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Episode 342: The most important dinosaur ever present in Australia


    Episode 342 is all about Sauroniops, a big carcharodontosaurid with a dome on its head.

    We additionally interview Dean Lomax, an award profitable paleontologist and presently Visiting Scientist at The College of Manchester, UK. He’s additionally a scientific advisor for a lot of reveals and writer of the brand new e-book, Locked In Time, which appears to be like at animal conduct via 50 extraordinary fossils. Comply with him on twitter or Instagram @Dean_R_Lomax.

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    On this episode, we talk about:


    • “Cooper” is now formally Australotitan cooperensis and is the most important dinosaur ever described from Australia supply
    • Paleontologists in Yunnan Province, China, discovered a 70% full skeleton, in all probability Lufengosaurus supply
    • Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, WA has a animatronic dinosaur exhibit supply
    • Mayborn Museum in Waco, Texas has a short lived exhibit: “The World’s Largest Dinosaurs” Created by AMNH supply

    The dinosaur of the day: Sauroniops

    • Carcharodontosaurid theropod that lived within the Late Cretaceous in what’s now Morocco (Kem Kem Beds)
    • Appears to be like so much like Carcharodontosaurus, with elongated cranium and sharp tooth, however had dome on its head
    • Carnivorous and bipedal
    • Had a thick, vaulted cranium roof
    • Had a bump on its head
    • Holotype is MPM 2594, and is an almost full left frontal bone (a part of the cranium, simply above the attention socket); described as thick and broad
    • Fossil was about 7.5 in (19 cm) lengthy
    • Somebody purchased the fossil from a Moroccan fossil seller in Errachidia Province, Morocco, after which donated it to the Museo Paleontologico di Montevarchi in Italy (fossil collected by locals, and precise location was unknown)
    • Described and named in 2012 by Andrea Cau, Marco Dalla Vecchia, and Matteo Fabbri
    • When first describing the fossil in 2012, the authors stated: “Though the mix of options current in is exclusive and may assist the establishment of a brand new species, pending extra full specimens we really feel it might be inappropriate to erect a brand new taxon.”
    • Later within the yr, they re-analyzed the fossil and located it was distinctive sufficient to be named
    • Determined to re-analyze due to a number of papers that confirmed carcharodontosaurids had distinct frontal bones, and might be used to inform them aside
    • Within the 2012 paper, they wrote: “Because of the quite a few autapomorphies of their skeletons, carcharodontosaurids will be recognized even from remoted bones”
    • Kind specimens for Eocarcharia, Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, and Veterupristisaurus as distinctive sufficient to be named from remoted bones
    • Kind species is Sauroniops pachytholus
    • Genus title means “Sauron eye”
    • Named after the character Sauron from Lord of the Rings, because the solely recognized fossil is from above the attention socket
    • Species title means “thick dome”
    • Initially considered a derived member of Carcharodontosauridae
    • The later 2012 paper discovered it to be a basal carcharodontosaurid and associated to Eocarcharia
    • Lived on the similar time and place as Carcharodontosaurus
    • In comparison with different theropods discovered within the Kem Kem Beds, the frontal bone was solely recognized in Carcharodontosaurus
    • Had a small dome that protruded from the center of the fossil
    • Bump on the pinnacle might be for show or head butting (however laborious to know for certain primarily based on the one fossil)
    • Nasofrontal suture prolonged alongside 40% of the frontal size (nasal bone was contacting the frontal bone for over ~40% of the frontal size)
    • Arduous to estimate the physique size, however primarily based on the size, width, and thickness of the cranium bone, the specimen was discovered to be comparable in dimension to the frontal bones of actually massive carcharodontosaurid specimens with properly preserved skulls. Primarily based on that, estimated to be 33-39 ft (10 to 12 m) lengthy
    • Specimen considered an grownup, primarily based on the scale of the frontal being about the identical or bigger than the scale of frontals in grownup Carcharodontosaurus
    • A 2020 examine by Nizar Ibrahim and others discovered Sauroniops to be a junior synonym of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus
    • Regarded on the neotype cranium of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus and located the frontal of Sauroniops to be 60% the scale of the frontal of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, and stated “This dimension disparity casts in a brand new gentle what quantity to minor variations between these specimens.”
    • They discovered the distinctive options of Sauroniops to not be completely different sufficient from Carcharodontosaurus saharicus
    • Andrea Cau didn’t agree with the synonymization

    Enjoyable Reality:
    There are 30 dinosaurs that finish in -otitan or -atitan. All however 3 are titanosauriforms: Anatotitan, the “big duck”, Olorotitan, the “big swan”, and Tyrannotitan, the titanosaur eater.


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