coloring pages on this site or the image shown below is also available.
|Via Arthur's dinosaur clipart|
27 July 2013
|Nobu Tamura's updated Scelidosaurus|
|Lyme Regis Museum, Dorset, England|
26 July 2013
25 July 2013
|Taken from dinosaurjim.com, which was taken from elsewhere. If anyone knows the original illustrator please let me know. It may be based off of Scott Hartman's skeleton, but it is not the one he has posted on his site.|
24 July 2013
23 July 2013
22 July 2013
21 July 2013
20 July 2013
|The natural conclusion to yesterday's art by Davide Bonadonna|
|Skeleton at the North American Museum of Ancient Life (Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, UT), photo courtesy of user Ninjatacoshell|
19 July 2013
This week I have a monster of a dinosaur for us. Obviously, in sticking with my typical rotation, we are going to look at a predator this week, and not just any predator, but one that has been discovered in both Colorado and Portugal in varying stages of life including as an egg and is a fearsome predator of the late Jurassic. Larger than most of its contemporaries, including most Allosaurus individuals, Torvosaurus tanneri was a forced to be reckoned with. Three clawed hands and massive jaws were supported by a robust torso and well muscled and strong legs in this megalosaur. This "savage lizard" was between 30 and 26ft (9 and 11m) long and probably weighed nearly 2.2 tons (2 metric tons). The Portuguese specimen is the largest discovered meaning that the eastern counterparts of the Colorado specimens were either slightly larger overall or that the Colorado specimen may be a younger individual than the Portugal specimen. The Portuguese Torvosaurus rivals T. rex's skull and is much larger than any other Jurassic age predator while the Colorado material is slightly smaller than Allosaurus/Saurophaganax and another animal known as Edmarka (which may be synonymous with Torvosaurus).
18 July 2013
Zalmoxes lacks a lot of popular culture references we have seen on the internet. It did feature in some news stories back when it was renamed and a little afterwards. Zalmoxes has warranted enough looks that it has been detailed by the Natural Museum of History in London on a fact page also. However, as we have seen, it did not manage to ascend to documentary dinosaur status as yet and has also not been portrayed as a model or toy dinosaur to my knowledge at this date. Zalmoxes has made its name in World of Warcraft as an item, as have many other dinosaurs. Apparently it is represented by a robe that players can acquire on a once previously mentioned landscape within the game. Sadly, that is where that popularity ends for Zalmoxes. A greater number of dwarfed dinosaurs from Transylvania are being discovered these days and that will pique interest in someone soon enough I am sure to warrant the creation of a documentary or toys or something else that gets the name out there more.
17 July 2013
|Brian Cooley's Zalmoxes sculpture|
16 July 2013
Weishampel, Jianu, Csiki, and Norman was the landmark paper that renamed Rhabdodon robustus as Zalmoxes robustus and identified a second species as Zalmoxes shqiperorum. Thankfully Dr. Weishampel is nice enough to host his own papers so we can read the entire paper, all 59 pages, of the in depth anatomical description of Zalmoxes and how it differs, and is thus officially distanced, from Rhabdodon. The matrices and characters are included, which is always nice to have, so that the systematists amongst us can really look at the characters that were analyzed. The osteology of newer specimens has also been discussed, this time only for Z. shqiperorum though. The 2009 paper discusses a new fossil site in Transylvania, Romania and the specimens of Z. shqiperorum that had been unearthed from that location.
15 July 2013
Zalmoxes does not appear in motion pictures, short or full length, animated or computer graphics. There is an alphabet video that mentions Zalmoxes in the Z slot of the alphabet; there really are not too many dinosaur choices in the Z slots of the alphabet. Dinosaur Train's A to Z episode does not use Zalmoxes, sadly for us; I know everyone wants to see the Dinosaur Train song again and again. Zalmoxes, and the other Transylvanian island dinosaurs that have been discovered, truly do deserve their own documentary. Some day this will certainly happen. It has not so far and thus I have nothing to share in terms of video today, unfortunately.
14 July 2013
Science for Kids has a pretty good fact page going for Zalmoxes. It is a bit short, but it gets the important information out there quick and in an easily readable way. Additionally, I found a pretty sweet puzzle site that is any age friendly. You can make the pieces any size you want from a 12x12 puzzle down to a 2x2 puzzle. That means you, or your child/nephew/niece/sibling, can customize the puzzle to fit yours, or their, skill abilities. Pretty nifty if you ask me. Seeing as how you can create your own puzzles on that site, be prepared for more Sunday kid friendly posts with dinosaur puzzles! This will help a lot for dinosaurs that are not as popular. Also, when you are done with your puzzles and reading your facts, here are a couple of coloring pages worth all kinds of time and fun to color and detail!
13 July 2013
|Cast in Brussels, photo by Ghedo|
|Attributed to Anky-Man|
|©Vlad Codrea (via MSNBC)|
12 July 2013
|©Mariana Ruiz Villareal|
11 July 2013
10 July 2013
09 July 2013
08 July 2013
07 July 2013
The image at the top of the Natural History Museum of London's fact page makes for a fairly good coloring page, though it is quite small and blowing it up may blur some of the lines. Not much else has been created solely for children in regards to Juravenator. That is sad news. The fact about this dinosaur is that it is small and though well known from the specimen that has been recovered from the ground, is not very popular. A life size replica would be little more than a toy, so most model companies that make dinosaurs have not made a replica of the little dinosaur, which rules out statues. Toy manufacturers may simply not be aware of the small animal or may have decided that there was no demand for such an unrecognized dinosaur in their toy market. Regardless of the reasons, Juravenator makes up a very tiny amount of child-friendly knowledge of dinosaurs.
