Oh my god, this actually exists. PLUSH PARASAUROLOPHUS!
New “Sauron” Dinosaur Found, Big as T. Rex
Named after the demonic Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings films, a new species of flesh-ripping dinosaur terrorized North Africa some 95 million years ago, a new study says.
The species—Sauroniops pachytholus, or “eye of Sauron” in Greek—was identified from a single fossil unearthed in southeastern Morocco in 2007.
That fossil included only part the upper skull—including the eye socket, study leader Andrea Cau, of the Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini in Bologna, Italy, said by email.
“The idea of a predator that is physically known only as its fierce eye reminded me of Sauron, in particular as depicted in Peter Jackson’s movies,” Cau explained. Read more.
Volunteered at the Pacific Science Center downtown today for Life Sciences Research Weekend. About 15 minutes of my time afterwards was spent having quality time with my favorite dinosaur, the parasaurolophus.
Pachycephalosaurus, by tavari.
I don’t think i’ve even made a post about these yet? Even though they’re my favourite dinosaurs…
Males and females had different sized crests, meaning obvious sexual dimorphism in appearance- and possibly also in voice, if their crests were indeed used to amplify sounds. They would have lived in swampy, forested areas, feeding on water plants and tough vegetation which was processed with their extremely efficient tooth batteries.
One of the clearest transitional forms between dinosaurs and birds that has been discovered so far. Fossils have been found with beautifully preserved feathers, and it is essentially these alone that prevent it from being classified as a dinosaur.
Moderately sized plesiosaurs, they reached roughly 11-15 feet in length. They had small, narrow heads, with long teeth adapted for catching fish. They probably swam with an undulating movement, using their rear paddles in a flying motion and their front paddles for stabilisation and to control the angle and direction they swam in. Fossils have been found containing gastroliths, which they would have swallowed to regulate their buoyancy- using the weight of the stones to counteract the air in their lungs.
“Plesiosaurus” is also a wastebasket taxon, meaning all sorts of fossil specimens have been assigned this name (Iguanodon and Megalosaurus were, and still are, wastebasket taxons, thanks to 19th Century paleontologists.)
Mounted skeleton was on display at the American Museum of Natural History
Reconstruction by Charles Knight
When: Holocene (1879 to 1903)
Where: Scientific literature and museums on the east coast of the USA. Found even today in public consciousness and outdated dinosaur books.
What: Brontosaurus is perhaps the most well known of the sauropod dinosaurs. Too bad it never really existed! The history of this name and why it became so popularized starts in 1877 when the paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh applied the name Apatosaurus to a sauropod specimen. This specimen was not very complete and mostly represented by vertebrae and a pelvis. Two years later he erected the name Brontosaurus based on an almost complete skeleton that was missing its head. Headless sauropod skeletons are fairly common, but in this case this missing head only served to make the story even more complicated.
This missing head was obviously a problem when the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale wanted to mount its specimen of Brontosaurus for display. There was great debate over which head to use, which some camps wanting to use one that resembled Diplodocus but others rallied behind a Brachiosaurus type skull. This latter skull was what Marsh had envisioned in his publications on Brontosaurus, so after much heated debate a Brachiosaurus type skull was attached to the previously headless skeleton. This skeleton was unveiled to the public in 1905 to great fanfare and soon after the American Museum of Natural History in New York City had its own Brontosaurus on display, with an identical head to the Yale specimen.
So the general public had a firm concept of the dinosaur Brontosaurus! It was an easy to remember and pronounce name, this is what it looked like, and hey look we even have all of these lovely reconstruction showing these great lumbering beasts in prehistoric swamps. Too bad everything was wrong. And even worse, it was KNOWN to be wrong by some workers who were shouted down by others. In 1903, two years before the specimen was mounted at Yale, a paper was published Elmer Riggs at the Field Museum of Chicago that declared that the bones known for Apatosaurus that overlapped with those of Brontosaurus showed that these two animals were the same. He concluded that Brontosaurus was not a valid name as it was two years younger than Apatosaurus. Even worse, remember the great head debate? Totally wrong. Later fossil finds have confirmed that a Diplodocus style head should have been used. These skulls are much more elongated and flatter than the high domed skull that was used for the Brontosaurus mount.
So not only is the name not valid, but the anatomy of the animal isn’t even anything that ever existed in nature! It is a chimera of different species. Also sauropods were not aquatic swamp dwellers, they were 100% terrestrial creatures.
My stuffed brontosaurus was a lie?
Cryolophosaurus (by Jeff Kubina)