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Episode 363: When did sauropod dimension peak?


    Episode 363 is all about Streptospondylus, one of many first dinosaurs found, but it surely wasn’t recognized to be a dinosaur till about 100 years after it was collected.

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    On this episode, we focus on:


    • We focus on the Macroecology & Macroevolution and Training & Outreach periods from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual assembly supply
    • A 160 million 12 months previous dinosaur fossil was discovered on a building website in Longchang metropolis, Sichuan, China supply
    • A partial tyrannosaur cranium nicknamed “Stunning Nightmare” was present in North Dakota supply

    The dinosaur of the day: Streptospondylus

    • Tetanuran theropod that lived within the Late Jurassic in what’s now Normandy, France
    • Appears like a typical theropod, with sharp tooth, highly effective legs, and quick arms
    • Mid-sized
    • Estimated to be 19.5 ft (6 m) lengthy and weigh 1,100 lb (500 kg)
    • Kind species is Streptospondylus altdorfensis
    • It’s one of many first named theropods, however only a few individuals learn about it. It has been referred to as the “First binomial identify that refers to a theropod”
    • One of many first dinosaur fossils discovered and was technically the primary dinosaur described, however wasn’t the primary dinosaur named (wasn’t considered a theropod till 2001)
    • A lot of the fossils have been a part of Abbé Bachelet’s personal assortment in 1770, which ended up with Georges Cuvier in 1800
    • Principally present in Honfleur, France, and included cranial and postcranial fossils from two teleosaurs, and a few theropod fossils
    • Guersent despatched the fossils to the Museum in Rouen, which led to Georges Cuvier having them
    • In 1812 Cuvier added extra fossils to the gathering, fossils present in LeHavre and described in 1776 by Abbé Dicquemare
    • Unclear the place precisely the Bachelet Assortment fossils have been discovered, solely recognized they have been close to Honfleur
    • The complete assortment has by no means been printed
    • A number of the fossils related to Megalosaurus (a part of a pubis, tibia, astragalus and calcaneum)
    • These fossils examined on the Muséum nationwide d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, and people fossils most likely discovered on the Vache Noires cliffs, dated Higher Callovian-Decrease Oxfordian (Jurassic)
    • In 1824 Cuvier referred among the Honfleur fossils to 2 species of crocodilians primarily based on the size of the snout (one was lengthy, one was quick), additionally talked concerning the variations within the two vertebral techniques present in affiliation with the skulls
    • In 1825 Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire stated, primarily based on the cranial fossils, that each species have been the crocodyliform Steneosaurus: Steneosaurus rostromajor (consists of the cranium) and Steneosaurus rostrominor (features a full mandible)
    • These names due to this fact solely utilized to the cranial fossils, and never the postcranial fossils (vertebrae that Cuvier described)
    • In 1832 Christian Erich Hermann von Meyer renamed the quick snouted Steneosaurus rostrominor as Metriorhynchus geoffroyii (a marine crocodyliform) and the lengthy snouted Steneosaurus rostromajor grew to become his newly named species Streptospondylus altdorfensis
    • Von Meyer embody all of the fossils Cuvier had described, and stated that cranium and vertebrae each belonged to Streptospondylus altdorfensis
    • He additionally didn’t designate a kind specimen
    • This makes Streptospondylus a mixture of theropod vertebrae and the kind species of Steneosaurus rostromajor, which turned out to be a composite of components from two completely different teleosaur species
    • These components of the cranium ultimately grew to become Steneosaurus edwardsi in 1870 (named in 1866) and Metriorhynchus superciliosum in 1973 (named in 1853)
    • In 2001, Ronan Allain stated this implies Streptospondylus is mainly solely recognized from postcranial fossils, and Streptospondylus altdorfensis is legitimate
    • In 1842, Richard Owen stated that Streptospondylus altdorfensis must be Streptospondylus rostromajor (retaining the unique species identify)
