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I Know Dino Podcast Present Notes: Saurophaganax (Episode 58)


    Episode 58 is all about Saurophaganax, a meat-eating dinosaur excavated throughout the Nice Despair below the Works Progress Administration.

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    On this episode, we talk about:

    • The dinosaur of the day: Saurophaganax
    • Identify means “lizard eater”
    • John Willis Stovall discovered giant theropod bones in 1931 and 1932 in Oklahoma. In 1942 Stovall named them Saurophagus maximus (“eater of saurians”) in an article, however the article didn’t have an outline, so the title is nomen nudum. Stovall offered an outline in 1950, however the title Saurophagus had already been utilized in 1831 (William Swainson named a tyrant-flycatcher that did eat lizards)
    • Flycatchers are birds
    • Stovall named Saurophagus in an article by Grace Ernistine Ray
    • Pard Collins and Truman Tucker, cattleman, discovered the bones in Oklahoma, and advised J. Stovall about their discovery. Stovall utilized the Works Progress Administration, which gave work to unskilled laborers throughout the Nice Despair
    • They excavated Could 1935 to 1938. The employees needed to stay in the identical county because the work they had been doing, however Cimarron County, OK didn’t have many paleontologists or fossil preparators, so it was principally as much as native ranchers and farmhands. Many bones unintentionally destroyed, and never a lot subject knowledge was saved. Additionally laborers didn’t all the time know what was bone and what was rock. So it was good to provide folks work, however not nice when it got here to excavating the dinosaur
    • Grace Ray visited the positioning when Stovall discovered the Saurophagus maximus bones (which is why it hadn’t but been scientifically named)
    • No actual title till 1995, as a consequence of Saurophagus being the title of a chook and never all scientists agreeing that naming the dinosaur in an article was sufficient (since there was no scientific description)
    • From the article: “Regardless of his energy and energy and his approach in terrorizing the enemy, Saurophagus would by no means have been in a position to go the medical take a look at of a army draft board, neither would Mrs. Saurophagus have certified as a “good 36.” They had been hopelessly chubby, and it’s inconceivable that any quantity of weight-reduction plan would have remedied the scenario. Overactive glands might account for his or her stupendous measurement, as within the case of different dinosaurs.”
    • In 1987 a lectotype (bone used to determine stays) was established and primarily based on a tibia
    • Daniel Chure didn’t deal with the title change as renaming, as an alternative of utilizing the 1987 lectotype he used a vertebra as a holotype
    • Daniel Chure named the brand new genus in 1995, including the “anax” Greek suffix, which suggests “ruler” to the Saurophagus title. He additionally named a distinct specimen as the sort specimen (a neural arch, not meant to be a brand new kind of the previous genus however a holotype completely different from Saurophagus. So, Saurophaganax is just not a renaming of Saurophagus (although Saurophagus materials has principally been known as Saurophaganax maximus, together with disarticulated bones of at the very least 4 people)
    • Some scientists contemplate it a species of Allosaurus (Allosaurus maximus)
    • Quickly after, a brand new principle that Saurophaganax was really a big species of Allosaurus got here up (primarily based on all of the recognized Saurophaganax bones apart from vertebrae being much like beforehand found Allosaurus bones)
    • Measurement has been estimated to be 34 to 43 ft (10.5 to 13 m) lengthy, and weigh round 3 tons
    • Analysis exhibits Allosaurus died younger, earlier than being full grown, so being Saurophaganax measurement can be uncommon
    • Not clear if the vertebrae are the one variations between Saurophaganax and Allosaurus
    • Saurophaganax was giant for an allosaurid (larger than Torvosaurus and Allosaurus), however a rarer discover, within the Morrison Formation (particularly in comparison with Allosaurus), so not a lot recognized about its habits
    • Not many fossils have been discovered, which helps the speculation, however may imply we simply haven’t discovered extra but (perhaps they died in methods not conducive to fossilization)
    • Could have been a prime predator due to giant measurement, however wouldn’t have been as quite a few as smaller dinosaurs (primarily based on not having sufficient meals to maintain a big inhabitants)
    • Additionally, bigger our bodies make it much less more likely to see full specimens (tougher to be buried and shielded from scavengers)
    • To assist distinguish Saurophaganax from Allosaurus, can be good to discover a juvenile Saurophaganax
    • A partial skeleton has been present in New Mexico (which can assist clear up if Saurophaganax is its personal genus or a species of Allosaurus)
    • Had lengthy sharp enamel and powerful neck
    • Due to its measurement, might have been gradual and extra more likely to scavenge than hunt (might have waited for different theropods to take down prey, after which swoop in to take the meat, for the reason that theropods wouldn’t be large enough to problem Saurophaganax)
    • Morrison Formation was semiarid with distinct moist and dry seasons, with lakes and floodplains. The Morrison Formation was the middle of the Bone Wars between Marsh and Cope in 1877
    • Different dinosaurs within the space included Barosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, potential prey equivalent to Camptosaurus, Dryosaurus, Stegosaurus, Othnielosaurus
    • Predators included Torvosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Marshosaurus, Stokesosaurus, Ornitholestes, Allosaurus (70-75% of theropods within the space)
    • Can see a Saurophaganax skeleton within the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Pure Historical past
    • Allosaurus appears to be the closest relative, so lacking Saurophagnax parts are primarily based on Allosaurus components in reconstructions (scaled up)
    • Oklahoma’s state fossil is Saurophaganax
    • Saurophaganax is an allosaurid
    • Allosaurid from the Morrison Formation
    • Allosauridae is a household of medium to giant carnivorous theropods
    • Consists of Saurophaganax, Allosaurus, and Epanterias (which has been reassigned as an Allosaurus species)
    • Charles Marsh named the household in 1878
    • They had been profitable hunters
    • Unclear what number of genera within the household. Many carnosaurs are considerably associated to Allosaurus
    • Enjoyable Truth: The impression at Chicxulub had an estimated vitality equal to 240,000 gigatons of TNT which is on the order of 10 billion occasions the dimensions of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima throughout WWII