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I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Raptorex (Episode 94)


    In our 94th episode, we had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Dave Varricchio from Montana State College.

    Episode 94 can also be about Raptorex, a tyrannosaurid that some suppose could also be a juvenile Tarbosaurus.

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    On this episode, we focus on:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Raptorex
    • Identify means thief king
    • Doubtful tyrannosaurid genus
    • Kind species is Raptorex kriegsteini
    • Species title is in honor of Roman Kriegstein, a Holocaust survivor (son Henry donate the specimen to the College of Chicago to be studied)
    • Described in 2009 by Paul Sereno and others
    • Tyrannosaurid Skeletal Design First Advanced at Small Physique Dimension, printed in 2009
    • Reanalysis of “Raptorex kriegsteini”: A Juvenile Tyrannosaurid Dinosaur from Mongolia, printed in 2011
    • Thought-about by many to be a nomen dubium as a result of tyrannosaurids have a tendency to alter quite a bit whereas rising, and there’s no grownup skeleton to check it to (it appears to be like much like juvenile Tarbosaurus); additionally initially it was considered from the Yixian Formation in China, and about 125 million years outdated, however now that’s considered unlikely
    • Specimen was collected illegally and smuggled out of Asia
    • Pete Larson, who tried to determine the origins of the specimen, mentioned an American businessman purchased it from a Mongolian fossil supplier, after which offered it on the Tucson Gem, Mineral and Fossil Present. Dr. Henry Kriegstein, a fossil collector, purchased it (on the time it was described as a juvenile Tarbosaurus) and he instructed paleontologist Paul Sereno about it, who mentioned it was a subadult of a brand new species from the Yixian Formation. He printed an outline and organized to ship the fossil again to China, the place he thought it had been smuggled from
    • Sereno mentioned it was about 6 years outdated and almost an grownup
    • If that is true, it will imply that tyrannosaurs began as small animals with a big head, lengthy legs, and two-fingered palms, as an alternative of evolving into giants with these options. However earlier proof discovered that primitive tyrannosaurs had small skulls and lengthy arms with three fingers on every hand
    • In 2010 Pete Larson regarded into the fossil and mentioned it was most likely a juvenile Tarbosaurus, and possibly didn’t come from the Yixian Formation (which Sereno had concluded primarily based on a fish fossil discovered alongside it). Larson mentioned it could have come from Mongolia as an alternative, from formations solely 70 million years outdated, and mentioned they wanted “a extra detailed evaluation of the fossil matrix, together with courting any pollen related to the fossil.” Sereno mentioned he nonetheless believed in his authentic evaluation
    • In June 2011, an in depth second research was printed in PLOS ONE by Denver Fowler, Pete Larson, and others, they usually discovered that the specimen was solely 3 years outdated as an alternative of 6, and located that the fossil Sereno used thus far Raptorex, of a Lycoptera, was really greater than any identified Lycoptera and was most likely a part of an ellimichthyiform fish, which lived throughout your entire Cretaceous interval, so it’s unclear how outdated the Raptorex fossil is. Fowler and Larson and others mentioned Raptorex was most likely a juvenile tyrannosaurid, much like Tarbosaurus, although it’s unclear what genera it belongs to precisely till extra is understood about tyrannosaurid progress patterns in addition to extra details about how outdated the Raptorex fossil really is. If this conclusion is true, then Sereno’s speculation that tyrannosaurid options have been in smaller variations of tyrannosaurs first wouldn’t be true
    • In 2013, Newbrey and others mentioned the fish fossil (previously considered Lycoptera) discovered close to Raptorex was really a hiodontid, most likely much like those discovered within the Nemegt Formation in Mongolia (lived within the Late Cretaceous). This implies Raptorex most likely got here from the Nemegt Formation and lived within the Late Cretaceous
    • The hiodontid species discovered close to Raptorex match with the species solely identified from the Nemegt Formation
    • In 2011, Takanobu Tsuihiji wrote an in-depth description of a virtually full juvenile Tarbosaurus, which helped to check different juvenile tyrannosaurids, together with Raptorex. They discovered that Raptorex and the juvenile Tarbosaurus had some variations, reminiscent of Raptorex not having a outstanding crest on its higher hip
    • This might imply Raptorex is its personal genus, however Fowler, Larson and others don’t all agree on whether or not or not Raptorex has that crest on its hip (Larson wrote that there’s a “refined crest”).
    • Nonetheless, the concept that tyrannosaurids advanced their traits at a smaller dimension appears to stay unsure
    • About 9.8 ft (3 m) lengthy and weighed 143 lb (65 kg)
    • Had a big cranium, lengthy legs (quick runner) and two-fingered forelimbs
    • Had a big mind, and good sense of scent
    • Enjoyable reality: In response to Dr. Ken Lacovara within the new VR video; Dreadnaughtus weighed lower than a Boeing 737, regardless of weighing as a lot as 9 T-rex‘s and 12 full-grown male African elephants


