Episode 439: A brand new big titanosaur, Amargasaurus sails, and Hans Sues


Episode 439: A brand new big titanosaur, Amargasaurus sails, and Hans Sues. A brand new big colossosaurian titanosaur, Chucarosaurus, was described from Late Cretaceous Patagonia. Plus Hans Sues joins to debate his big listing of accomplishments and up to date work on the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past


  • There’s a brand new big colossosaurian titanosaur Chucarosaurus diripienda supply
  • A brand new paper seems at whether or not Amargasaurus had spines, sails, or an enormous hump on its neck supply


Hans Sues, the Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology on the Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past. He has named many dinosaurs, together with Saurornitholestes, Zephyrosaurus, and Daemonosaurus and picked up fossils within the U.S., Canada, China, Germany, and Morocco. He has authored or co-authored greater than 150 scientific articles. Plus he has a dinosaur named after him: the pachycephalosaur Hanssuesia. You’ll be able to see him on The Dr. Is In and a Twitter Q&A.


You’ll be able to dig up actual dinosaur bones this summer season with Colorado Northwestern Neighborhood Faculty! Be part of them for a two week immersive discipline paleontology expertise digging up dinosaur bones from the Jurassic interval in Northwest Colorado. There are two scheduled digs: Might 27–June 11 and July 1–July 16. There are additionally two concurrent immersive lab strategies applications obtainable. Get all the main points and register on-line at cncc.edu/dinodig

The dinosaur of the day: Tazoudasaurus

  • Vulcanodontid basal sauropod that lived within the Early Jurassic in what’s now Morocco (discovered within the Excessive Atlas Mountains)
  • Appeared like different sauropods, walked on 4 legs, had an extended tail, comparatively small head, although neck wasn’t too lengthy
  • Estimated to be about 31 to 33 ft (9.5 to 10 m) lengthy
  • Estimated to weigh round 8 metric tonnes
  • Different sauropods that lived across the similar time had been larger
  • One of many juveniles discovered estimated to weigh about 308 lb (140 kg)
  • Cranium was about 12.5 in (32 cm) lengthy
  • Again of the cranium was broad
  • Had a slender decrease jaw
  • Had a versatile neck with lengthy vertebrae
  • Fossils had been first discovered within the early 2000s
  • Discovered a jawbone with 17 tooth
  • Put on patterns on the tooth present it in all probability floor meals between its tooth
  • A lot of ferns, cycads, and conifers grew in its habitat
  • Described by Ronan Allain et al. in 2004
  • Kind species is Tazoudasaurus naimi
  • Genus title refers to one of many localities the place the fossils had been discovered, Tazouda
  • Species title means “slender” and refers back to the small dimension of the holotype
  • Holotype was an grownup, and included a part of the jaw with tooth
  • Skeleton was partially articulated (put collectively)
  • Additionally discovered one other specimen that was a juvenile
  • Fossils discovered alongside theropods, together with the abelisauroid Berberosaurus
  • Carefully associated to Vulcanodon
  • Pelvis and leg was much like Vulcanodon
  • Had a comparatively slender pubis
  • Had each sauropod and sauropodomorph options
  • Had a prosauropod-like jaw with spatulate tooth
  • Derived, or later options, embody options in its leg and toes
  • Walked on its toes
  • Atlasaurus, which was discovered within the space, lived about 20 million years later within the Center Jurassic, and evaluating Tazoudasaurus and Atlasaurus exhibits how sauropods modified throughout that point (completely different tooth, variations within the leg bones and ft, and dimension—Atlasaurus was a lot larger)
  • Talked about Atlasaurus in episode 433
  • Greater than 600 bones discovered, and lots of the had been articulated
  • Sufficient fossils had been present in a bone mattress that “the skeleton of Tazoudasaurus is just about full apart from the cranium,” in keeping with Ronan Allain and others in 2008
  • Bone mattress had a minimum of six people, with a minimum of three and perhaps 4 of them being adults (fourth one based mostly on the big arm bone/humerus) and two juveniles
  • In 2010 Karen Peyer and Ronan Allain reconstructed Tazoudasaurus, and stated there are least 10 juvenile to grownup people (after extra fossils from the bonebed had been ready)
  • Allain and others additionally stated in 2008 “The overwhelming majority of juvenile and grownup stays are neither damaged nor weathered and have been jumbled up collectively,” which suggests the bones had been near the place the animals died
  • Thought to have died shortly from mudflow, based mostly on how the fossils are preserved
  • Might imply Tazoudasaurus lived in a herd, and was social
  • Featured within the documentary Monitoring Africa’s Dinosaurs

Enjoyable Truth:

Amargasaurus and all the group of dicraeosaurids have been extinct about twice as way back because the final surviving non-avian dinosaurs.

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