- Dinosaur

Episode 435: Spinosaur brains, Tyrannosaurus species replace, and paleo developments

Episode 435: Spinosaur brains, Tyrannosaurus species replace, and paleo developments. Gregory S. Paul joins us to debate his work together with the latest controversial Tyrannosaurus rex, regina, and imperator paper. Plus a assessment of the historical past of dinosaur paleontology and what developments are coming for CT scanners


  • Phil Currie wrote an incredible assessment article concerning the historical past of paleontology, what we now learn about dinosaurs in comparison with when people first found dinosaurs, and the place the sphere of paleontology is headed supply
  • A brand new examine of spinosaur brains and skulls helps present how they tailored to eat fish supply
  • Trinity the Tyrannosaurus can be auctioned off in Switzerland subsequent month supply


Gregory S. Paul, researcher, creator, and illustrator. He’s identified for his analysis on theropods, writing the books Predatory Dinosaur of the World and The Princeton Area Information to Dinosaurs, consulting with Jurassic Park and When Dinosaurs Roamed America, and creating many illustrations. He was a part of the Dinosaur Renaissance and his work helped present dinosaurs as extra lively and bird-like.


You possibly can dig up actual dinosaur bones this summer season with Colorado Northwestern Group School! Be a part of them for a two week immersive discipline paleontology expertise digging up dinosaur bones from the Jurassic interval in Northwest Colorado. There are two scheduled digs: Might 27–June 11 and July 1–July 16. There are additionally two concurrent immersive lab methods applications out there. Get all the small print and register on-line at cncc.edu/dinodig

The dinosaur of the day: Tianyulong

  • Heterodontosaurid ornithischian that lived within the Late Jurassic in what’s now Western Liaoning Province, China
  • Regarded considerably just like Heterodontosaurus, with lengthy legs and an extended tail, and a brief cranium, however had shorter arms and a shorter neck
  • In all probability walked on two legs
  • Like different heterodontosaurids, had a pair of huge, canine-like tusks
  • Had uncommon proportions in comparison with its heterodontosaurid relations, with a big head, lengthy legs and tail, however quick arms and a brief neck
  • Holotype was mature and estimated to be about 27.5 in (70 cm) lengthy, primarily based on comparisons to its relative Heterodontosaurus tucki
  • Cranium was comparable in form to Heterodontosaurus
  • Cranium is about 2.3 in (6 cm) lengthy
  • Tail is about 17 in (44 cm) lengthy
  • Arms are lower than 30% the size of the legs
  • Tail is just like dromaeosaur theropods, with a extra cell base and center and finish being extra inflexible
  • Might have helped with stability
  • Had an extended second finger
  • Might have been good at greedy
  • Heterodontosaurids had been herbivores, and perhaps omnivores
  • Heterodontosaurids have payments for cropping, properly developed cheeks, good for consuming crops
  • Sort and solely species is Tianyulong confuciusi
  • Fossils present in Jianchang County and at the moment are on the Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature
  • Skeleton lay flat on a slab of rock
  • Genus identify means Tianyu dragon
  • Genus identify refers back to the Tianyu Museum of Nature
  • Species identify is in honor of Confucius
  • Named in 2009 by Zheng Xiao-Ting and others
  • First heterodontosaurid present in what’s now Asia
  • Initially regarded as from the Early Cretaceous, then later discovered to be from the Tiaojishan Formation (about 158.5 million years in the past)
  • Holotype is an incomplete skeleton together with a part of the cranium and jaw, vertebrae, a part of the arm, a part of the pelvis, a part of the legs and toes, and lengthy filamentous integumentary constructions (potential proto-feathers)
  • In 2012, Paul Sereno did a examine of heterodontosaurids and described a second specimen of Tianyulong
  • Second specimen features a practically full cranium, vertebrae, a part of the tail, shoulders, many of the arms, and elements of the legs and toes
  • Holotype and second specimen are about the identical dimension
  • There are not less than 4 different undescribed specimens
  • Sereno mentioned all of the specimens have to be studied to have a dependable cranium reconstruction
  • Most attention-grabbing a part of the discover had been the feather-like constructions
  • Discovered three patches of lengthy, filamentous constructions on its again, tail, and neck
  • Buildings look just like protofeathers
  • Not fairly a feather. Feathers are versatile and have vanes, and the constructions on Tianyulong are stiff and don’t have vanes (flat half on the aspect of a shaft of a feather)
  • They’re single constructions with no branches
  • Uncommon to seek out an ornithischian with feathers (normally have discovered saurischians, primarily theropods, with proof of feathers)
  • Ornithischians embrace ankylosaurs, stegosaurs, ceratopsians, hadrosaurs, and heterodontosaurids
  • Psittacosaurus is one other ornithischian, a ceratopsian, with bristles on its tail
  • Patches discovered on Tianyulong are just like the bristles on Psittacosaurus
  • Additionally just like constructions discovered on some theropods, like Sinosauropteryx and Beipiaosaurus
  • Extra just like the bristles on the tail of Psittacosaurus than to protofeathers in theropods, although the constructions on the tail of Psittacosaurus are extra inflexible and extra extensively separated from one another
  • Those on the tail of Tianyulong are the longest, at about 60 mm lengthy, which is seven instances the peak of the tail vertebra
  • Buildings had been presumably for show (undoubtedly not for flight)
  • Discovering them opened up new questions, like whether or not ornithischians independently developed these constructions or if these constructions had been a part of the widespread ancestor of ornithischians and saurischians (which means, did all dinosaurs evolve from an animal with these constructions)
  • Heterodontosaurids are basal ornithischians, which provides to the talk

Enjoyable Truth:

The expertise to look inside dinosaur skulls with out breaking them open is over 50 years outdated, however it wasn’t commonly used till extra just lately.

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