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Home » Episode 424: What the Titanic has to do with dinosaurs

Episode 424: What the Titanic has to do with dinosaurs


Episode 424: What the Titanic has to do with dinosaurs. Plus two new dinosaurs, a sauropod and a hadrosaur that each present sudden range of their locales; Ornithopods had larger brains than we thought; and extra


  • There’s a brand new macronarian sauropod, Yuzhoulong, that exhibits extra range in Sichuan, China than beforehand thought supply
  • A brand new basal hadrosaurid, Malefica, named “witch” or “sorceress” was present in Large Bend Nationwide Park supply
  • Ornithopods, and particularly hadrosaurs, had larger brains than we thought supply
  • Washington state remains to be engaged on getting a state dinosaur supply
  • South Australian Museum in Adelaide, Australia, has a brand new exhibit, Six Extinctions supply


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The dinosaur of the day: Silesaurus

  • Silesaurid dinosauriform that lived within the Late Triassic, in what’s now Poland (Keuper Claystone)
  • Appeared pretty dinosaur-like, with a protracted tail, and lengthy neck, and walked on all fours, and had an elongated cranium
  • Estimated to be about 7.5 ft (2.3 m) lengthy
  • In regards to the dimension of a giant canine
  • Evenly constructed, and possibly was quick and energetic
  • Had a slender snout, with nostrils that pointed ahead
  • Had massive orbits within the cranium so most likely had good imaginative and prescient
  • Had seven vertebrae within the neck
  • Had a slender pelvis
  • Had slender ribs (“strongly crushed, which made their preparation tough”)
  • Had lengthy, slender legs
  • Had gracile entrance limbs
  • In 2020, Piechowski and others appeared on the posture and the way the muscle tissues of Silesaurus labored and located the forelimbs have been totally straightened and had smaller muscle tissues for extending the limbs, retracting, and bending (as seen in early sauropods)
  • From the 2020 paper: “had pillar-erected hindlimbs like some pseudosuchians” and had “totally erect” forelimbs like early sauropods
  • Had a really slender humerus and “barely curved bone”
  • Had “restricted forelimb pronation”
  • Authors wrote: “The forelimb could make solely quick steps, prohibiting quick locomotion”
  • Discovered the “hindlimb appears to have been able to better pace”
  • Had some diversifications to assist enhance pace and suppleness with the forelimbs
  • Had a “pillar-erect hindlimb posture just like that of some pseudosuchians” (earlier than, the group of ornithodirans have been thought to “have solely buttress-erect limb posture”
  • Had posture just like early sauropods
  • However Silesaurus additionally had a shorter humerus and extra elongated antebrachium, so “may make longer steps and achieve better pace than early sauropods”
  • Silesaurus additionally had a attractive beak on the decrease jaw
  • Had a “comparatively low tooth depend”
  • Had small, conical, serrated tooth
  • Dzik, who named Silesaurus, wrote the tooth have “relatively low conical form and worn suggestions” and weak serration
  • Not many tooth, like different early herbivorous dinosaurs
  • Dzik wrote “Within the form of their crowns and sample of serration, the tooth of Silesaurus should not just like these of carnivorous dinosaurs” (most likely herbivory)
  • At first considered herbivorous however coprolites discovered later confirmed Silesaurus might have eaten bugs, such because the beetle Triamyxa
  • Might have used its beak to peck on bugs
  • In 2019 Martin Qvarnström and others printed a examine on the beetle-bearing coprolites
  • Comparatively massive dimension of the coprolites exhibits it was not from a small animal
  • Coprolites ranged from 1.2 to 2.1 in (31 to 54.5 mm) lengthy
  • Coprolites had a “skinny, easy outer coating and are gray to brown in color”
  • Abundance of beetles and smaller invertebrates within the coprolites present that “the coprolite producer intentionally focused beetles and comparable small terrestrial invertebrates as prey”
  • Discovered the “finest candidate from the physique fossil file of the locality is the dinosauriform Silesaurus”
  • Anatomy of Silesaurus is just like “bird-like neotheropod dinosaurs and trendy birds”
  • Hypothesized that Silesaurus used its beak “to effectively peck small bugs off the bottom, a feeding conduct analogous to some extant birds”
  • Discovered that the coprolites have been made by “a medium-sized animal that focused bugs as prey”
  • Additionally mentioned it was doubtless that this animal additionally regurgitated pellets, like trendy birds
  • Probably regurgitated delicate prey and plant fragments
  • Silesaurus had some characters just like birds, with a shorter, extra compact cranium; keratinous beak
