- Dinosaur

I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Scipionyx (Episode 74)


Episode 74 is all about Scipionyx, a compsognathid that lived in Italy and has the nickname “Ciro.”

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On this episode, we talk about:

  • The dinosaur of the day: Scipionyx samniticus (also called “Ciro”)
  • Identify means “Scipio’s claw”
  • Compsognathid that lived within the early Cretaceous in Italy
  • Named in 1998
  • Well-known as a result of paleontologists discovered a number of comfortable tissue and inside organs, together with muscle mass and intestines
  • First dinosaur found in Italy
  • Just one fossil discovered of Scipionyx, and it was found in 1981 by novice paleontologist Giovanni Todesco (he thought it was an extinct chicken)
  • Todesco ready the fossil in his basement, utilizing vinyl glue and including a faux tail
  • Todesco nicknamed the fossil “little doggie” and in 1993 Giorgio Teruzzi from the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano discovered concerning the fossil and mentioned it was a juvenile theropod. He nicknamed it Ambrogio, after Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan
  • Teruzzi additionally enlisted the assistance of his colleague Father Giuseppe Leonardi
  • In Italy the fossil discover belongs to the federal government, and Todesco ended up giving the fossil to the Archaeological Directorship at Naples in October 1993
  • In 1993 Teruzi and Leonardi reported the fossil scientifically, and the journal Oggi nicknamed it Ciro “a typical Neapolitan boy’s identify”
  • Marco Signore from the College of Naples Federico wrote a thesis in 1995 naming the fossil Dromaeodaimon irene, however the paper was unpublished so the identify was not used
  • Sergio Rampinelli labored on the fossil for 300 hours to revive it (exchange the glue and take away the faux tail); that’s when he discovered all of the comfortable tissue
    Marco Signore and Cristiano dal Sasso named and described Ciro as Scipionyx samniticus, and it was featured on the entrance cowl of Nature in 1998
  • The primary paper Cristiano dal Sasso and Marco Signore wrote was referred to as “Distinctive soft-tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy,” revealed in Nature in February 1998
  • The identify Scipio is for Scipione Breislak, a geologist from the 18th century who first described the formation (Pietraroia Plattenkalk) the place Ciro was discovered, and for Cornelius Scipio (nickname Africanus), a well-known Roman consul who fought within the Mediterranean space
  • The species identify means “From Samnium” the “historic identify of the area together with the Benevento Province”
  • Different potential names have been Italosaurus, Italoraptor and Microraptor
  • The holotype is sort of full, and consists of the decrease legs and a claw on the correct second finger
  • Cristiano dal Sassa and Marco Signore additional studied the fossil in 2005-2008 and wrote an in depth monograph in 2011 about Scipionyx
  • The specimen discovered is of a really younger dinosaur, perhaps solely 3 days previous
  • There’s a big empty area between the again of its intestines and the pubic shafts. It might have had a yolk sac from hatching that it could have used to assist in giving it extra vitamins throughout the first couple weeks after hatching
  • Dimension of the yolk sac means it was most likely 3 days previous, perhaps even 1 week previous
  • Juvenile theropod dinosaur discoveries are scarce
  • Though it was so younger it may stroll
  • dal Sassa and Signore estimated it to be 18 in (~46 cm) lengthy (together with the lacking tail), which is just a little bit smaller than Allosaurus hatchlings, however as a result of it’s Compsognathidae, an grownup Scipionyx most likely solely grew to 93 inc (237 cm) lengthy (identical dimension as Sinocalliopteryx, the biggest identified compsognathid)
  • They discovered 8 distinctive traits in Scipionyx, together with 5 enamel within the premaxilla on either side and a wrist with solely two bones
  • Straight, lengthy decrease jaw with 10 enamel on either side; the jaw bone is low
  • Had 7 enamel within the maxilla on either side; whole of 44 enamel in all
  • As a result of it was so younger it hadn’t changed any enamel but
  • Enamel curve steadily
  • Giant cranium with giant eye sockets, most likely as a result of it was so younger
  • Had a pointed snout with a rounded tip
  • Lacking a decrease leg
  • Had a comparatively lengthy, slender neck and lengthy hindlibs and forelimbs
  • Bipedal and a predator, with a protracted tail (most likely)
  • Claws on its palms are considerably curved
  • Quick hand for a compsognathid
  • Most likely had primitive feathers (based mostly on family members)
  • No pores and skin or proof of feathers have been discovered
  • A lot of comfortable tissues preserved, together with some blood vessels, cartilage, connective tissue, bone tissue, muscle tissue, and elements of the respiratory and digestive techniques
  • Unique bone tissue isn’t there, however calcium phosphate mineralization preserved the bone cell construction
  • Solely a bit of the trachea (respiratory system) is preserved, a really skinny piece about 1 mm broad
  • Can also see horn sheaths of hand claws
  • Liver was additionally preserved (in the correct form), which helps present the relative positions of inside organs
  • They noticed a big, reddish space and concluded it was the liver
  • In 1999 a examine by Ruben and others discovered that Scipionyx had a respiratory system just like a crocodile’s due to its giant liver. However dal Sasso and Maganuco’s examine in 2011 discovered that the liver might have been distorted in fossilization and simply seems to be greater, and in addition some birds have giant livers, so it most likely was extra bird-like than crocodile-like
  • Additionally discovered some semi-digested lizards and fish within the intestine; perhaps mother and father fed it to the infant?
  • Mother and father most likely fed the infant (unlikely to catch the lizards or fish itself at 3 days previous or chew into items and swallow by itself)
  • No abdomen acid on the bones within the abdomen, so the meal was lower than sooner or later previous
  • An “opportunistic generalist” eater (ate quick lizards and fish that washed ashore)
  • Lived in an space with shallow lagoons
  • Lived in an space with a number of small islands, and was most likely one of many greater animals in its habitat
  • It presumably immigrated from North Africa considerably lately
  • In 2002 Scipionyx received its personal show on the Museo Archeologico di Benevento
  • Compsognathids are small carnivorous dinosaurs
  • Contains Compsognathus, Sinosauropteryx, Sinocalliopteryx, Juravenator
  • They lived within the Jurassic and Cretaceous
  • That they had feathers and a few had scales
  • Some compsognathids care thought of to be basal coelurosaurs, others as a part of Maniraptora
  • Enjoyable truth: There are numerous forms of fossilized eggs, however in keeping with Konstantin Mikhailov and others in “Parataxonomy of Fossil Egg Stays” revealed by Taylor and Francis, there are 6 fundamental eggshell varieties:
    • Testurdoid (Chelonia – the inexperienced sea turtle)
    • Geckoid (Gekkota – principally gekkos)
    • Crocodiloid (Crocodilia)
    • Dinosauroid-spherulitic (Sauropoda and Ornithopoda)
    • Dinosauroid-prismatic (protoceratopsids and hypsilophodontids)
    • Ornithoid (theropoda and trendy birds)



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