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I Know Dino Podcast: Aquilops


    Episode 13 is all about Aquilops, a small eagle-faced dinosaur that was found purely by probability.

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    On this episode, we focus on:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Aquilops americanus, which suggests American eagle face
    • The title Aquilops comes from its hook-like beak on the entrance of the cranium
    • Dr. Andrew Farke from the Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology and his crew found Aquilops (solely the cranium)
    • The excavation was funded by the Nationwide Geographic Society’s Committee for Analysis and Exploration
    • The crew’s analysis was revealed in December 2014
    • Farke noticed Aquilops by probability when a flash of white caught his eye (its enamel embedded in a rock)
    • The crew that discovered Aquilops made up how its physique seemed, primarily based on how shut relations seemed
    • Aquilops lived in southern Montana within the early Cretaceous (crew discovered it within the Cloverly Formation in 1997)
    • Aquilops lived about 106 million years in the past, and is the oldest “horned” dinosaur from North America; about 20 million years older than the following one
    • Aquilops is extra intently associated to dinosaurs from Asia than from later horned dinosaurs from North America; this helps show that animals traveled between continents at the moment (migration)
    • Aquilops exhibits that horned dinosaurs got here from Asia and went to North America by way of the Bering Strait about 108 million years in the past
    • However as a result of Aquilops is so distantly associated to North American horned dinosaurs, scientists suppose there have been two or extra migrations within the later Cretaceous
    • Farke nicknamed Aquilops “the little dinosaur that would” as a result of it was so small and made such a protracted journey
    • At first, scientists thought Aquilops was a unique dinosaur, Zephyrosaurus
    • Aquilops has a rostral bone (varieties the higher beak and makes it a horned dinosaur) with a wierd bump/prong on the entrance; it’s unclear what the bump was for (preventing, digging, and so forth)
    • Aquilops was small, in regards to the measurement of a raven with the physique mass of a bunny; although this estimate comes from solely having a cranium and no physique
    • The Aquilops that was discovered was most likely not totally grown (primarily based on bone texture), however was not a child both (no limbs bones, so it’s exhausting to inform the age)
    • Scientists named Aquilops its personal species due to the distinctive form of the beak and different distinguishing traits of the cranium
    • A part of the Ceratopsia group, horned dinosaurs
    • Aquilops didn’t have horns or a neck frill, like Triceratops essentially the most well-known Ceratopsia
    • Aquilops weighed 3.5 lb and was 24 in lengthy; cranium is about 3.3 inches lengthy
    • Aquilops snipped off ferns, saplings, and different crops with its beak; most likely walked on two legs; had a protracted tail
    • Scientists made 3D fashions of Aquilops and can add to it as they study extra
    • Aquilops is about 40 million years older than Triceratops; Triceratops weighed 4,000 instances extra
    • Only a few fossils of ceratopsians in North America from early Cretaceous have been discovered
    • Discovering extra Aquilops will take luck (so small); Aquilops is the one ceratopsian discovered within the Cloverly Formation to this point
    • Aquilops could also be a part of a “aspect department” of the ceratopsian household tree, one with small horned dinosaurs within the early Cretaceous
    • Aquilops‘ cranium is on the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Pure Historical past in Norman, OK; as a part of a brand new exhibit within the Corridor of Historical Life, subsequent to the Pentaceratops exhibit, which has the Guiness World Report for largest dinosaur cranium discovered
    • Aquilops is a part of the Neoceratopsian group
    • Neoceratopsians got here from Asia
    • Othniel Charles Marsh named Ceratopsians in 1890 (the title means horn face)
    • Early ancestors lived within the Jurassic
    • Ceratopsians had a rostral bone on their higher jaw (no different animal has or ever has had this) that varieties a parrot-like beak; they’ve a triangular trying cranium
    • Early ceratopsians have been small and bipedal, although later ones comparable to Triceratops have been giant, quadrapedal and had horns and neck frills. Frills could have been used for defense, thermoregulation, or show
    • Ceratopsians have beaks and lived in North America, Europe and Asia throughout the Cretaceous.
    • A minimum of some kinds of ceratopsians lived in herds
    • Like fashionable herds that migrate, ceratopsians would have enormously impacted their atmosphere and been a significant meals supply
    • Although ceratopsians are normally thought of to be herbivores, scientists have speculated that some could have been omnivorous
    • Ceratopsians could have been cathemeral, energetic throughout the day for brief intervals of time
    • Can see a wall of Ceratopsian skulls on the Pure Historical past Museum of Utah (we’ve seen)
    • Enjoyable truth: Scientists suppose there are greater than 1,000 species of non-avian dinosaurs, and lots of are nonetheless found (could also be greater than 1,800 totally different genera)