STL Science Center

STL Science Center

23 September 2018

Pseudosuchian Archosaurs

Rather than spend today telling the intrepid readers (and viewers of videos) what a pseudosuchian is and is not, I present to you today videos that show, describe, and discuss Revueltosaurus.The genus Revueltosaurus consists of three recognized species: R. callenderi Hunt, 1989 type; R. olseni Hunt and Lucas, 1994; R. hunti Heckert, 2002. The first video comes from Petrified Forest and the National Park Service. It describes the finds at the park and where some of those bones come from on the skull of this crocodile relative. The second video features NMMNH Chief Scientist Spencer Lucas talking about what exactly Revueltosaurus is and is not, in a very short manner of time (the clip lasts approximately 90 seconds).

17 September 2018

Daspletosaurus Appears on Television

Daspletosaurus was an interesting tyrannosaurid for a number of reasons. One of the reasons that has been explored was that Daspletosaurus was contemporaneous with another tyrannosaurid, Gorgosaurus libratus. The BBC show Planet Dinosaur was willing to imagine the world in which these two gargantuan dinosaurs lived, how Daspletosaurus may have hunted its prey, and how Daspletosaurus and Gorgosaurus may have interacted. The clip below only shows Daspletosaurus hunting and fighting with a Centrosaurus however.

16 September 2018

Facts and Cartoons

I'm A Dinosaur did a little bit less packing in of the facts on Daspletosaurus than they typically do, however it is still entertaining and has some facts for everyone.

The facts are well represented today though. If one chooses to read, you could visit ThoughtCo, the BBC, and even Enchanted Learning (if you want a very quick sheet of facts that are kid-friendly). A more in depth discussion of facts is also available in the I Know Dino podcast's Dino of the Day. This is available on YouTube:

15 September 2018

The Frightful Lizard

The "Frightful Lizard", Daspletosaurus consists of two recognized species: D. torosus Russell 1970 and D. horneri Carr et al. 2017. Daspletosaurus was at the top of its game during the Late  Cretaceous approximately 77 to 74 million years ago. Fossils of Daspletosaurus have been found in Alberta (D. torosus) and Montana (D. horneri) and are contemporaneous with Gorgosaurus, Centrasaurus, Hypacrosaurus, Brachylophosaurus, and Albertaceratops, among others. It is hypothesized that Gorgosaurus and Daspletosaurus may not have been in direct competition as apex predators, allowing for some niche partitioning that enabled them to live in the same areas at the same time without out-competing one another. As the more robust of the two genera, Daspletosaurus may have been more likely to prey on the more physically robust and difficult to take down ceratopsians than hadrosaurs; leaving hadrosaurs for lean times and Gorgosaurus.
©Dmitry Bogdanov

09 September 2018

Different -aroo

The kangaroos now exists as two species in one genus in Australia (and outside too as zoo animals and, increasingly, as pets). However, like any living animal, the kangaroos have ancestors, and a lot of them were very interesting. There have been kangaroos that walked instead of hopping and there have been kangaroos with rather large fangs. Most of those kangaroo ancestors have a -roo ending, which makes for some interesting names as well. One of the newest of these animals is the first true kangaroo known from 23 million years ago. This kangaroo, Cookeroo (divided into two species: C. bulwidarri and C. hortusensis), is also thought to have walked and scurried rather than hopped across the Australian landscape. These hypotheses are based mainly off of phylogenetic position (based on what I have found), as the paper describing the fossils describes numerous skulls, which are mostly incomplete, though some are fairly complete.
Holotype of Cookeroo bulwidarriPhoto posted by Dr. Kaylene Butler

04 September 2018

I Forgot Yesterday

Yesterday I had a video with Jeffrey Wilson all lined up and then I forgot to post it. So therefore, here today is Dr. Wilson talking about the large sauropod eating snake Sanajeh. He is seated next to a sculpture of the fossil which, in my opinion, is pretty fantastic. The fact that the fossil itself depicted this scene is one of the fascinating things about paleontology. Not only do we sometimes find new animals in fossil deposits, but sometimes, such as with Sanajeh, we get to see a scene of nature's beauty and ferocity frozen in time forever. Enjoy the video:

02 September 2018

Dinosaur Train Facts

Dinosaur Train delivered facts are always a nice short video full of facts that we can rely on. If that video is not enough there is also the ThoughtCo fact page.

01 September 2018

Snakes and Fossils

In 2010 Jeffrey Wilson and colleagues described a fossil snake found in the Western Indian state of Gujarat outside the village of Dholi Dungri. That snake is known as "Ancient Gape" or, in Sanskrit, Sanajeh indicus (indicus coming from the Latin meaning from India). The snake was discovered coiled around sauropod eggs, with an additional 50 cm long sauropod body found nearby. This Late Cretaceous snake, a Madtsoiid or Gondwanan clade snake, is thought to have regularly preyed on sauropods because of this discovery. Vertebrae, ribs, and a very rare but very fortunate nearly complete cranium including the lower jaw were discovered in this fossil. In extant snakes the head is extremely loosely connected together, as it was in Sanajeh. Even now these modern snakes are rarely found intact because of these loose connections. The fact that Sanajeh was discovered with a nearly complete skull and jaws is remarkable, and, as we can see in the line drawing of the fossil, uncovering this find must have been fairly fantastic.
From Wilson et al., 2010