Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BeeOtch217, Mar 28, 2014.
Can't give this guy a break, huh?
Regardless of swimming or diving abilities, there's little doubt most known spinosaurids spent a lot of time in and around water. That fits with stable isotope data. That fits with the functional morphology of Baryonyx jaws, which experience forces similar to the skulls of today's gharials, which are fish-eating crocodiles from South Asia. That fits with tooth wear and stomach content, showing spinosaurids preyed on heavily-armored fish like seminonitids. That fits with tooth marks and teeth found in the remains of pterosaurs and sawfish.
And it's possible, even likely, there's more than one spinosaurid taxon known from Cenomanian North Africa, so whether the short hind legs attributed to Spinosaurus aegyptiacus actually do belong to that taxon is up to debate. Even if it did, the proportions may not be exactly the same given it's from different specimens in a far-off location from the Bahariya Oasis, where the holotype was discovered. Even if the short spinosaur legs did not belong to S. aegyptiacus, it's possible Spinosaurus did have similarly short hind legs. Either way, Spinosaurus almost certainly enjoyed a freshwater and brackish water buffet and avoided competition with more terrestrial abelisaurids and carcharodontosaurids.
Finally, functional morphology studies using computer modelling are not the end all problem-solvers of the scientific universe. Such studies are useful tools that can be forms of evidence, but functional morphology studies are not definite proof. The same thing with cladistics. Yes, cladistics ARE very useful, but they aren't end-all, case-closed studies; instead, cladistics can and do change over time as new taxa are discovered and described and new material and descriptions of old taxa become available. These are tools and not definite, undeniable conclusions.
A New Nodosaur from New Mexico
Extinct Cave Bear DNA Found in Living Bears
The furculae of the dromaeosaurid dinosaur Dakotaraptor steini are trionychid turtle entoplastra
'World-class' skeleton of herbivorous dinosaur excavated in Hokkaido | The Japan Times
Second hump-nosed spike-thumbed dinosaur discovered | Earth Archives
I was browsing Bigbadtoystore today and came across this
Tyrannosaurus Rex "Vanilla Ice" (Jungle) 1/35 Scale Replica
It looked kinda familiar, but I couldn’t place it until I saw the Mountain recolor.
It’s a Vastatosaurus rex from 2005 King Kong!
It’s only point of articulation is the jaw, still looking nice though.
Species New to Science: [Paleontology • 2018] Qiupanykus zhangi • A New Alvarezsaurid Dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous Qiupa Formation of Luanchuan, Henan Province, central China
Shark-like Tails Sped Ancient Sea Monsters Through Oceans
This is interesting, especially after the announcement of the two alvarezsaurians intermediate between the Jurassic, almost raptor-like forms Aorun and Haplocheirus, and the Late Cretaceous Alvarezsauridae from South America and Laurasia. Xiyunykus was a lot like Haplocheirus in some aspects of its anatomy, while Bannykus had much reduced second and third digits that still retained claws, unlike the clawless vestigial digits of alvarezsaurids, or the one-fingered Linhenykus monodactylus.
About the egg-eating theory based on the association of eggshell with Qiupanykus zhangi, I think it's an interesting idea that very well may hold merit. All dinosaurs laid hard-shelled, calcitic eggs so far as is known, and the diverse oofauna known from the Late Cretaceous of Asia may well have provided a seasonal smorgasbord.
Having said that, I don't think the idea that alvarezsaurids were egg-eaters means that they also didn't eat insects after ripping into their earthen nests or rotten wood, and I have another idea, too.
I think it's also possible, and this is my idea, that some alvarezsaurids, like modern-day sapsuckers and even hummingbirds when flowers and insects are scarce or unavailable, may have ripped into living trees to eat the viscous, energy-rich sap.
Alvarezsaurids lived in a variety of environments, from deserts with dunes to woodlands, both subtropical and with cooler winters. Eggs are great foods if one can break into them, but they also come in seasons. Likewise, insects and invertebrates are abundant, energy-rich prey year round in warm or mild climates, but when things get cold they can be hard to find, so perhaps alvarezsaurids in wooded plains and forests nearer to the poles used their powerful claws to dine on sap when eggs or insects when the former two were scarce or impossible to find. Of course, trees may have been few and far between in the ancient Gobi of the Djadokhta, so perhaps those alvarezsaurids were more insectivores and/or egg-eaters than sap-slurpers. It may be hard to prove, but it's an idea of mine.
'Messy' New Species of Dinosaur-Era Bird Discovered
A new tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Menefee Formation of New Mexico
Dynamoterror dynastes? That is a hell of a name for a relative of the king of the Hell Creek. And a nice tribute to the name Tyrannosaurs rex was given a few years before becoming T. rex, Dynamosaurus!
Fossil of young long-necked dinosaur found—and nicknamed Andrew
Separate names with a comma.