06 July 2013
As I mentioned yesterday, Juravenator is thought to be a juvenile specimen, indicating that the miniscule size of the specimen is not the full adult size of the animal. I still happen to think that this a very sad thing because a teeny dinosaur like this would be pretty fantastic. At barely half a meter from tip to tail having a Juravenator for a pet would be a pretty good reality (and given the exotic nature of some pets a high probability scenario) if they were still alive and the juvenile turned out to be an adult. The problem with not having an adult of course is that it may turn out that this juvenile might be freshly hatched and only 1/5 or maybe even 1/10 the size of an adult, perhaps less even. What would something this size, regardless of adult or juvenile status, living on the coast of the Tethys Ocean eat? One obvious answer, for any carnivorous or omnivorous animal living on a shoreline is fish, whether hunted or scavenged. Scavenging for a coastal predator means nearly anything that washes up in a state that is edible becomes fair game for dinner and competition amongst the predators that find it. Additionally, other scavengers, mammals, young from many other types of animals (or their own kind perhaps), and perhaps even vegetation may have been on the menu as well.
05 July 2013
The Jura Mountains of Germany yielded one of the smallest dinosaurs we know. Thought to be a juvenile due to its miniscule size, Juravenator starki, is a 75 cm long coelurosaurian theropod dating to approximately 150-152 million years ago. Remember that naming new species from juveniles is not generally advised considering the growth series and life histories of many dinosaurs have altered many species' positions as well as names in years past. However, sometimes all we have to go on originally is a juvenile specimen and sometimes it is different enough to justify a new species. Additionally, this could just be a very small dinosaur; without other specimens at this time it is harder to assert the age of the animal. I kind of hope it is a full grown animal because it would be like the lap dog of dinosaurs (though I do not like lapdogs a lapdog dinosaur would be fantastic). Jurassic Bavaria, along with the rest of the European continent, was a much more tropical environment with many more miles of coastline than are now present on the continent; mostly due to the fact that many of the landmasses that would become Europe were underwater and a lot of islands dotted the Tethys Ocean. Juravenator was a coastal predator and scavenger. Covered in very primitive feather-like structures and extensively scaled (evidence for these assertions are found on impressions around the tail), Juravenator appears to exhibit a very basal position in terms of dinosaur feathering witnessed in other compsognathids. Juravenator is also thought to be a nocturnal animal, as detailed in comparisons of the sclerotic rings to those of living birds have shown.
04 July 2013
Paralititan is famous friends. So it would appear anyhow. Paralititan shows up as Spore creations, toys, video game bits, in documentaries (a pretty good synopsis here of the Planet Dinosaur episode), and in many other artistic ventures (one of my favorites: Paleo-King's illustration). Some of the best Paralititan videos are shown below:
Paralititan as a Spore creature. Well done overall, however the butt is way up in the air, which is a rather strange orientation any dinosaur, though a hadrosaur walking as a quadruped approaches this level of butt-in-air.
A small short made with video game models and some clever steering of the camera. Not bad given what was available to the creator of this short video. It does get a little choppy at times.
03 July 2013
|You know you want a hug too.|
02 July 2013
Stromer collected a lot of vertebrates in the early part of the 20th century in North Africa's Bahariya Formation. Included in these totals were fish and turtles, plesiosaurs, Spinosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, Bahariyasaurus, Aegyptosaurus, and a number of crocodiles. Sadly, it is popularly known that Stromer's collections were mostly destroyed in Munich during World War II. That probably made comparison between Aegyptosaurus and the newly discovered Paralititan difficult if not impossible; the extent of the casts and any other remains of Aegyptosaurus are unknown to myself and the description of Paralititan does not expressly describe Aegyptosaurus in comparison. That said, the describing article (hosted at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History website) announcing Paralititan is rather short at 3 total pages including references and images (one page of text without images approximately), and does not include the character states coded for on the first page. Paralititan, regardless, is missing a large number of characters, but the remains also contain a respectable amount of characters as well; enough to assuredly assign Paralititan to the titanosaurids. National Geographic, which has written many stories pertaining to African dinosaurs within the last 15 years or so, mentioned Paralititan briefly in a 2007 article as well. The neatest part of that issue is the poster I got from it that is now hanging in my school office. The image of Paralititan from that poster is pictured here.
01 July 2013
I suppose we cannot really say they owned the planet, though they did take a pretty big space in it, considering that they were rather enormous dinosaurs. Paralititan is a somewhat minor character in Planet Dinosaur's episode "New Giants". Due to this and the fact that the BBC regulates what can be seen in America online (certain countries are denied the ability to view clips on the BBC's website), it is pretty hard to find a quality clip from the show to share here today. There are some substandard clips (recorded from the television, not recorded on television) out there as well as tribute videos. There are wireframe models out there available for purchase that are shown in videos, but they are not that great overall. If you happen to catch any re-airings of Planet Dinosaur or live in a country where clips are allowed by the BBC check that out, if not, you may just have to make due with the second hand recording of Paralititan to see it on video.