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    For many who could want studying, see beneath for the complete transcript of our interview with Dr. Dave Varricchio:

    Garret: So now we’re going to leap into our interview with Dr. Dave Varricchio, who’s a paleontologist at Montana State College in Bozeman, Montana, the place he each teaches and does analysis. He has discovered new details about Troodon, and he’s one of many world’s main specialists on dinosaur copy, which is why we actually needed to speak to him. And Sabrina’s going to leap in half manner by the interview so don’t get startled when she pops in out of nowhere.

    So the primary query we all the time ask is do you’ve a favourite dinosaur?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I really feel it ought to be Troodon since I labored on Troodon a lot. So I do say it’s Troodon. I’ve Troodon on my license plate on my automotive.

    Garret: That’s a reasonably robust assertion you probably have a selected license plate.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: And I really feel like I do know Troodon effectively within the sense that I really feel like I’ve accomplished a bunch of various stuff that’s concerned Troodon, so it’s […] (00:00:51) I do know greatest, you recognize it’s extra, I’m acquainted with it moderately than it’s the world’s greatest dinosaur is type of how I take a look at it.

    Garret: Gotcha, cool. Talking of Troodon, I by no means know how you can say it. I hear TRU-adon, I additionally hear TRO-odon, however I’ll go along with Troodon since that’s what you’re saying. What all have you ever discovered about Troodon by your research and analysis?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So there was some histology work, in order that regarded kinda at growing older of people, progress of people, it appears to be like like Troodon was comparatively fast to succeed in full dimension possibly 5 years, however possibly it took a little bit bit longer to actually finalize its progress. You recognize it form of half-sized by 12 months one and almost full grown by 12 months three. Although there are a number of bits on the market of some, right here or there there’s some scattered bits of troodons that recommended there have been some actually large people which puzzles me. After which there’s an entire line of labor involving the Troodon copy, so I really feel like we have now a reasonably good understanding of troodon copy as a result of we have now a nesting hint, we have now egg clutches, we have now good eggs, we have now embryos, effectively preserved eggshell, so I really feel from that we have now a reasonably good deal with on Troodon copy.

    After which there was a bone mattress that I labored on the place there was an abundance of Troodon materials, though I don’t actually perceive precisely what meaning. It’s type of fascinating.

    Garret: So while you say a very massive Troodon, how large is that?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Sometimes we are saying a Troodon is about 50 kilograms, so someplace round 125 kilos. However occasionally, we have now this one actually large tibia that’s I don’t actually know weight smart what that may equal however it appears I don’t know considerably bigger, like possibly twice the mass or one thing like that. And there’s the one bone on the College of Montana of their collections that appears actually large, however the remainder of it form of appears to hover across the similar dimension. I don’t know if that’s totally different taxa, like possibly there’s a special troodontid that’s greater, however we don’t actually have proof for smaller people of it if that’s the case. Or possibly it’s simply exceptionally massive people. You recognize I’m not likely certain what meaning.

    Garret: Cool. Is Troodon principally identified from Montana? So do you’ve entry to a number of the Troodon specimens, or is there a pretty big space the place you discover them?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: There’s some materials from Alberta, so simply throughout the border mainly, and so right here and in Alberta there’s different materials. There’s tooth which have been scribed from as far north as Alaska and down in Mexico which are known as Troodon which are type of difficult to cope with in that one particular person would have a variable set of tooth from entrance of the jaws to again of the jaws. So it’s onerous to know you probably have like a tooth, you recognize does that signify a special species or is that throughout the variation that you just discover inside Troodon? So it will get known as Troodon as a result of we don’t actually have the rest to name it. There’s some materials from Utah that was described as talus is the genus. Fairly much like troodon as effectively although too. So sure, backside line is many of the materials comes from Montana and southern Alberta.

    Garret: Okay. There are a number of them proper? I believe I see a good variety of Troodon finds.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Not likely. I imply we don’t, for some cause it looks as if there’s good cranial components in Alberta. They’ve some good mind circumstances in Alberta. And we have now higher […] (00:04:16) cranial stuff in Montana, however there’s not likely an entire skeleton for Troodon. I imply essentially the most full skeleton is a small juvenile from Montana.

