PaleoNews #9

Hey guys, welcome to PaleoNews #9! 

NEW FINDINGS

The first species of Metoposaurus found in the Iberian Peninsula has been described. At 6 feet long, this animal was probably one of the main aquatic predators in its ecosystem. This new species is known from a bone bed of animals found in a lacustrine deposit in Portugal which date to around 230 million years ago.  At that time, Metoposaurus algarvensis as well as various other temnospondyls were among the top predators of their respective ecosystems, preying on a menagerie of fish, invertebrate, amphibian and reptile species. It was a highly derived temnospondyl, a sister group to the subclass which includes all modern amphibians. Metoposaurus’s skull was especially interesting. Called “toilet head” by some social media, the flat head of the animal’s use is still unkown. I suspect it acted like a spring trap, snapping shut when a prey item crossed paths with this predator.

Another strange stem arthropod has been discovered. Around 508 million years ago, Yawunik kootenayi swam through the primordial seas of the Cambrian. Part of the Burgess Shale fauna, Yawunik shares many features with modern arthropods, including long appendages jutting out from the front of the animal which are similar to the antennae in modern arthropods. These appendages sported rows of teeth which were used to hunt prey items. In fact, the frontal appendages of this animal are some of the most complex appendages in all arthropods.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY 

At DINOSOURS!, Ben starts a new series on the AMNH fossil halls. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. Theropod Thursday 53 has been posted on Dinosaurpalaeo! Join Heinrich as he explores the world of snow-white birds in Theropod Thursday 53: Snow White.  The Royal Tyrrell Museum takes us into the lives of the many museum staff who help excavate, prepare, and mount their fossils. It’s really quite interesting! I suggest that you check the post out here.

Mammoth is Mopey needs your help to be published! David Orr of LITC and his wife are trying to publish their book Mammoth is Mopey! The book will help educate both child and adult as they read through an alphabet of prehistoric animals while also getting little factoids on various prehistoric animals. It also features animals poorly-known to the public such as Opabinia or Kelenken! To see what you can do to help get this book published, you can visit their blog at chasmosaurs.blogspot.com or at their indiegogo here.

FEATURED ART/PHOTOGRAPH 

This week we have Jason Abdale’s Camarasaurus :

camarasaurus-1

Jason is an amazing artist as well as an accomplished academic! His art has been featured in various media outlets including Prehistoric Times. You can find him at his blog dinosaursandbarbarians.wordpress.com. Thanks again to Jason for allowing me to use his artwork!

I hope you all enjoyed PaleoNews #9! Thanks for reading! 

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