I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Plateosaurus (Episode 152)

Episode 152 is all about Plateosaurus, a basal sauropodomorph with greater than 100 skeletons discovered.

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On this episode, we talk about:


  • The Dinosaurs of China exhibit close to Nottingham, UK has set a report for the tallest dinosaur ever displayed within the UK
  • A brand new hadrosaur, Laiyangosaurus youngi, was named in China from partial stays of 5 people
  • An abelisaurid from Argentina, Viavenator exxoni, seems to be like a Carnotaurus with out horns from 15 million years earlier
  • A brand new Teratophoneus specimen was airlifted to the Pure Historical past Museum of Utah in Salt Lake Metropolis
  • Sauropods “unfold vitamins” around the globe simply by consuming, strolling, and pooping
  • Nationwide Fossil Day included a set of buying and selling playing cards, and a tune
  • The Triceratops present in Thornton, CO and now on show on the Denver Museum of Nature and Science has been nicknamed “Tiny”
  • Jurassica, the dinosaur challenge in Dorset, UK, has been cancelled. It could reside on in a brand new merged challenge referred to as “The Journey”
  • Dinosaurs within the Wild is now in Manchester, within the UK
  • The Royal Ontario Museum is in search of donations to assist them put together Zuul, and you may get rewards on your donation
  • In Atlanta, Georgia, a household in Candler Park had their massive steel dinosaur sculpture “Rusty” stolen from their yard
  • Mark Verge made a T.rex balloon animal that was 12 ft tall, 43 ft lengthy, and took about 700 balloons to make


Due to @ProfChrisScott for sharing about his journey to The Dinosaurs of China exhibit close to Nottingham, UK:

Wollaton Corridor close to Nottingham, UK Photograph by @ProfChrisScott

The Dinosaurs of China represents a singular alternative for folks within the UK to see a choose group of necessary Chinese language dinosaur fossils outdoors their house nation. This exhibition took place by way of the sturdy connections between the College of Nottingham and China. It was made doable by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP) in Beijing and the Longhao Institute of Geology and Paleontology Inside Mongolia.

This exhibition is cut up over two venues; Wollaton Corridor and Nottingham Lakeside Arts. It is a evaluate of the Wollaton Corridor exhibition the place the dinosaur stays have been on show. The Nottingham Lakeside Arts’ exhibition dealt extra with the query of ‘the science of bringing dinosaurs to life in artwork’ however as we have been visiting with a 4-year-old and a child, we needed to prioritise!

Wollaton Corridor itself is a well-known native venue, having first opened as a museum in 1926. The Nottingham Pure Historical past Museum claims an archive of 750,000 specimens, so exhibiting dinosaurs right here appeared a pure selection. Though a lot of the house has at the moment been handed over to the dinosaur exhibition, a big fraction of the pure historical past specimens are nonetheless on show and guests make their manner by way of authentic galleries the place light, stuffed examples of forlorn wanting animals sit in glass cages, main me to explain it as a ‘useless zoo’.

Tickets might be booked on-line together with parking and a customer information (at a reduced worth). Tickets are £7.70 for adults and £5.50 for kids 5 and over (beneath 5’s are admitted free). The exhibition runs till the twenty ninth October 2017.

I appreciated the model of the exhibition, being unashamedly marketed as a ‘touring’ present, with specimens displayed alongside their authentic packing instances. The museum is on the prime of an extended hill, the automotive park for which is situated about half manner up. As house is restricted, guests are inspired to view the displays in a selected order, alongside a one-way system. A leisurely tour of the exhibition would most likely take two hours however when you might have an impatient household in tow, it will likely be faster!

The preservation of the specimens was astounding. Erupting volcanoes had preserved a complete ecosystem beneath ash deposits like a prehistoric Pompeii. It will have been attention-grabbing to see examples of the flora too however no point out was made as as to if such specimens survived.

Mamenchisaurus on show at Wollaton Corridor close to Nottingham, UK Photograph by @ProfChrisScott

The central exhibit is a magnificently displayed Mamenchisaurus from Sichuan Province in Central China. This sauropod (from the Late Jurassic, 160 million years in the past) had a particularly lengthy neck, reaching as much as 12 metres in size. The specimen on show is 23 metres lengthy and so the skeleton has been constructed in a 13.5 metre tall rearing posture in order that it may match contained in the Nice Corridor at Wollaton, making it the tallest dinosaur ever displayed within the UK. It seems to be superior!