    Garret: Yeah that may very well be problematic while you’re making an attempt to determine what the utmost dimension is.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So it’s a lot rarer than T-rexes. In my opinion there’s tons of T-rexes, you recognize there’s a number of actually good skulls of t-rex, and you may’t say the identical of Troodon.

    Garret: Is that as a result of it might need been extra like prey-sized, or why do you suppose that’s?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I believe there’s a bias towards smaller taxa might be one side of it. Is that what you imply by prey dimension, that folks eat it?

    Garret: Yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, in order that’s a part of it. It most likely is a predatory animal, so most likely by way of inhabitants it’s most likely not an plentiful animal as effectively. You recognize versus say a Maiasaura or another duck invoice or ceratopsian or one thing like that, that there is perhaps many extra in a given ecosystem than Troodon.

    Garret: Sure we have been really on the Museum of the Rockies two months in the past, and we noticed your Oryctodromeus, or effectively I say your Oryctodromeus as a result of I believe you have been most likely the paleontologist who most likely had essentially the most enter on what it regarded like, the show. What do you suppose Oryctodromeus might need been digging for? Do you suppose it simply dug for like making a home, or do you suppose they could have dug for different issues?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: You recognize it’s fairly fleet of foot, it has fairly lengthy gracile hind limbs. You recognize it’s type of, I suppose in my thoughts you recognize constructed like a coyote or you recognize a Patagonian mara. It’s type of a bizarre rodent in South America that’s type of long-legged but in addition digs dens. So in case you noticed it you would say oh that appears like someplace between a miniature antelope and a jackrabbit. It’s a fast-paced working animal however it digs dens, so I believe Oryctodromeus is kinda like that. I believe it’s simply denning underground however not, I don’t suppose it’s feeding underground. However you recognize possibly they’re vital for replica.

    Garret: Would that simply be for like show or what do you suppose?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: No I simply imply like a shelter away from predators.

    Garret: Oh, gotcha.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So like a spot, you recognize only a secure haven for offspring. I don’t know, eggling, stay delivery, I don’t know what it’s doing in there. However I suppose I really feel prefer it’s most likely a secure shelter.

    Garret: So the one which they discovered, it was simply in its personal burrow, it didn’t have any younger or something with it?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: No there have been two, elements of two juveniles with it.

    Garret: Oh okay, however we don’t know if there have been eggshells.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: No, no eggshells that we discovered, no. I imply they’re pretty good-sized in people in order that they’d have been out of the egg for fairly a while, you recognize, like months.

    Garret: Attention-grabbing.

    Sabrina: That is the one burrowing dinosaur we find out about proper?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Bob Bakker described a small ornithischian dinosaur that he mentioned he thought got here from burrows about 10 or 12 years in the past, however it’s a small ornithischian as effectively. He thought that it is perhaps burrowing simply due to the character of the, he didn’t have a burrow construction however he had these assemblages of small people collectively, and he thought that was a strategy to clarify them.

    Garret: Oh fascinating.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So he recommended that for that animal. He didn’t actually go into a lot particulars about it taxonomically or like I mentioned there was no hint to go along with it. And you recognize it’s fascinating I really feel like there’s now rumors, I can’t actually say, of different dinosaurs that doubtlessly might need been burrowers.

    Sabrina: Yeah it will make sense that there’s multiple sort that did that.

    Garret: Yeah, I imply we see a number of trendy animals do it for certain, particularly smaller ones that want a little bit further protection.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Proper and it’s additionally worthwhile to get out of no matter environmental situations, whether or not it’s the warmth of the day or the cool of the night time, you recognize, is perhaps helpful to have a shelter simply to spend these unhealthy occasions in.

    Garret: That’s true.

    Sabrina: It most likely simply feels safer too. You recognize, nobody else can get in.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah.

    Garret: Talking of copy, I haven’t actually heard anyone discuss potential stay births of dinosaurs. Is that one thing you suppose is perhaps potential?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: You recognize we don’t, I suppose I’d say we don’t actually have any good proof within the sense of we haven’t ever discovered a big skeleton with younger inside, and I believe that given all of the analysis that’s been accomplished on dinosaurs that if stay delivery was on the market we’d most likely discover a type of ultimately. However we do lack eggs for big numbers of dinosaurs, so we have now a reasonably numerous set of dinosaur eggs. However while you take a look at them intimately they principally fall out with saurischian dinosaurs. So we have now you recognize, we have now oviraptor eggs, and we have now troodontid eggs, and we have now eggs for different small theropods, we have now eggs for sauropods, however we have now no eggs for armored dinosaurs, we have now no eggs for horned dinosaurs. You recognize, so these are two large teams. After which ornithopods we have now eggs for hadrosaurs however not any of the basal ornithopods. So there’s some large chunks of the dinosaur tree the place we don’t have eggs. I’m undecided what meaning. Does it imply that that they had soft-shell eggs or they’re nesting in a manner that doesn’t protect the eggs, or they destroy the eggs? So if they’ve delicate shell eggs, upon getting delicate shelled eggs there’s form of the potential to haven’t any eggs in any respect I suppose.

