I Know Dino Podcast: Alvarezsaurus


Episode 46 is all about Alvarezsaurus, a cute, feathery dinosaur.

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On this episode, we talk about:

  • The dinosaur of the day: Alvarezsaurus, whose title means “Alvarez’s lizard”
  • Lived within the late Cretaceous
  • Discovered within the Bajo de la Carpa Formation in Argentina, and named by José Bonaparte in 1991
  • Named after the historian Don Gregorio Alvarez
  • To not be confused with Luis Alvarez, the physicist and newbie paleontologist who got here up with the idea that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs
  • Luis Alvarez and his son Walter Alvarez, a geologist, got here up with the Alvarez Idea of Extinction, that a big asteroid hit earth and triggered a mass extinction
  • Kind species is A. calvoi
  • About 6.5 ft (2 m) lengthy and weighed about 45 lbs (20 kg)
  • Bipedal, with an extended tail, and possibly a quick runner
  • Had lengthy legs, lengthy ft, quick arms, lengthy tail, lengthy s-shaped neck
  • Tail was over half the dinosaur’s size
  • In all probability had feathers or feather-like constructions
  • No cranium discovered, however have discovered vertebrae, scapula, partial pelvis and partial hindlimbs and tooth
  • Had small unserrated tooth
  • Might have eaten bugs
  • Probably used arms for digging, although their arms had been to quick to dig burrows; might have clawed into rotting logs for termites
  • Claw might have been used to dig out holes in termite mounds after which decide off termites (although modeling research don’t actually help this idea)
  • Not fully clear what the claw was used for
  • Can see Alvarezsaurus within the Discovery Channel present Dinosaur Planet, the place it was proven as a predator of a juvenile Saltasaurus (although they didn’t reside on the similar time–Alvarezsaurus lived about 5 million years sooner than Saltasaurus)
  • At one level Alvarezsaurus was considered a flightless fowl, however now thought of a dinosaur (really at one level all members within the Alvarezsauridae had been considered birds)
  • Alvarezsaurus is without doubt one of the bigger ones in its group
  • The sort genus is the least full and least understood within the Alvarezsaur group
  • Shut relations which are higher identified embrace Shuvuuia and Mononykus (Mononykus is taken into account extra of a fowl than a dinosaur)
  • Completely different from different carnivorous dinosaurs on the similar time
  • One other alvarezsaurid from the identical formation is Achillesaurus (one research from 2012, Makovicky, stated it might be a synonym, although many individuals nonetheless contemplate it its personal genus
  • Alvarezsauridae is a household of small dinosaurs with lengthy legs (might run quick)
  • Alvarezsaurs are small, feathered dinosaurs with small, highly effective arms with one digit (every digit had a big claw)
  • Lived 88 to 66 million years in the past
  • Present in North and South America and Asia
  • They range in size, 20-80 in (0.5-2 m), although some might have been bigger
  • Ranged in dimension from the the dimensions of pigeons to turkeys
  • Very specialised–Have small birdlike palms, giant arm muscle tissue (good for tearing or digging), tubular snouts, lengthy jaws, and small tooth
  • They had been quick they usually most likely used their claws to dig out ants and termites, however their arms had been so quick they might have needed to lie on their chests in opposition to the nests to achieve the bugs (additionally presumably they did one thing else that has not but been established)
  • Mammals akin to ant-eaters have stout, clawed arms and are toothless (just like Alvarezsaurs)
  • However the one technique to know for positive what they ate could be to discover a coprolite or some sort of proof that reveals what it ate
  • Had been considered the earliest identified flightless birds, however now researchers suppose they had been primitive members of Maniraptora
  • In 1993 one other alvarezsaur was discovereed, known as Mononykus olecranus (means “one claw”), and the household Alvarezsauridae was considered flightless birds, based mostly on the derived feathers distinctive to birds. Different members of the group later found had been discovered to strengthen that concept, till Shuvuuia mongoliensis in 1998 was mistakenly described as being extra derived, inflicting the group to be regarded as fashionable birds (a crown group)
  • One species, Shuvuuia deserti, had preserved down-like feathery constructions
  • Options considered uniquely fowl like embrace the elongated sternum, the palatine, cervical and caudal vertebrae
  • However an evaluation in 1999 discovered that alvarezsaurids had been considerably associated to Ornithomimosauria (ostrich dinosaurs), and birdlike traits got here from convergent evolution
  • In 2007 they had been locations as essentially the most basal group in Maniraptora
  • Enjoyable Reality: Cephalopods date again all the best way to the Cambrian interval, however the first identified squid are from the Jurassic period. Because of this dinosaurs had been doubtlessly consuming calamari, squid had been consuming small dinosaurs, or each…



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