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I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Psittacosaurus (Episode 92)


    Episode 92 is all about Psittacosaurus, a hadrosauroid from Italy whose holotype has the nickname “Antonio.”

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    On this episode, we focus on:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Psittacosaurus
    • Identify means “parrot lizard”
    • Ceratopsian that lived within the Early Cretaceous in what’s now Asia (Mongolia, Siberia, China, and possibly Thailand)
    • Earliest identified ceratopsian
    • First found in 1922 throughout the American Museum of Pure Historical past’s third expedition to the Gobi Desert. They discovered a virtually full cranium
    • First described in 1923 by Henry Fairfield Osborn
    • Sort genus of the household Psittacosauridae, which Osborn named in 1923
    • Probably the most well-known dinosaurs, with greater than 400 people discovered (plenty of full skeletons, and all kinds of ages)
    • 17 species have been named Psittacosaurus, however solely September 11 are thought of legitimate (highest variety of legitimate species assigned to a non-avian dinosaur genus)
    • Sort species is P. mongoliensis
    • Sort specimen of P. mongoliensis is of a juvenile
    • Completely different species have totally different cranium shapes (size, top, roundness, and bony lumps)
    • Species embrace mongoliensis, lujiatunensis, neimongoliensis, xinjiangensis, sinensis, meileyingensis, ordosensis, sibricus
    • Osborn additionally named one other specimen Protiguanodon mongoliense, pondering it was an ancestor of Iguanodon. But it surely turned out to not be totally different sufficient from Psittacosaurus, (Osborn stated it had totally different tooth and snout options), and in 1958 Yang Zhongjian, a Chinese language paleontologist, renamed it to Psittacosaurus protiguanodonensis, although these days it’s normally thought of to be Psittacosaurus mongoliensis and Protiguanodon and Psittacosaurus protiguanodonensis are thought of to be junior synonyms of P. mongoliensis
    • C.C. Younger named a brand new species, P. osborni, in 1931 after Henry Osborn (partial cranium present in Interior Mongolia). Some suppose it’s a synonym for P. mongoliensis, others suppose it’s legitimate.
    • Psittacosaurus sibiricus had some bony horns, but it surely’s considered convergent evolution
    • Psittacosaurus mongoliensis skulls are flat on prime
    • P. sinensis have smaller skulls than different Psittacosaurus and have fewer tooth than P. mongoliensis. Additionally, the cheek bones flare out sideways that appear to be horns and the cranium is wider than it’s lengthy. Additionally has a smaller “horn” behind the attention (additionally seen in P. sibiricus)
    • P. xinjiangensis has a cheek horn that’s flattened on the entrance finish
    • P. meileyingensis has the shortest snout and shortest neck frill, and a really spherical cranium
    • P. neimongoliensis has a slim cranium in comparison with different species and is the smallest identified species
    • P. lujiatunensis is well-known from a research of three specimens in 2007. Had a complicated mind, might have had conduct as advanced as Tyrannosaurus (might have constructed nests, cared for younger, and slept like birds)
    • Didn’t have a lot ornamentation (elaborate horns or neck frills) however some had bony lumps that grew from their skulls
    • Had 4 digits on the hand, as a substitute of 5, like different ornithischians and ceratopsians, and 4 toes, much like small ornithischians
    • As much as 6.5 ft (2 m) lengthy, and weighed as much as 44 lb (20 kg)
    • Physique had scales, massive and small, in irregular patterns
    • In 2008 a research of two totally different Psittacosaurus people discovered that its pores and skin was thick (about 40 layers) and should have helped shield in opposition to predators
    • In 2010, Ford and Martin stated Psittacosaurus might have been semi-aquatic, swimming with its tail like a crocodile. That is based mostly on specimens being discovered close to lakes, lengthy chevrons within the tails (bristles on tail might have helped type a fin), and the place of the nostrils and eyes
    • Had a proportionately massive mind, so in all probability had advanced behaviors
    • Good sense of scent and imaginative and prescient, and should have been cathemeral
    • No direct proof that they cared for his or her younger, however might have occurred
    • Quadrupedal as a juvenile
    • Between ages 4-6, their legs grew an they turned bipedal
    • Couldn’t rotate or attain the bottom with its forearms