    Garret: Yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: In order that’s what you discover amongst lizards. You recognize, you will discover like amongst lizards stay delivery evolves a number of occasions, and in intently associated taxa there will be one which lays eggs, normally delicate shelled eggs, after which one other taxa that has stay delivery.

    Garret: Would there be any large benefits to having a stay delivery in contrast with laying an egg?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I suppose a few of it’s that you probably have stay delivery doubtlessly you might be defending the eggs all through the incubation interval versus you recognize digging a gap and laying your eggs and leaving them there. They’re subjected to environmental situations, to scavengers, issues like that that may come by and raid the eggs. However you probably have the eggs internally then they’re protected throughout that interval.

    Sabrina: Attention-grabbing. I used to be simply eager about how like with penguins and it’s such an ordeal for them with their egg, they usually should, was it the daddy penguin can’t even eat for months at a time as a result of they’re busy defending the egg after which…

    Garret: Yeah that’s a very good level, in additional excessive environments it may very well be extra useful.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: That appears simply loopy doesn’t it? It’s like they spend the winter standing on an egg within the coldest a part of the world.

    Sabrina: Yeah simply ravenous to dying.

    Garret: Yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah it’s like not even the summer time down there, it’s the winter. It’s like that appears ridiculous, yeah.

    Garret: They might actually go for a stay delivery evolution.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I suppose that may facilitate issues. You’d suppose if that they had them internally not less than they might swim round within the water, it will be quite a bit hotter, they might feed…

    Garret: Yeah they might eat moderately than simply slowly ravenous to dying for months.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, yeah.

    Garret: So that you talked about there’s a lot of various kinds of dinosaur eggs, and I used to be wanting someday in any respect the totally different sorts of eggs which have been labeled into differing types, and it looks as if dinosaur eggs account for lots of the range of various kinds of eggs that we’ve found in animals. Why do you suppose there are such a lot of totally different constructions and shapes and issues occurring with dinosaur eggs?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I don’t know. I believe that’s a very good query. And I agree that I consider dinosaur eggs as extra numerous in dimension and form and microstructure and eggshell ornamentation than we have now in trendy egg layers. So it’s actually bizarre I believe that there’s a lot variety. May very well be form of like a World Conflict I aircraft analogy. I don’t know in case you’re…

    Garret: I see.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Do you ever take a look at World Conflict I planes, they’re like single-wing planes, there’s biplanes, there’s triplanes, there’s even like quad planes. Like there’s like bizarre, they’ve engines within the entrance, they’ve engines within the again, they do all kinds of issues. After which by the point you get to World Conflict II or in a while just like the aircraft variety drops, are you aware what I imply? It’s form of like there’s like a extra customary aircraft format. So I don’t know if it’s like form of a trial, you recognize like they’re simply seeing what works and ultimately there’s like some points that get pruned from it, I don’t actually know if there’s actually a very good clarification as to why a few of the totally different morphologies work relative to different ones. As a result of it doesn’t appear, in a number of circumstances it looks as if effectively they’re simply burying the eggs within the floor for you recognize this extensive variety of eggs. Like they’re nonetheless in the end simply kinda buried within the floor, so I don’t actually see what they’re doing functionally that’s totally different.

    Garret: Oh fascinating, so even with all these totally different constructions a number of them are handled the identical.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah. I imply there’s some variety while you get into the maniraptoran theropods, like oviraptors and Troodons. Then they type of do some various things, however the remainder of them look like they’re simply form of buried eggs. So I don’t actually know. I believe it’s a very good puzzle, and it’s a type of difficult puzzles as a result of you recognize you may’t say oh effectively it matches this contemporary taxa. It’s like oh, these are simply bizarre they usually’re dinosaurs simply doing bizarre issues. And so it’s onerous to know how you can interpret them.