    • In 1842, Owen additionally created Streptospondylus cuvieri (sort species is a part of a dorsal vertebra present in Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire, England, additionally referred a tooth and neural backbone)
    • Fossil has since been misplaced and in accordance with Allain, Owen’s description of it “holds no scientific worth”
    • Allain stated Streptospondylus cuvieri was a nomen dubium
    • In 1861, Owen stated the skulls and vertebrae from Honfleur have been in a suborder for crocodiles
    • Owen nonetheless thought-about Streptospondylus to be legitimate, however he began referring all materials to Streptospondylus cuvieri and never Streptospondylus rostromajor (unclear why, he by no means defined)
    • Different scientists from 1870 to 1923 additionally used the identify Streptospondylus cuvieri
    • Generally had mixups (Edward Cope named Laelaps gallicus in 1867 and Friedrich von Huene wrote about Megalosaurus cuvieri in 1909, that are junior synonyms)
    • In 1964, Alick Walker stated the Streptospondylus cuvieri materials wasn’t from Honfleur and synonymized Streptospondylus altdorfensis with Steneosaurus rostromajor
    • Walker additionally named new species Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis (genus identify means “true Streptospondylus” and it’s a megalosaur from the Late Jurassic)
    • Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis was present in 1870 in Oxford, England
    • Skeleton referred to Megalosaurus bucklandi in 1890
    • In 1905 and 1906 Franz Nopsca reassigned it to Streptospondylus cuvieri
    • Odd, because the skeleton was almost full, and assigned to a species with very incomplete stays
    • Walker in 1964 additionally referred the theropod materials Cuvier had described as a brand new species, Eustreptospondylus divesensis
    • Mentioned the kind species was a partial braincase Jean Piveteau described in 1923 that Piveteau had assigned to Streptospondylus cuvieri (discovered within the Vaches Noires cliffs in Normandy, France)
    • Walker additionally included the fossils Owen had attributed to Streptospondylus cuvieri as Eustreptospondylus divesensis
    • In 1977 Philippe Taquet and Samuel Welles stated that the postcranial fossils Piveteau described and an almost full skeleton of Eustreptospondylus on the Oxford College Museum have been two completely different genera: Piveteausaurus (an allosauroid they named in 1977) and Eustreptospondylus
    • They solely thought-about the partial braincase to be Piveteausaurus (genus identify means “Jean Piveteau’s lizard”), not the postcranial fossils
    • Allain additionally stated there was nothing to point the vertebrae from Honfluer have been the identical taxon as Piveteausaurus
    • Allain stated Walker’s 1964 conclusions solely made sense if Streptospondylus altdorfensis is a junior synonym of Steneosaurus rostromajor
    • In 2001 Allain redescribed Streptospondylus and named a lectotype, which included vertebrae, a part of the left pubis, a part of the best fibula, the best astragalus, and the best calcaneum
    • Additionally referred a part of a left femur (described in 1890, not a part of the Bachelet assortment, unknown the place it was discovered however has sufficient similarities)
    • Discovered Streptospondylus altdorfensis to be legitimate, and that each one materials must be assigned to that species
    • Additionally discovered Streptospondylus and Eustreptospondylus to be intently associated and to be a part of Megalosauroidea
    • Genus identify Streptospondylus means “reversed vertebra”
    • Genus identify refers back to the vertebrae being completely different from typical crocodile components
    • Species identify altdorfensis refers to teleosaur (marine crocodylomorphs) cranial fossils present in Altdorf, which Von Meyer thought have been the identical taxon because the fossils discovered close to Honfleur
    • Different names:
    • Owen additionally named Streptospondylus main in 1842, Streptospondylus recentor and Streptospondylus meyeri in 1851, and Streptospondylus grandis in 1854 (fossils now considered iguanodont)
    • In 2010 Gregory Paul informally renamed Magnosaurus, Streptospondylus nethercombensis, however most nonetheless take into account Magnosaurus to be legitimate
    • Magnosaurus and Streptospondylus have been discovered to be sister taxa

    Enjoyable Truth:
    There are over 400 taxa of theropods from the Mesozoic, making them probably the most various group of dinosaurs.


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