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Episode 373: A fossilized child dino, a brand new ankylosaur, and dinosaurs in Zulu


    Episode 373 is all about Beipiaosaurus, A feathered therizinosauroid kind the Early Cretaceous of what’s now China.

    We additionally interview Sibusiso Biyela, a science author and communicator, and an advocate for decolonizing science. He lately began engaged on a undertaking to deliver scientific terminology to 6 African languages together with an awesome article about Ledumahadi in Zulu. Comply with him on twitter @AstroSibs

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    On this episode, we talk about:


    • Some of the full dinosaurs ever discovered was found in a fossilized unhatched egg in Ganzhou, China supply
    • A brand new Tarchia species, Tarchia tumanovae, was described with a virtually 6ft lengthy tail membership supply
    • The Mary Anning statue in Black Ven could also be unveiled by her 223rd birthday supply
    • The Royal Australian Mint has launched an Australovenator coin supply

    The dinosaur of the day: Beipiaosaurus

    • Therizinosauroid theropod that lived within the Early Cretaceous in what’s now Liaoning, China (Yixian Formation)
    • Seemed stocky, with large palms/claws and a protracted tail (walked on two legs)
    • Herbivorous
    • Had shorter neck than different therizinosaurs
    • Ft had three toes (totally different from different, extra superior therizinosaurs, with 4 toes)
    • Inside toes have been smaller
    • Estimated to be about 7.2 ft (2.2 m) lengthy and weigh 99 to 201 lb (45 to 91 kg)
    • Had brownish feathers that in all probability coated its physique
    • One of many largest identified dinosaurs with proof of feathers (earlier than Yutyrannus was discovered)
    • Fossils present in 1996 by Li Yinxian, an area farmer, who discovered a partial skeleton in Sihetun, Liaoning
    • Described in 1999 by Xu Xing and others
    • Sort species is Beipiaosaurus inexpectus
    • Genus identify means “Beipiao lizard”, after a metropolis close to the place it was discovered
    • Species identify means “sudden” and refers to its stunning options
    • Holotype features a partial skeleton of a subadult (cranial fragments, mandible, enamel, vertebrae, dorsal ribs, pygostyle, chevrons, incomplete furcula and scapula, coracoids, forelimbs, ilia, incomplete pubis, incomplete ischium, femur, tibiae, incomplete fibula, metatarsals, pores and skin impressions, and extra)
    • Quarry the place the fossils have been discovered was re-excavated later and extra fossils discovered: pelvic girdle and caudal vertebrae
    • Second specimen described by Xu Xing and others in 2009 (partial skeleton with preserved feathers, together with an entire cranium, sclerotic ring, mandible, vertebrae, humerus, coracoids, ulna, metacarpals, carpals, and extra, although again of the cranium was badly crushed)
    • In 2014 Li and others talked about a 3rd specimen, a partial skeleton with a badly crushed cranium, many of the vertebral column, arms, and extra, and traces of feathers across the neck
    • Had a comparatively massive head, in comparison with different therizinosaurs
    • Decrease jaw was about the identical size because the femur
    • Pygostyle had 5 fused vertebrae
    • Based on Lindsay Zanno, had distinctive traits together with the final 4 dorsal vertebrae (backbone) are fused, from at the least the seventh vertebra to the tail vertebrae are fused into the pygostyle, cranium is massive and about so long as the thighbone
    • Claw bone on the third digit of its finger is the longest one (totally different from different therizinosaurs, the place the second digit claw is the longest)
    • In 2021, Liao Chun-Chi and others analyzed the skeleton of Beipiaosaurus, and included extra vertebrae that hadn’t been described earlier than
    • Tail had greater than 30 caudal vertebrae
    • Had neural spines close to the entrance of the tail
    • Discovered three potential synapomorphies (attribute from an ancestor shared by its descendants) for Therizinosauroidea and Therizinosauridae, together with a straight ulna (arm bone), which is straight in most therizinosaurs however bowed in Falcarius, a therizinosauroid
    • Most of its physique coated in downy feather-like fibers
    • Had a secondary coat of longer, extra easy feathers, generally known as elongated broad filamentous feathers (EBFFs), that rose up from the downy feathers
    • Tail additionally coated in feathers
    • A 2003 research outlined feathers and located Beipiaosaurus didn’t have true feathers, however filaments that have been associated to feathers
    • Didn’t fly, however feathers could have been for show or to draw mates
    • In 2009, Xu Xing and others reported on the brand new feather kind alongside the cranium, neck, trunk, and across the forelimbs of Beipiaosaurus
    • Discovered brief, slender filamentous feathers and elongated broad filamentous feathers (EBFFs)
    • EBFFs have been single, unbranched filaments
    • Didn’t use feathers for thermoregulation, primarily based on the distribution of the feathers and morphology
    • EBFFs have been longer than regular filamentous feathers and have been stiff and possibly hole, at the least on the base
    • EBFFs have been about 4 to six in (10 to fifteen cm) lengthy, and have been broad (as much as 0.1 in or 0.3 cm extensive)
    • EBFFs have been additionally solely on components of the top, neck, tail, and physique the place fashionable birds usually have show constructions, so that they have been in all probability used for show
    • EBFFs have additionally been discovered within the therizinosaur Jianchangosaurus, and will present they have been for show and have been frequent in early therizinosaurs
    • Based mostly on filaments discovered on Beipiaosaurus, Psittacosaurus, and a few pterosaurs, could imply that the frequent ancestor had early feathers. First feathers could have appeared within the Center Triassic, round 235 mya
    • In 2018, Maria McNamara and others discovered fossilized pores and skin flakes on Beipiaosaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Microraptor, and Confuciusornis (appeared much like fashionable birds)
    • Discovered corneocytes, cells filled with keratin, and in contrast them to birds. Discovered related cell constructions, however the fossil dinosaur corenocytes have been extra densely filled with keratin and lacked fats (lipids), which can imply Beipiaosaurus didn’t get as heat as fashionable birds
    • Trendy birds have the fatty corneocytes with loosely packed keratin, to allow them to settle down rapidly when flying. Beipiaosaurus in all probability didn’t get as heat as a result of it couldn’t fly
    • Discovered they (together with Beipiaosaurus) in all probability shed pores and skin as dandruff
    • Sister taxon to Falcarius
    • Lived in a heat, humid local weather with dry seasons
    • Common temperatures have been 50 levels F (10 levels C)
    • Lived alongside Jianchangosaurus, which can imply therizinosaurs generally co-existed and had totally different feeding methods
    • Different dinosaurs that lived across the identical time and place embody Dilong, Yutyrannus, Sinornithosaurus, Caudipteryx, Sinocalliopteryx, Confuciusornis, Psittacosaurus, Dongbeititan
    • Different animals that lived across the identical time and place included snails, slugs, shrimp, bugs, fish, birds, mammals, and lizards

    Enjoyable Truth:
    Birds, and a few non-avian dinosaurs, carried out a 3 step “tucking” course of inside their eggs to enhance hatching efficiency.


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