    Garret: Yeah, so is it tougher with eggs to type of extrapolate again utilizing trendy taxa than it’s with different issues like say, you recognize, lengths of limbs and issues like that? Are there not a number of trendy analogies?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: There’s some basic tendencies, like porosity amongst trendy animals. Low-porosity eggs are these which are laid in an uncovered nest like a fowl nest usually, and high-porosity eggs are buried in sediment or vegetation. I believe one benefit that eggs have is you may consider an egg clutch as actually a nesting hint, that’s that the animal organized, you recognize, presumably in case you’re a clutch that hasn’t been modified after it’s been buried, however it’s kinda onerous to think about how it may be modified an excessive amount of after it’s buried, however presumably it’s how that animal organized these eggs within the floor. So there’s some useful side that’s preserved in that association, and so I believe they’re kinda fascinating that manner. Each how the clutch might need functioned, but in addition eager about you know the way the dinosaur dug the outlet after which positioned these eggs in that association is type of an fascinating puzzle too.

    Garret: Yeah, as a result of you’ve some very massive dinosaurs laying some comparatively small eggs right into a gap.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, and a few of them, a number of them are organized in a single layer, not, you recognize like a crocodile or a turtle digs a gap they usually type of simply form of empty all of the eggs into that area and type of pile on prime of each other, however a number of dinosaur eggs are extra organized the place it’s like you recognize you are taking six eggs and also you dig a gap and lay all of them flat in that gap, not pile them on prime of each other, after which bury them. And that appears, ya it appears onerous. It’s like how does a sauropod do this? Yeah, it’d be fascinating to observe.

    Garret: Yeah particularly as a result of one among their eggs is so small in comparison with their physique, even simply in comparison with like a single foot on a sauropod.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah in order that they nudge them round with their heads or decide them up of their mouth or, yeah, I don’t know if it’s an answerable query however it’s type of fascinating to ponder.

    Garret: Yeah.

    Sabrina: Undoubtedly.

    Garret: And also you I believe had printed, I believe you have been on this paper, about how typically they bury compost or issues like that to type of regulate the temperature of the eggs whereas they’re buried.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: No that wasn’t me. I believe Jack Horner talked about vegetation. You recognize vegetation doesn’t actually protect effectively with eggs. The 2 are type of opposed, and the one, rotting vegetation produces acidic situations. Acidic situations dissolve away eggshell. We don’t have a lot proof of vegetation with dinosaur eggs, however that doesn’t essentially imply that they didn’t use it however possibly it’s, you recognize we’re seeing eggs which are preserved with out it if that is sensible.

    Garret: Yeah.

    Sabrina: Yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: May very well be a preservation bias. We’re form of seeing eggs the place animals didn’t use vegetation.

    Garret: Are there any trendy animals that bury their eggs like how dinosaurs do?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: In like an analogous layer?

    Garret: Yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: No. Desert tortoises type of do this. They form of prepare their eggs on a flat floor or different pile. They don’t make very many eggs, there’s solely like 4 or six or one thing like that versus like a sea turtle, like sea turtle that you recognize lays 100 eggs all piled atop of one among them.

    Garret: However dinosaurs are kinda extra in that quantity proper? It’s normally like eight or so.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah some are comparatively small. A few of the sauropod nests down in South America I believe have had 20 or possibly even 30 eggs.

    Sabrina: Wow.

    Garret: That’s quite a bit.

    Sabrina: And did these all belong to 1?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Effectively there’s some debate you recognize from […] (00:17:05) the place they’ve tons of clutches, and a few of the clutches could also be superimposed on prime of each other. However a very large, I imply they’re a number of ton animals so actually the mass of all these eggs isn’t very a lot relative to the mass of the grownup.

    Garret: And you then mentioned a few of them ultimately did evolve open-nesting conduct and that may have some type of evolutionary benefit proper?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, so oviraptors and troodontids seem to have some contact between the grownup and the eggs throughout the clutch. Perhaps there’s much less so in oviraptors after which extra contact in troodontids.

    Garret: Oh fascinating.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So it’s a debatable level however I suppose I believe that meaning they’re offering warmth to the eggs and incubating them with physique warmth, or not less than partially with physique warmth.

    Garret: That’s fascinating you say Troodons had extra contact contemplating once I consider an oviraptor one of many important issues I consider is that brooding type of mom that was discovered.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, however the grownup form of sits with its ft, you recognize it’s type of like a donut association of the eggs, and the eggs are organized in normally three ranges. In order that they’re form of eggs on prime of eggs on prime of eggs in a donut-like ring association with the adults ft are throughout the middle after which the animal’s type of draped on prime of the higher degree of the eggs. So actually you recognize these decrease degree eggs, their one finish is type of uncovered within the donut gap however for essentially the most half they’re buried in sediment. They’re not likely absolutely uncovered. I imply are you able to think about, I imply I suppose you may argue that that’s simply how they obtained buried however I can’t think about that you would protect them in any other case. You recognize mainly in case you’re stacking cylinders on prime of cylinders to me they should be buried when the animal’s sitting on them. I can’t think about that you would prepare Coke cans, you recognize, in a three-leveled association with out sediment packing it in. So I believe they’re pretty buried, and the porosity of the eggs is per that interpretation too.

