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Episode 285: Scotty, the most important identified T. rex


    Episode 285 is all about Shunosaurus, a sauropod well-known for its membership tail.

    We additionally interview Scott Individuals and Beth Zaiken, Dr. Scott Individuals is a paleontologist and professor on the Faculty of Charleston and the Mace Brown Museum of Pure Historical past, and Beth Zaiken is an artist and illustrator who focuses on pure science communication. Each labored on the upcoming guide, Mega Rex: A Tyrannosaurus Named Scotty.

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    On this episode, we focus on:


    • Large sauropod tracks have been present in a French cave 500m beneath the floor supply
    • Right here is an article exhibiting an image of the cave with the prints supply
    • Dippy’s tour is at the moment suspended at Rochdale’s Quantity One Riverside supply
    • The Pure Historical past Museum in London plans to construct a brand new life-size Dippy sculpture to go within the entrance gardens supply
    • Denver Museum of Nature & Science posted a map exhibiting the place dinosaur fossils have been discovered round Denver supply
    • Flash: Quickest Man Alive #3 has Flash and The Atom teaming as much as maintain town protected from dinosaurs supply
    • Second Extinction is a brand new shooter sport the place it’s a must to kill mutated dinosaurs which have taken over the planet supply
    • Animal Crossing means that you can mix fossils to create “customized dinosaur reveals” supply

    The dinosaur of the day: Shunosaurus

    • Sauropod that lived within the Center Jurassic in what’s now Sichuan Province, China (Shaximiao Formation)
    • Medium sized. Initially estimated to be 36 ft (11 m) lengthy, however later specimens confirmed it was smaller
    • Gregory Paul estimated in 2010 Shunosaurus was 31 ft (9.5 m) lengthy and weighed 3 tons
    • Tibia was 2/3 the size of the femur
    • Had 5 metatarsals (foot bones)
    • Had a comparatively small, slim mind
    • Skulls discovered are very totally different, however could possibly be as a result of they have been disarticulated. Some have been slim and pointy, some rounded and blunt
    • Sauropod skulls usually not discovered as a result of they have been mild and fragile, and weakly related to the remainder of the skeleton
    • Cranium was proportionately lighter and smaller than Camarasaurus
    • Had a brief neck, for a sauropod
    • Most likely a low browser, that ate powerful vegetation
    • Dentary was about half the size of the jaw, had not less than 25 tooth
    • Higher and decrease rows of tooth interlocked and will shear previous one another
    • Decrease jaw curved upward and higher tooth row curved downward, and Chatterjee and Zheng wrote in 2002 they acted “like a pair of backyard shears”
    • Shearing tooth may lower “onerous branches, stems, seeds, foliage of up to date flora equivalent to conifers, ginkgoes, cycads, ferns, and horsetails”
    • Had cylindrical and lengthy, spatulate tooth
    • No gastroliths discovered with Shunosaurus to date
    • Had a fairly stiff tail
    • Had a membership tail with spikes (spikes have been 2 in or 5 cm lengthy and have been cone formed)
    • Tail membership was brief and broad
    • Bony membership tail had three of 4 fused caudal vertebrae (no dermal materials, like in ankylosaurs)
    • Most likely used for protection
    • Sort species: Shunosaurus lii
    • Fossils first present in 1977 by college students as a part of a Sichuan Provincial Paleontological and Archeological Preservation coaching class, hosted by the Zigong Museum
    • Described and named in 1983 by Dong Zhiming, Zhou Shiwu, Zhang Yihong
    • Genus title means “Shu lizard”
    • Shu is an historical title for Sichuan
    • Species title is in honor of Bing Li, “the Justice of the Peace who ruled what’s now Sichuan Provice (256-251 BC) for the state of Qin throughout the Warring States Interval. He was significantly celebrated for his flood management measures alongside the Minjiang River which included the development of the famed Dujiang dike and irrigation system which are nonetheless functioning in the present day,” in keeping with Zhiming, Shiwu, Yihong
    • Holotype is a partial skeleton
    • Since then about 20 specimens have been discovered, some full or practically full, some skulls, some juveniles (94% of the Shunosaurus skeleton has been recognized, so it’s the most effective identified sauropods)
    • At the very least 10 Shunosaurus skeletons have been discovered at one web site, which can imply there was a flash flood or different disaster
    • Quite common in its habitat (about 90% of the fossils present in its formation have been Shunosaurus)
    • Second species: Shunosaurus ziliujingensis, is within the Zigong museum information for a smaller, older Shunosaurus, however hasn’t been formally described (nomen nudum)
    • Habitat was lush with rivers and shallow lakes, and had a number of conifers, cycads, and ferns
    • Numerous tender mud, which led to nice fossilization/preservation
    • Different dinosaurs that lived in the identical time and place included the sauropods Datousaurus, Omeisaurus, Protognathosaurus, the ornithopod Xiaosaurus, the stegosaur Huayangosaurus, the theropod Gasosaurus, ornithopod Yandusaurus
    • Additionally lived amongst fish, amphibians, reptiles, and early mammals
    • Initially the tail membership fossils have been regarded as the “wrist bones” of stegosaurs, then later regarded as a part of Shunosaurus however as the results of an harm, then extra fossils have been discovered, and it was confirmed Shunosaurus had a tail membership
    • Shunosaurus and Omeisaurus have been the primary sauropods discovered with tail golf equipment, and the tail golf equipment supported Bob Bakker’s concept that sauropods have been terrestrial animals (not aquatic or semi-aquatic)
    • Thought-about to be a basal Eusauropoda
    • Chatterjee and Zheng additionally wrote in 2002, “Sauropods have been undoubtedly probably the most spectacular of all dinosaurs and the most important terrestrial animals which have ever lived. They have been probably the most profitable clades of herbivorous dinosaurs when it comes to range, abundance and longevity with a temporal span of 160 million years”
    • Can see Shunosaurus on the Zigong Dinosaur Museum in Sichuan Province, and the Tianjin Pure Historical past Museum in Tianjin, China

    Enjoyable Truth:
    We nonetheless don’t know if dromaeosaurs (raptors) hunted in packs, however a brand new paper helps them feeding in teams like Komodo Dragons, not searching in packs like wolves.