Alongside this central exhibit is the smaller prosauropod Lufengosaurus (Early Jurassic, 200 million years in the past), and Sinraptor (Late Jurrasic), the latter displayed as if it have been pursuing the rearing Mamenchisaurus. Additionally on show have been Protoceratops (Late Cretaceous), Guanlong (Late Jurassic, a small (2m lengthy) ancestor of T. rex with a big delicate decorative head crest), and (one for Garret) Pinacosaurus—an ankylosaur from the Late Cretaceous. This final specimen is displayed because it was preserved—in a crouching place, most likely sheltering from the sandstorm that engulfed it.

Lufengosaurus on show at Wollaton Corridor close to Nottingham, UK Photograph by @ProfChrisScott

Guests are then moved into the ‘Chicken Gallery’ the place ‘dinosaurs that behaved like birds’ are displayed. These included specimens of Oviraptor (Mongolia, late Cretaceous), Mei lengthy (‘Sleeping dragon because it was present in a coiled up sleeping pose with its head tucked beneath its arm), and Sinosauropteryx—the primary feathered dinosaur ever described. The specimen was lovely – with preserved downy feathers and in such element that it has been doable to find out that it was ginger with a light-weight and darkish banded tail. Different specimens on show have been Gigantoraptor, ‘the biggest bird-like dinosaur on this planet’, a solid of Linheraptor (that means ‘exquisitely preserved thief’!), Dilong (that means ‘shocking emperor dragon’), and Sinornithosaurus— ‘a fuzzy raptor that proves Velociraptor had feathers’. Then two specimens that I discovered totally wonderful; Caudipteryx (that means ’Dong’s tail feathers’) through which was preserved the stays of the animal’s abdomen together with a heap of small gastroliths, and Epidexipteryx (that means: ‘Hu’s show feather’) that, along with fuzzy physique feathers had terribly lengthy tail feathers (so long as the pinnacle and physique mixed). Whereas these specimens have been all fairly small, they have been nonetheless fairly astonishing.

The ultimate a part of the exhibition involved ‘feathered flyers’ together with the holotype of the Microraptor. This has lengthy feathers on its legs and arms in addition to an extended tail. It may fly.

Microraptor on show at Wollaton Corridor close to Nottingham, UK Photograph by @ProfChrisScott

The specimen of Yanoris on show was billed as demonstrating the evolutionary transition from feathered dinosaurs to true birds. It had tiny tooth and claws and but this specimen additionally reveals the preserved stays of feathers that precisely match fashionable birds. There was a show on the well-known faux fossil ‘archaeoraptor’ together with a solid of the forgery along with examples of the real fossils used to create it. Different wonderful specimens of primitive birds included Protopteryx and Confuciusornis, each of which had lengthy tail feathers and clawed fingers.

Additionally on show have been the extra bat-like Yi qi (that means: ‘unusual wing’), which had bat-like membranous wings and fuzzy physique feather and Wukongopterus (that means: ‘Li’s Wukong wing’), an uncommon pterosaur with an extended tail and an extended neck.

Lifts can be found for wheelchair and prams however we opted to hold our youngest daughter reasonably than cope with the logistics. A room is put aside through which to go away pushchairs. Once we visited there have been plenty of actions for the kids. A few these ‘stick your head by way of a gap and have your picture taken as a dinosaur’ stands have been throughout the exhibition corridor together with a heap of letters to create your individual ‘Daddysaurus’ or ‘Child-raptor’. The inevitable present store contained some high quality objects amongst the mass produced vacationer trappings together with a really good espresso desk e-book of Chinese language dinosaurs and a number of other mannequin kits of those uncommon (to these of us within the west anyway!) dinosaurs.

Exercise space for teenagers outdoors the museum Photograph by @ProfChrisScott

Once we visited in late August there was a marquee outdoors through which there have been craft actions for the kids and likewise a number of concessions promoting native meals and ice-cream. On chosen days a volunteer excursions the grounds dressed as ‘Hunter’—a rubber-raptor of some description however he was to not be seen on the day we went. I requested my 4 12 months outdated daughter what her favorite factor concerning the go to was. With out hesitation she stated “the ice-cream!”