    So the precise quantity of contact between the adults and a person egg isn’t very a lot actually.

    Garret: However Troodon had a barely totally different nest?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah Troodon, like Oviraptor, has these elongated eggs however Troodon eggs are planted extra upright within the floor. And they also’re type of extra compact of their association, and so the higher elements are all uncovered however in a decent configuration the place the stomach of the animal presumably may form of relaxation on prime of all these egg tops all on the similar time.

    Sabrina: Attention-grabbing.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: After which a few of which will get carried over into a few of the […] (00:19:57) birds, so a few of the birds of the Mesozoic have additionally upright preparations of their eggs.

    Sabrina: I’m wondering, I used to be simply eager about just like the thickness of the eggshell and the way cautious you would need to be and the way a lot weight you would put onto them.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah Troodon eggs will not be notably thick. It’s a couple of millimeter. However I imply Troodon‘s not, it’s not an enormous. You recognize, it’s 100 and twenty 5 kilos or one thing like that possibly. So it’s not a very tremendous heavy animal. I imply it’s, you recognize, ostriches are 300 kilos and the emus and rheas, you recognize they’re form of within the Troodon range-ish.

    Sabrina: That’s true. I suppose I’m pondering if I sat on an egg…

    Garret: A rooster egg?

    Sabrina: A rooster egg, I may nonetheless simply break it.

    Garret: Rooster eggs are quite a bit thinner although.

    Sabrina: Oh yeah.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Numerous the burden is on their legs even once they’re sitting, type of on their metatarsals, you recognize after which you may form of ease your physique mass onto the egg clutch.

    Sabrina: Okay, yeah I see that is sensible.

    Garret: So it’s not likely like sitting on it, it’s similar to touching it.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I believe the animal may sit down, however as its sitting down its weight is basically on its legs till, after which it might probably type of regulate how a lot weight is on the egg clutch. I don’t know, I form of really feel like oh I most likely may watch movies of nesting emus or one thing like that.

    Sabrina: Yeah.

    Garret: Yeah that may very well be fascinating. I don’t suppose I’ve ever seen, aside from like a rooster or a songbird or one thing a lot in regards to the subsequent. Like I don’t suppose I’ve ever seen an ostrich nest. However they only lay, ostriches simply lay one egg at a time proper?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Effectively they’ve large clutches although however they lay one egg at a time, yeah. I imply all birds lay one egg at a time even when they’ve an enormous clutch; they’re producing eggs one per day and ostrich normally takes three to 5 days between eggs.

    Garret: So with burying the eggs you would need to have an open space after which type of grasp round it for per week or two when you laid eggs earlier than you would rebury it.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So yeah, I imply I suppose that may be the case if that was true. I don’t, you recognize, primitively animals lay eggs in mass like crocodilians and most reptiles and stuff, so I suppose I’d presume that the majority dinosaurs could be laying their eggs in mass, so they might lay all their eggs on the similar time, and it’s solely while you get into maniraptorans the place we get this iterative laying. And that’s actually the place you get this large bounce in egg dimension relative to grownup dimension. So like an oviraptor egg is about the identical dimension as a Maiasaura egg, however you recognize a Maiasaura is you recognize two tons, and Oviraptor is 200 kilos or one thing, or you recognize 150 kilos. So the egg is considerably bigger for the Oviraptor. So at maniraptoran’s the place we see a number of modifications in copy, and there’s modifications in egg form. The eggs turn into actually large relative to the grownup physique dimension, and that’s the place we begin to get this egg pairing which is type of how we inferred the iterative laying of eggs.

    Garret: What’s egg pairing?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So eggs in Oviraptor egg clutches are organized in pairs, and similar factor in Troodon egg clutches. It’s kinda onerous, you may’t all the time see it in each egg clutch however in good clutches you may see this egg pairing. So from that we proposed that Troodon and Oviraptor have been laying eggs, like mainly had reproductive tracts that have been functioning like a fowl’s. They have been producing eggshell microstructure like a fowl, they usually have been laying eggs two at a time. So one from every ovary and oviduct. You recognize, in order that they lay two eggs on someday and two eggs on a subsequent day. After which about ten years later they discovered an oviraptor that had two eggs inner, in order that was form of supportive proof that that was most likely the case.

