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Episode 255: Model new allosauroid and a tyrannosaur that is nonetheless being excavated


    Episode 255 is all about Nyasasaurus, a 240 million yr outdated dinosauriform that could be the earliest identified dinosaur.

    Interview with Christopher DiPiazza, a science instructor, paleo artist, and creator of the favored website, Prehistoric Beast of the Week. He covers a special prehistoric animal (practically) each week, with an authentic portray he creates, {a photograph} of the fossil, and each time potential, enter from a paleontologist who labored on that animal. Observe him on twitter or @ChrisDPiazza or Instagram.

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    On this episode, we talk about:


    • A brand new early cretaceous carcharodontosaurian, Siamraptor, was found in Thailand supply
    • Rebecca Jensen shared her database and map of Dinosaur Nationwide Monument with us supply
    • In St. George, Utah, carnivorous dinosaur footprints have been discovered from roughly 200 million years in the past supply
    • The Las Vegas Pure Historical past Museum introduced their paleontology crew discovered 240 million yr outdated vertebrate tracks supply
    • The Dickinson’s Badlands Dinosaur Museum has a brand new discover, a 77 million yr outdated tyrannosaur supply
    • New fossils on show, together with a juvenile Triceratops, grownup Triceratops, and a hadrosaur supply
    • Maximus, a 70 million yr outdated 3m lengthy dinosaur lately offered for for about $227,000 supply
    • Smithsonian Magazine printed an inventory of spots to dig for dinosaur bones supply
    • In Sacramento, California, a person in a Allosaurus costume stopped by a Sacramento Metropolis Corridor supply
    • Supergirl star, Melissa Benoit, shared a photograph of herself using a dinosaur and hugging a T. rex supply

    The dinosaur of the day: Nyasasaurus

    • Dinosauriform that lived within the Center Triassic in what’s now Tanzania (Manda Formation)
    • Would be the earliest identified dinosaur
    • Described in 1956 by Alan Charig in a doctoral thesis (however not formally described till 2013)
    • Holotype discovered within the Nineteen Thirties by Francis Rex Parrington, together with cynodonts, dicynodonts, and rhynchosaurs
    • Alan Charig was certainly one of Francis Parrington’s PhD college students
    • Charig first described them as “Specimen 50b”
    • In 1967 Charig used the identify Nyasasaurus parringtoni, in a evaluation of Archosauria, however didn’t present any description so it was thought of a nomen nudum (additionally his dissertation was by no means printed)
    • In 2013 Sterling Nesbitt, Paul Barrett, Sarah Werning, and Christian Sidor printed a brand new description (and embody Alan Charig posthumously) to present Nyasasaurus parringtoni a sound identify
    • Alan Charig died in 1997
    • Kind species is Nyasasaurus parringtoni
    • Genus identify means “Lake Nyasa lizard”
    • Genus identify refers to Lake Nyasa and the species identify is in honor of Parrington
    • Earlier than Nyasasaurus, the oldest identified dinosaur was about 231 million years outdated and located in Argentina (Herrerasaurus)
    • Nyasasaurus is about 10-15 million years older than that dinosaur
    • Kind specimen is a partial skeleton 6.5-9.8 ft (2-3 m) lengthy, and features a proper humerus (higher arm bone), three partial sacral vertebrae and three presacral vertebrae
    • A second specimen was discovered that has three cervical vertebrae and two posterior presacral vertebrae, however it wasn’t clear till Nesbit et. al described the specimen in 2013 that the 2 have been definitively the identical species
    • Weighed between 45 to 135 lb (20 to 60 kg)
    • No cranium bones discovered, so unclear what it ate
    • Not clear if it was bipedal or quadrupedal
    • In all probability had a protracted neck and tail
    • Onerous to categorise due to fragmentary fossils discovered, however it’s inside Archosauria and inside Dinosauriforms, the group that features birds, non-avian dinosaurs, and a few non-dinosaurian teams that lived within the Triassic
    • Regarded as one of many earliest dinosaurs (earliest identified dinosaur)
    • Nesbitt and crew did a scientific comparability of Nyasasaurus fossils with shut family members and located numerous traits that made Nyasasaurus a real dinosaurs, together with three vertebrae within the sacrum (connects the backbone to the pelvis) in comparison with ancestors that solely had two, it grew quickly, primarily based on histology, and it had a broad bone crest on its higher arm which hooked up ought to muscle tissues to the higher arm bone (crest was greater than 30% of the bone’s size, and is named an elongated deltopectoral crest); nevertheless, the arm bone was fragmentary so it’s exhausting to know for certain if it reallly was greater than 30% of the bone’s size, which made Nesbitt and his crew not 100% certain Nyasasaurus was a dinosaur (however on the very least it will have been a really shut relative)
    • Arm bone had numerous bone cells and blood vessels within the bone tissues, which signifies fast development
    • Confirmed Nyasasaurus grew as quick as different early dinosaurs however not as quick as later dinosaurs
    • Nyasasaurus in Tanzania helps help the thought of a southern Pangaean origin for dinosaurs
    • When early dinosaurs like Eoraptor have been in Argentina 10 million years after Nyasasaurus existed, there have been already numerous teams of dinosaurs, which meant dinosaurs will need to have been evolving for some time earlier than that
    • Proposed that dinosaurs advanced and steadily turned dominant (as an alternative of there being an explosion of dinosaurs, as beforehand thought), however not all scientists agree (particularly if it seems Nyasasaurus was only a shut relative of dinosaurs as an alternative of a dinosaur)
    • Oldest identified silesaurid (closest identified family members of dinosaurs), Asilisaurus kongwe, was additionally within the Manda Beds in Tanzania, which exhibits dinosaurs and their shut family members co-existed
    • The kind specimen is on the Pure Historical past Museum in London
    • The second, referred specimen is within the South African Museum in Cape City

    Enjoyable Truth:
    Sauropods might not have slept a lot if in any respect. At the least not the best way that we sleep.