I actually loved the exhibition. Seeing dinosaurs that have been nearly however not fairly acquainted supplied an necessary perspective for me. I had all the time needed to be a palaeontologist after I was a toddler, even taking geology as a joint topic at college earlier than lastly deciding on house physics (the previous was simply too badly taught). Consequently, I drifted away from my early pursuits till my spouse purchased me a dinosaur DVD one Christmas and I realised how far the topic had come within the final thirty years. Due to you guys, I’m as soon as once more having fun with discovering out about ‘All issues dinosaur’ and was impressed to contrive a vacation the place we may go to the Chinosaurs exhibition. Lengthy could ‘I Know Dino’ proceed to excite future generations of budding palaeontologists and educate these for whom the topic is a matter of beginner astonishment!


The dinosaur of the day: Plateosaurus

  • Title means “broad lizard” although generally it’s translated as “flat lizard”
  • Basal sauropodomorph that lived within the Late Triassic in what’s now Central and Northern Europe
  • Two species: Plateosaurus engelhardti (sort species) and Plateosaurus gracilis (although there was extra species named)
  • Johann Friedrich Engelhardt discovered Plateosaurus in 1834
  • Engelhardt was a doctor and he discovered vertebrae and leg bones at Heroldsberg, close to Nuremberg, Germany
  • Described in 1837 by Hermann von Meyer
  • Plateosaurus was the fifth named dinosaur (that’s nonetheless thought-about to be legitimate)
  • Described earlier than Sir Richard Owen named Dinosauria in 1842, however it was not well-known sufficient and too tough to find out if it was a dinosaur, so it wasn’t included within the genera that outlined the group (Megalosaurus,‭ ‬Iguanodon, and Hylaeosaurus)
  • Since then greater than 100 skeletons have been discovered
  • Plateosaurus fossils have been discovered in additional than 50 localities in Germany, Switzerland, and France. Three places particularly had numerous specimens: Halberstadt in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany; Trossingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and Frick (Switzerland)
  • Within the 1910s-Thirties, about 40-50 Plateosaurus skeletons have been present in a clay pit in Saxony-Anhalt. A few of it was assigned to Plateosaurus longiceps (a species Otto Jaekel described in 1914 however is now thought-about to be a junior synonym to Plateosaurus engelhardti). Most of it ended up on the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, however a whole lot of it was destroyed in WWII
  • Trossingen, within the Black Forest in Germany (the Swabia area), had a number of excavations between 1911 and 1932, led by Eberhard Fraas and Friedrich vone Huene, after which in 1932 Reinhold Seeman discovered 35 full or partially full Plateosaurus skeletons, and fragments from greater than 70 people.
  • As a result of so many Plateosaurus have been discovered there, Friedrich August von Quenstedt nicknamed Plateosaurus Schwäbischer Lindwurm (Swabian lindworm or Swabian dragon), after a kind of serpentine dragon. Sadly, lots of these fossils have been destroyed in 1944 when the Naturaliensammlung in Stuttgart burned after an Allied bombing raid. However, Rainer Schoch, curator of the State Museum of Pure Historical past Stuttgart (which was construct after), present in a 2011 research that “the scientifically most dear materials continues to be obtainable”
  • Plateosaurus skeletons have been present in a clay pit in Tonwerke Keller AG, in Frick, Switzerland, in 1976
  • Plateosaurus is the primary dinosaur present in Norway. In 2006, staff of an oil platform have been drilling by way of sandstone and located a fossil they thought was plant materials. The drill core with the fossil was over 7400 ft (2200 m) under the seafloor. Martin Sander and Nicole Klein analyzed it and located it was bone that belonged to Plateosaurus
  • Plateosaurus has additionally been present in Greenland, within the Fleming Fjord Formation
  • The etymology of Plateosaurus is just not clear. The unique description has no info, and authors have completely different interpretations. For instance, in 1846 Hanns Bruno Geinitz stated it meant “broad”, additionally in 1846 Agassiz stated it was historical Greet for paddle or rudder which interprets to pala in Latin, which suggests “spade” and so he renamed the genus Platysaurus (most likely from Greek, which suggests broad or flat) and created an invalid junior synonym. Later authors check with this and the secondary that means of flat, so the title is commonly translated as “flat lizard”. Supposedly this refers to flat bones, like its flattened tooth, however its tooth and different flat bones (pubic bones and a few cranium parts) weren’t discovered on the time Plateosaurus was described.