    Garret: Yeah that’s a very good discover.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So I suppose I don’t actually know if different dinosaurs outdoors of manoraptorans have been laying eggs one by one or two at a time. There’s no actual proof to argue that they have been, and so I believe the most secure assumption is that they have been most likely producing their eggs en masse. However I suppose I’d say we don’t actually have robust proof someway.

    Garret: Yeah, I believe the burying factor appears fairly troublesome in case you’re laying them one by one although.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Proper. However you recognize Oviraptors presumably are constructing this complicated, and Troodon, constructing this bizarre complicated of eggs the place eggs are being laid two at a time. In order that’s type of a puzzle to consider as effectively.

    Sabrina: Yeah, a lot of good puzzles.

    Garret: So Sabrina and I have been simply within the Two Medication Dinosaur Middle, we did one among their every day dig issues, and we went out to a nest and Sabrina discovered some eggshell fragments, they usually have been all very, very small. Is {that a} typical factor or do you ever discover a good intact egg that simply appears to be like like an egg was buried after which become a rock?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I’d say within the Two Medication it’s fairly typical to search out bits of eggshell. I imply eggshell’s pretty frequent within the formation, however to search out good eggs is fairly unusual. More often than not they’re being laid in mudstones, and people mudstones have been compacted so the egg’s simply type of been flattened into, you recognize, a pancake of eggshell. However eggs laid in sandstones have extra potential. The sand is simply tougher to compact, so the eggs retain their three dimensional shames. Numerous the eggs from China are in coarser grained sediments, after which within the Two Medication a number of the Troodon eggs are laid in these sediments which have been infused with calcium carbonate in a while, and they also’ve been cemented fairly early on of their burial course of. So the eggs haven’t been compacted an excessive amount of, and people retain a reasonably good three dimensional form as effectively.

    Garret: Cool.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: I used to be most likely at that website really this summer time.

    Garret: Good.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: As a result of Dave Trexler, yeah I visited with Dave Trexler and we type of, he visited our website after which I went on the market with he and one other man out to his website.

    Sabrina: Oh cool.

    Garret: Yeah I noticed you probably did some work on the Two Medication, we simply interviewed Dave Trexler after we have been there too. He’s a cool man. You additionally did some work re-identifying an embryonic stay inside an egg, so is that one fairly effectively preserved? And the way do you, what sort of situations do you should get an embryo nonetheless contained in the egg?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Ossification, so bone formation in embryos, really takes place fairly late in growth. So you actually should get an egg that’s buried, you recognize, buried greater than its imagined to be fairly late in its historical past. So I really feel prefer it’s virtually stunning that we don’t have extra embryos although, so I don’t know if there’s one thing in regards to the chemistry of the rotting of the interior elements of the egg that helps to interrupt down bone. I’m type of stunned that we don’t have extra embryos. However we don’t have very many.

    Garret: Yeah as a result of to me it looks as if in case you had an egg and the egg was preserved effectively that no matter was within the egg could be preserved effectively, however I suppose such as you say possibly it’s too acidic or one thing or different and that makes the bones not stick, though if it was acidic then the egg most likely wouldn’t be there both.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I don’t actually understand how that inner surroundings works, however you may suppose although if the egg, if it takes 100 days for the egg to develop, if it dies within the first 75 days you’re not gonna see an embryo as a result of it’s not gonna have an ossified skeleton. SO it’s actually that final quarter of growth that you just may, you recognize, see the bones.

    Garret: Okay.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So it actually type of needs to be a late stage embryo earlier than you see good bones, so you actually type of, it’s a reasonably slender window in that growth. However you’d suppose for the, you recognize just like the 1000’s of eggs that come out of China that we’d have extra embryos.

    Sabrina: That’s true.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: However you recognize possibly it’s, you recognize in case you get that far alongside the percentages of you surviving are higher than in case you don’t if that is sensible. Like in case you’re that near hatching that there’s a excessive probability that you just’re going to make all of it the best way moderately than die ten days wanting hatching.

    Garret: Yeah it’s most likely not equal percentages of no matter life expectancy I suppose you’d name it.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I don’t understand how that works. I don’t know, there’s most likely, possibly you may get numbers from trendy animals, I don’t know, that would offer some perception there I don’t know.

