- Dinosaur

I Know Dino Podcast: Aquilops

Episode 13 is all about Aquilops, a small eagle-faced dinosaur that was found purely by likelihood.

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On this episode, we talk about:

  • The dinosaur of the day: Aquilops americanus, which suggests American eagle face
  • The title Aquilops comes from its hook-like beak on the entrance of the cranium
  • Dr. Andrew Farke from the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and his staff found Aquilops (solely the cranium)
  • The excavation was funded by the Nationwide Geographic Society’s Committee for Analysis and Exploration
  • The staff’s analysis was printed in December 2014
  • Farke noticed Aquilops by likelihood when a flash of white caught his eye (its tooth embedded in a rock)
  • The staff that discovered Aquilops made up how its physique regarded, primarily based on how shut family regarded
  • Aquilops lived in southern Montana within the early Cretaceous (staff discovered it within the Cloverly Formation in 1997)
  • Aquilops lived about 106 million years in the past, and is the oldest “horned” dinosaur from North America; about 20 million years older than the subsequent one
  • Aquilops is extra intently associated to dinosaurs from Asia than from later horned dinosaurs from North America; this helps show that animals traveled between continents at the moment (migration)
  • Aquilops exhibits that horned dinosaurs got here from Asia and went to North America by way of the Bering Strait about 108 million years in the past
  • However as a result of Aquilops is so distantly associated to North American horned dinosaurs, scientists assume there have been two or extra migrations within the later Cretaceous
  • Farke nicknamed Aquilops “the little dinosaur that would” as a result of it was so small and made such an extended journey
  • At first, scientists thought Aquilops was a distinct dinosaur, Zephyrosaurus
  • Aquilops has a rostral bone (kinds the higher beak and makes it a horned dinosaur) with an odd bump/prong on the entrance; it’s unclear what the bump was for (preventing, digging, and many others)
  • Aquilops was small, concerning the dimension of a raven with the physique mass of a bunny; although this estimate comes from solely having a cranium and no physique
  • The Aquilops that was discovered was in all probability not totally grown (primarily based on bone texture), however was not a child both (no limbs bones, so it’s laborious to inform the age)
  • Scientists named Aquilops its personal species due to the distinctive form of the beak and different distinguishing traits of the cranium
  • A part of the Ceratopsia group, horned dinosaurs
  • Aquilops didn’t have horns or a neck frill, like Triceratops essentially the most well-known Ceratopsia
  • Aquilops weighed 3.5 lb and was 24 in lengthy; cranium is about 3.3 inches lengthy
  • Aquilops snipped off ferns, saplings, and different crops with its beak; in all probability walked on two legs; had an extended tail
  • Scientists made 3D fashions of Aquilops and can add to it as they study extra
  • Aquilops is about 40 million years older than Triceratops; Triceratops weighed 4,000 occasions extra
  • Only a few fossils of ceratopsians in North America from early Cretaceous have been discovered
  • Discovering extra Aquilops will take luck (so small); Aquilops is the one ceratopsian discovered within the Cloverly Formation to date
  • Aquilops could also be a part of a “aspect department” of the ceratopsian household tree, one with small horned dinosaurs within the early Cretaceous
  • Aquilops‘ cranium is on the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Pure Historical past in Norman, OK; as a part of a brand new exhibit within the Corridor of Historical Life, subsequent to the Pentaceratops exhibit, which has the Guiness World Report for largest dinosaur cranium discovered
  • Aquilops is a part of the Neoceratopsian group
  • Neoceratopsians got here from Asia
  • Othniel Charles Marsh named Ceratopsians in 1890 (the title means horn face)
  • Early ancestors lived within the Jurassic
  • Ceratopsians had a rostral bone on their higher jaw (no different animal has or ever has had this) that kinds a parrot-like beak; they’ve a triangular wanting cranium
  • Early ceratopsians had been small and bipedal, although later ones reminiscent of Triceratops had been massive, quadrapedal and had horns and neck frills. Frills might have been used for cover, thermoregulation, or show
  • Ceratopsians have beaks and lived in North America, Europe and Asia through the Cretaceous.
  • At the very least some forms of ceratopsians lived in herds
  • Like trendy herds that migrate, ceratopsians would have drastically impacted their surroundings and been a serious meals supply
  • Although ceratopsians are often thought-about to be herbivores, scientists have speculated that some might have been omnivorous
  • Ceratopsians might have been cathemeral, energetic through the day for brief durations of time
  • Can see a wall of Ceratopsian skulls on the Pure Historical past Museum of Utah (we’ve seen)
  • Enjoyable truth: Scientists assume there are greater than 1,000 species of non-avian dinosaurs, and lots of are nonetheless found (could also be greater than 1,800 totally different genera)

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