  • In 1855, von Meyer printed an in depth description with illustrations however didn’t embrace any info on the etymology. He did check with its massive dimension and large limbs, and in contrast Plateosaurus to massive fashionable mammals, however didn’t describe something that match the phrases “flat” or “formed like an oar”
  • There’s been a whole lot of modifications with how Plateosaurus species have been categorised. Peter Galton confirmed that each one cranium materials from the three main Plateosaurus localities have been a part of the identical species. Markus Moser did an intensive research in 2003 of plateosaurid materials from Germany and Switzerland, and located Sellosaurus to be the identical as Plateosaurus, however didn’t talk about if Sellosaurus gracilis (now Plateosaurus gracilis) and Plateosaurus engenhardti have been the identical species. Adam Yates later stated that Plateosaurus gracilis is likely to be a metataxon (means there no proof that the fabric assigned to it belongs to 1 species or a number of species) as a result of the holotype of Plateosaurus gracilis doesn’t have a cranium, and different specimens with skulls are usually not related sufficient to make certain it belongs to the identical taxon. So, there could also be extra Plateosaurus species. Some scientists assume there are greater than two Plateosaurus species, comparable to Plateosaurus erlenbergensis, however not everybody agrees, and this doesn’t keep in mind Moser’s work
  • Galton did a whole lot of the work in lowering the variety of Plateosaurus species. He stated that Plateosaurus trossingensis, Plateosaurus fraasianus, and Plateosaurus integer have been the identical as Plateosaurus longiceps
  • Nonetheless, Markus Moser discovered that Plateosaurus longiceps was a junior synonym of Plateosaurus engelhardti, and that different species in different genera additionally belonged to Plateosaurus engelhardti, together with Dimodosaurus poligniensis, Gresslyosaurus robustus, Gresslyosaurus torgeri, Pachysaurus ajax, Pachysaurus giganteus, Pachysaurus magnus, and Pachysaurus wetzelianus
  • Now all the way down to the 2 species
  • Plateosaurus engelhardti has a lectotype (named in 2003 by Markus Moser), a partial sacrum that was most likely from close to Heroldsberg
  • Kind specimen of Plateosaurus gracilis is incomplete and saved on the Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Germany
  • A part of the household Plateosauridae (named by Marsh in 1895)
  • Bipedal herbivore
  • Scientists have hypothesized many ways in which Plateosaurus stood. Von Huene thought they have been bipedal, Jaekal thought they have been quadrupedal and sprawled like lizards, although later he thought they might hop like kangaroos (German zoologist Gustav Tornier made enjoyable of him for it), and Fraas thought that they had a reptile like posture
  • Later, scientists thought it was quadrupedal when shifting slowly and bipedal when shifting shortly, and Moser confirmed its tail was straight
  • In 2007 Bonnan and Senter did a research that confirmed Plateosaurus couldn’t pronate its fingers (face the fingers downward so it may stroll on them), which suggests it was bipedal solely. Additionally, its hind limbs are about twice so long as its forelimbs
  • Walked on its toes
  • Plateosaurus elevated its speeds with increased stride frequencies. Plateosaurus had muscle tissues that would not present a “spring,” that means one hind foot needed to contact the bottom always (so mainly, it may solely velocity stroll)
  • Scientists have been capable of reconstruct what its ribcage seemed like when inhaling and exhaling (since ribs have been related to the dorsal vertebrae with two joints and acted like a hinge joint) they usually discovered it was just like birds, so Plateosaurus most likely had an avian-style flow-through lung
  • Plateosaurus had a bird-like respiratory system (had air sacs just like fashionable birds). As a result of birds advanced from theropods, not sauropods, this implies both the avian respiratory system advanced twice (in sauropodomorphs and theropods) or that this respiratory system advanced earlier than dinosaurs cut up into theropod and sauropodomorph teams.
  • Plateosaurus got here in all completely different sizes. Adults could possibly be between 16-33 ft (4.8-10 m) lengthy and weighed between 1,300-8,800 b (600-4,000 kg)
  • Plateosaurus gracilis (which was referred to as Sellosaurus gracilis) was a bit of smaller, about 13-16 ft (4-5 m) lengthy
  • Plateosaurus grew quickly as a juvenile, however had a different development fee and grew to completely different sizes, most likely primarily based on meals availability. For instance, some totally grown Plateosaurus have been 16 ft (4.8 m) lengthy and others have been 33 ft (10 m) lengthy
  • Sander and Klein discovered that some Plateosaurus have been totally grown at age 12, whereas others grew slowly till age 20, and a minimum of one was rising quickly at age 18. The oldest Plateosaurus discovered was 27 years outdated and nonetheless rising (most Plateosaurus discovered have been between 12 and 20 years outdated)