  • To sum up: coprolites have been discovered close to Silesaurus fossils, and the dimensions and form of the coprolites, together with the beakiness of Silesaurus made it appear the coprolites got here from Silesaurus
  • Sort species is Silesaurus opolensis
  • Named by Jerzy Dzik in 2003
  • Fossils present in Silesia, Poland
  • Genus title means “Silesia lizard”
  • Discovered close to the town of Opole, therefore the species title
  • Present in clay pit in Krasiejow close to Opole, southern Poland
  • Discovered a number of hundred well-preserved bones
  • The paper describing Silesaurus mentioned there was “an accumulation of skeletons”
  • Had sufficient specimens so there was a “just about full restoration of the skeleton”
  • Collected greater than 400 bones, together with 4 partially articulated skeletons
  • The place the fossils have been discovered had loads of uncovered claystone and mudstone that was delicate and simply disintegrated in water, which made the fossils “susceptible to destruction by weathering”
  • Sort specimen is an incomplete skeleton
  • Cranium identified from disarticulated bones
  • Contains the jaw bones
  • In 2014, Piechowski and others proposed sexual dimorphism for Silesaurus
  • Analyzed hip bones of 20 Silesaurus specimens, and located variations within the muscle tendons, and interpreted that mature females had statistically bigger ossified tendons than proposed males
  • Authentic paper mentioned Silesaurus was a dinosauriform, with the household unsure
  • Thought of to be a dinosauriform (a bigger group that features dinosaurs), and till not too long ago, not a dinosaur (missing options equivalent to an enlarged deltopectoral crest, the muscle attachment on the higher arm)
  • However, did have some dinosaur traits, equivalent to a brevis shelf, a bone floor on the pelvis that was the place tail muscle tissues may connect)
  • Hip bones have been organized like a saurischian
  • Although it had beak, didn’t have the predentary bone seen in ornithischians
  • Had leaf-shaped tooth, additionally seen in early ornithischians
  • Had similarities to ornithischians, like Lesothosaurus
  • From Dzik: “Crompton and Attridge (1986) and Sereno (1997) proposed that prosauropods may additionally have had a slender attractive beak on the anterior finish of the higher and decrease jaws. He referred to a raised bony platform on the premaxillae in Riojasaurus from the Los Colorados Formation of Argentina, and in Plateosaurus from the Knollenmergel of Germany. That is hardly seen within the authentic illustrations, which signifies that these buildings should not straightforward to discern. This isn’t the case with Silesaurus, wherein the realm for the beak is distinguished, however restricted to the decrease jaw”
  • “These similarities to herbivorous dinosaurs might imply that 1) Silesaurus is an early member of the ornithischian lineage, 2) belongs to the lineage resulting in each the Ornithischia and Prosauropoda after its emergence from the ancestral carnivorous inventory however previous to splitting, or 3) type a lineage that developed herbivory independently of dinosaurs. The fossil file of the early Late Triassic evolution of dinosaurs is simply too incomplete to make an inexpensive alternative”
  • From the unique paper: “Silesaurus appears to be near the purpose of origin of dinosaurs each in respect to its construction and geological age”
  • Additionally from the unique paper: ““It exhibits many of the characters listed by Novas as diagnostic apomorphies for members of the lineage resulting in dinosaurs”
  • And from the unique paper: “A lot much less apparent is the connection of Silesaurus to dinosaurs as its skeletal anatomy is a relatively weird mixture of primitive and superior characters”
  • Not sufficient of the cranium and fingers discovered, which makes it exhausting to find out
  • As of 2022, appears silesaurs now thought-about to be dinosaurs
  • In episode 415, we coated the newest on Ornithoscelida, the proposal from 2017 that ornithischians advanced from theropods and the mixture ought to be referred to as “Ornithoscelida”
  • The authors Norman and Baron and others now suppose ornithischians advanced from silesaurs, after analyzing early dinosaurs and together with silesaurs
  • Different papers previously have additionally proposed silesaurs are ornithischians, such because the paper that described the silesaurid Sacisaurus
  • Silesauridae was named as a bunch in 2010 by Langer and others, and there are a few dozen silesaurs
  • Nonetheless some debate over what’s included, equivalent to Pisanosaurus (coated in episode 354)
  • Silesaurus lived in a subtropical surroundings just like the Mediterranean at present, with monsoons in the summertime and dry winters
  • Different animals that lived across the identical time and place embrace fish, phytosaurs, and early pterosaurs

Enjoyable Reality:

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