    • In 2007 Phil Senter did a research of P. neimongoliensis and P. mongoliensis and located its forelimbs have been too brief to succeed in the bottom (55% so long as the hindlimbs) in order that they have been bipedal. Additionally too brief to dig and convey meals to the mouth
    • They’d parrot-like beaks and cheek tooth to eat fiberous vegetation
    • Had a tall cranium that was brief in size, and in some instances is sort of spherical
    • In all probability a selective browser
    • Had a beak, in all probability coated in keratin (used to crop vegetation to eat)
    • Had self-sharpening tooth to crop and slice vegetation (couldn’t grind or chew meals, used gastroliths)
    • Higher and decrease jaws within the cranium labored like a single unit, with out inside joints (akinetic skulls); had just one joint within the jaw joint, so it may slide its decrease jaws ahead and backward to shear meals
    • Juvenile Psittacosaurus not discovered with gastroliths, so its potential its weight loss plan modified with age (much less fibrous at first)
    • P. gobiensis was discovered to have plenty of gastroliths in its intestine, so it might have used its beak to crack nuts and seeds and use the stones to assist digest
    • Was a prey animal. One juvenile Psittacosaurus‘ stays are present in a carnivorous mammal (first identified instance of a mammal that ate a dinosaur)
    • A herd of 6 Psittacosaurus have been discovered buried by a volcanic mudflow and exhibits that they presumably lived in teams (they have been totally different ages). The younger ones had worn tooth, which implies they chewed their very own meals. They in all probability lived collectively for defense, to assist with discovering meals, or presumably serving to with the nest
    • In 2004, 34 juvenile Psittacosaurus skeletons and the cranium of an grownup have been discovered within the Yixian Formation. All of the juveniles are beneath the grownup, which can imply the grownup was caring for the younger. However in 2013 it was identified that the grownup didn’t belong with the nest and had been glued onto it, and the grownup was truly 6 years previous (wouldn’t attain maturity till age 10). Additionally unlikely that one grownup would have so many juveniles without delay
    • In 2014, a research of the 6 yr previous discovered that there might have been “post-hatching cooperation” so it might have been caring for the infants. Some fashionable birds do that
    • Hatchlings have been found, together with one on the AMNH that’s 4-5 in (11-13 cm) lengthy and one additionally at AMNH that’s 1.8 in (4.6 cm) lengthy. They’re each P. mongoliensis and from Mongolia
    • Quill like feathers on the tail
    • One was discovered with lengthy filaments on the tail
    • Bristle-like integumentary constructions have been discovered on the tail of a Psittacosaurus present in China (in all probability the Yixian Formation) in 2002, (might have been used for show). Not assigned to a species, however was illegally taken from China and bought by a German museum, after which described whereas awaiting repatriation. They’d the identical fluorescence as scaled in ultraviolet mild, so might have been keratinized
    • One Psittacosaurus had a pathology. It’s P. mongoliensis, discovered within the Yixian Formation. It had an an infection close to the mid a part of the best fibula. It has a big spherical pit, from lack of blood provide and has massive swelling alongside the decrease a part of the bone. It’s unclear how this occurred
    • Ceratopsia is a gaggle of herbivorous dinosaurs that lived in North America and Asia within the Cretaceous
    • They’d parrot-like beaks and cheek tooth to eat fiberous vegetation
    • They have been ornithiscians
    • Additionally had a frill (used for protection, regulating physique temperature, attracting mates, or signaling hazard)
    • In all probability traveled in herds and will then stampede if threatened
    • Enjoyable truth: 




      Measurement relative to hen




      “USDA Massive” Hen egg


      Avg 2 ounces







      Ostrich Egg

      Usually ~3 kilos


      ~1,100cc ->

      Circum=15.8” (40cm)





      The Largest Dinosaur Egg (I may discover) Oviraptorosaur From China


      >60cm L x >20cm D ->



      Asum’d ratio


      Asum’d ratio


      Asum’d ratio


      Quail Egg

      ~9g (.3oz)


      Lower than 1/5




      Regardless of ostrich eggs being the biggest they’re apparently the smallest in proportion to the chook laying them. Ostriches lay about 50 a yr, equal to 1,200 hen eggs or 3 large oviraptorosaur eggs, all equal to about 2 dozen hen eggs per week.


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