  • The youngest Plateosaurus discovered thus far was 10 years outdated
  • Plateosaurus could have lived lot longer than 20 years, since lots of the fossils discovered have been of Plateosaurus that died in accidents
  • Plateosaurus was one of many foremost herbivorous dinosaurs in Europe within the late Triassic. It will have been one of many largest land animals on the time, and it most likely was a typical prey (for early theropods, in addition to archosaurs)
  • Had a small cranium and an extended, versatile neck
  • Cranium was slim and lengthy, with massive eye sockets
  • Had sclerotic rings within the eyes
  • Plateosaurus could have been cathemeral (lively all through the day and night time)
  • Had eyes directed to the edges (all spherical imaginative and prescient to be careful for predators)
  • Had an extended, muscular tail
  • Had quick arms, particularly in comparison with different sauropodomorphs
  • Had a big thumb claw on every hand, which can have been used for protection or for getting meals
  • Plateosaurus was most likely herbivorous
  • Had broad, leaf-shaped tooth, and a cranium that would have a powerful chunk (good for slicing and mashing vegetation)
  • Had a big digestive system, so may eat harder vegetation
  • No gastroliths have been discovered with Plateosaurus but (most likely didn’t want them to assist digest)
  • In 2016, a staff of researchers within the UK, led by David Button created 3D laptop fashions of the skulls of Plateosaurus and Camarasaurus to review the evolution of sauropods and their ancestors, and the way they ate vegetation. They discovered that Camarasaurus had a stronger chunk pressure than Plateosaurus, and had a special form within the decrease jaw. However Plateosaurus may chew sooner than Camarasaurus (had an extended tooth row), probably as a result of it was a minimum of partially omnivorous, like different sauropodomorphs, and with the ability to shut jaws sooner would assist with prey. Plateosaurus additionally had heterdont tooth (several types of tooth) that reveals it most likely ate several types of materials, which may embrace small animals.
  • The three foremost websites the place Plateosaurus was discovered are almost monospecific assemblages, which suggests they mainly solely contained one species (although theropod tooth have been discovered there, and a few stays of Proganochelys, an early turtle). Additionally they solely had adults or subadults
  • Scientists have had completely different concepts about how Plateosaurus wound up in Trossingen. Fraas thought it was as a result of they waded too deep into mud, Jaekel thought they waded into swamps and drowned, von Huene thought the weakest ones, principally subadults, died within the desert and sank within the mud of water holes, and Seeman thought Plateosaurus herds went to massive water holes and a few obtained pushed in and obtained caught and died
  • Not identified for positive whether or not Plateosaurus lived in herds
  • Later, David Weishampel advised {that a} Plateosaurus herd died in a mudflow, and that Plateosaurus was widespread right now, which is why they have been the one species in that locality. One other scientist, Rieber, stated he thought Plateosaurus died of thirst or hunger and was concentrated by mudflows
    However then, a re-assessment by Martin Sander of the College of Bonn, Germany, discovered that Fraas’ thought of mud miring was true. Animals heavy sufficient sank within the mud, just like the La Brea Tar Pits. This explains why their bones weren’t transported after they died, why juveniles and different lighter animals didn’t sink in with them (and weren’t preserved), and why scavenging theropods didn’t get caught there (lighter and had bigger toes proportionately). Additionally, there’s no indication of herding, or of a catastrophic burial
  • Plateosaurus was in Disney’s 1940 Fantasia film, as a part of the historical past of life on earth section set to Igor Stravinski’s The Ceremony of Spring. It reveals a herd of Plateosaurus briefly digging for clams
  • Strolling with Dinosaurs the reside present constructed a full sized animatronic Plateosaurus, which was 20 ft lengthy
  • Can see Plateosaurus within the Royal Belgian Institute of Pure Sciences, within the Dinosaur Gallery

Enjoyable Reality:

Luis Alvarez and his son Walter said the Alvarez speculation in 1980. That is the idea that an asteroid at Chicxulub worn out dinosaurs at Okay-Pg boundary. Unusually, 35 years earlier, Luis Alvarez flew over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the course of the nuclear bombings as a scientific observer.


This episode is delivered to you partially by TRX Dinosaurs, which makes lovely and lifelike dinosaur sculptures, puppets, and displays. You possibly can see some wonderful examples and works in progress on Instagram @trxdinosaurs

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