Episode 460: Have been dinosaurs smarter than mammals?

Episode 460: Have been dinosaurs smarter than mammals? New analysis into early dinosaur social expertise recommend they had been (a minimum of at one level in historical past). Plus: The primary good proof of sexual dimorphism in dinosaurs; and Maz Maddox joins to debate her RELIC collection, about people who can form shift into dinosaurs.


  • Dinosaurs discovered a sophisticated social ability known as visible perspective taking a minimum of 60 million years earlier than mammals supply
  • One other group of researchers discovered sexual dimorphism in dinosaurs, however this time they used extra than simply measurement or ornamentation. supply


Maz Maddox, a fellow dinosaur fanatic and writer of the RELIC collection, about people who can form shift into dinosaurs. Comply with her on Instagram and Fb @mazmaddox

The dinosaur of the day: Wannanosaurus

  • Basal pachycephalosaur that lived within the Late Cretaceous in what’s now Anhui, China (Xiaoyan Formation)
  • Small, walked on two legs, had a protracted tail, had a protracted, thick however flat cranium, and has been depicted with bristles on its again
  • Had small, densely packed bony bits on the again of the pinnacle
  • Had brief arms, with the humerus (arm bone) half the size of the femur (leg bone)
  • Holotype was small, with a femur about 3.1 in (8 cm) lengthy
  • Estimated to be about 2 ft (60 cm) lengthy
  • As a pachycephalosaur, in all probability was herbivore or omnivorous, consuming vegetation and perhaps bugs
  • Described in 1977 by Hou Lian-Hai
  • Kind species is Wannanosaurus yansiensis
  • Genus identify means “Wannan lizard” and refers to the place the fossils had been found
  • Wannan refers back to the southern a part of Anhui province, and is an alternate identify for Anhui
  • Species identify refers to Yansi, the city close to the place the fossils had been discovered
  • Fossils present in 1970 by the Anwei Provincial Survey
  • Discovered two people, together with a part of the cranium roof and decrease jaw, leg bones, elements of the arm, vertebrae
  • Paper describing Wannanosaurus made plenty of comparisons with the pachycephalosaur Stegoceras
  • But in addition stated it most intently resembles Yaverlandia (on the time regarded as a pachycephalosaur, now regarded as a maniraptoran theropod) and Homalocephale
  • In 2009, Richard Butler and Qi Zhao re-examined Wannanosaurus
  • Once they studied Wannanosaurus, famous that among the materials from the holotype and paratype had been lacking, so the authors primarily based observations primarily based on Hou’s figures and outline
  • Nonetheless, Hou made some errors, as Butler and Zhao identified. For instance, Hou recognized the humerus as from the left aspect, but it surely was on the best (measurements had been the identical, being lower than 50% the size of the femur)
  • Discovered that some bones within the cranium weren’t fused, so the holotype was in all probability a juvenile or subadult
  • However no histology achieved on it but, so not 100% certain
  • Authors categorised Wannanosaurus in Pachycephalosauria however stated for the reason that fossils are from juveniles it complicates the place to put it phylogenetically
  • Controversy on the place it sits within the pacycephalosaur phylogenetic tree
  • Prior to now has been categorised as a Homalocephalidae (household now not used however grouped collectively pachycephalosaurs with out domed skulls)
  • Had a flat cranium with massive openings, so regarded as basal within the Pachycephalosauria clade
  • Pachycephalosaurs are identified for the thick cranium roof
  • Most up-to-date research say it’s a part of Pachycephalosauria, however not pachycephalosauridae

Enjoyable Truth:

Many animals don’t have any sexual measurement dimorphism(SSD) in any respect. For instance, 39% of mammals don’t have any SSD (which means the men and women are the identical measurement).

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