    Garret: Presumably a harder query: I used to be looking for what the most important dinosaur egg is and I discovered many sources saying there are tyrannosaur eggs which are mainly big spheres, after which I discovered different sources saying there’s an oviraptorosaur in China that has a totally totally different formed egg that’s very lengthy and thin, such as you have been saying Coke can sort form, but in addition very large. What do you suppose the most important dinosaur egg could be from?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I believe the 2 largest ones are the Hypacrosaurus eggs from Southern Alberta and Northern Montana which are large, spherical eggs. They’re form of soccer ball in dimensions. A few of the potential sauropod eggs from South America is perhaps that dimension, however I don’t suppose they’re fairly that large. I believe they’re a bit smaller. After which the opposite one are yeah these big oviraptor eggs. The title for the egg is macro-elongitoellisis. And a few of them are fairly lengthy, are 50 centimeters lengthy. They’re type of like large zucchini shapes, you recognize they’re lengthy and thin, however their quantity is type of comparable with the hypacrosaurs. I believe they’re each up round 4 liters, possibly 4 and a half liters in quantity.

    Sabrina: Wow.

    Garret: Yeah that’s an enormous egg.

    Sabrina: It’s.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah. You recognize it’s nonetheless not as large as just like the elephant fowl.

    Garret: Wow, particularly contemplating elephant birds themselves weren’t even near a sauropod.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah.

    Sabrina: Yeah.

    Garret: After which do we all know what, so we have now the title for the egg however we’re not likely certain which oviraptor it got here from?

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: The massive ones? You recognize, yeah I imply they match in microstructure and ornamentation and form different smaller eggs which are related to oviraptors, and there’s a paper popping out, Darla Zolonitski is writing a paper I believe with Phil Currie describing one of many embryos from a few of these large, the makrolon telithis eggs. However I don’t know if it’s, I don’t know if there’s an enormous oviraptor from that formation that’s been named. I imply there’s mainly solely been one big oviraptor that’s been named. However these large eggs, you recognize there’s large eggs which are from Korea, from Mongolia, from China and from Montana as effectively. Idaho and Montana. We discover them in additional locations than we discover big oviraptor skeletal stays, so presumably there’s big oviraptors working round laying these eggs however we simply don’t know extra about you recognize who it’s that’s laid these eggs.

    Sabrina: That’s actually cool to consider.

    Garret: Yeah. That appears unusual that there could be eggs however not skeletal stays.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah I imply it’s type of fascinating while you take a look at the egg, or you recognize it’s typically an eggshell report it typically doesn’t match the skeletal report. I imply that’s type of the issue in misidentification proper, that folks went to the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia they usually discovered you recognize, they discovered 101 Protoceratops from tiny little animals to large full adults, they usually discovered all these eggs, so they only form of assumed effectively there’s a lot of eggs and there’s a lot of Protoceratops, they need to go collectively. Proper? And that’s why they known as the primary Oviraptor that they discovered on prime of eggs that they, you recognize, they name it the egg stealer, however… So the numbers of eggs don’t usually match the numbers within the skeletons. So these formations that we’ve been working in jap Idaho and southern Montana, that’s the place we discover Oryctodromeus, so Oryctodromeus is the most typical dinosaur that we discover. After which the second most plentiful stuff that we discover is eggshell and most of it’s this makrolon telithis, these big eggs. However we haven’t discovered one bone but for an enormous oviraptor, though there are some big oviraptor bones that individuals are type of engaged on in Utah from comparable age stuff.

    Sabrina: Cool.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: So I had one pupil, that’s the scholar that was, Jade Simon, she was engaged on the makrolon telithis eggs from these formations and he or she all the time type of joked that Oryctodromeus may change into just like the dinosaur kiwi. Like these eggs is perhaps coming from, she, that was all tongue in cheek, she doesn’t imply that severely, however…

    Sabrina: Positive.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: However given in case you took form of like what the report regarded like at face worth, we mentioned wow we obtained a lot of these small little dinosaurs, we obtained a lot of these eggs and type of like oh, you recognize, so it should be laying these big eggs. Anyway.

    Garret: That’s humorous.

    Sabrina: Effectively thanks a lot for taking the time and talking with us immediately.

    Dr. Dave Varricchio: Yeah, thanks to your curiosity.

    Sabrina: Simply needed to say thanks once more to Dr. Dave. We had a very nice speak, and we all the time love speaking to paleontologists so it was good to listen to extra about his work.

    Garret: Yeah and clear up a few of the issues that we didn’t find out about or weren’t certain about too. It was enjoyable. I particularly appreciated the thought of dinosaurs probably giving stay delivery.

    Sabrina: Yeah.

    Garret: And it’d be enjoyable to see that someplace alongside the best way.

    Sabrina: It might, undoubtedly. So thanks once more.