This issue is somewhat of a Dinosaur-themed addition. In the past week, 2 newly-described Dinosaurs have caused excitement among the paleontological community. That and much, much more in this week’s PaleoNews!
A bizarre Dinosaur from Chile named Chilesaurus has recently captured the attention of the media. Chilesaurus diegosuarezi is somewhat of a Dinosaurian chimaera, with the beak of an oviraptorosaurid, the arms of a tyrannosaurid, and the neck of a limusaurid. Novas et. al. classify this taxa as a very basal Tetanuran (you may see a Terrific Tetanurae! on this guy sometime), branching off at the start of Tetanurae before megalosauroidea. This animal is actually very well-known, with multiple specimens, 4 of which being complete, having been excavated. This animal further shows the diversity of my favorite clade of theropod Dinosaurs.
A new titanosauriform has been discovered in Russia! Ok, this was announced in March, but I wanted to save it for a “Dinosaur themed” article. “Sibirosaurus” is the informal name given to this animal. The bones date to the Albian stage of the Cretaceous, and were discovered on the banks of the Kiya river. Preserved remains of this animal include some cervical vertebrae, a partial sacrum, and a partial scapula. Hopefully a formal description of this animal will come out soon. Here I have depicted a courting pair of “Sibirosaurus” (male on left and female on right):
Northeastern British Columbia has yielded tracks of dinosaurs! Tracks from both ankylosaurids and allosaurids have been discovered. These tracks are estimated to be around 117 million years old! Some have estimated that this tracksite could be one of the largest in the world.
A potentially new species of nodosaurid has been discovered in Texas. This animal may been around 100 million years old. Fossil scutes and vertebrae of nodosaurids are pretty common in the Eastern and Southern United States, but partial and complete skeletons are very rare. This new find just boosts the diversity of the group. Hopefully description of this animal will be published soon, but I’d rather have a well-done paper then a brief paper of poor quality.
A primitive hadrosaurid has been discovered which has antiorbital fossa (weird, right?). This Japanese taxa, Koshisaurus katsuyama, was around 11 feet long and hails from the Kitadani Formation. This animal further adds to our understanding of the evolution of hadrosaurids.
Nanananananana, BAT-AVE! A weird new feathered dinosaur from China which was described this Wednesday sported bat-like membraneous wings. Yi qi was a small scansoriopterygid, weighing around 0.8 pounds. This animal was part of the Daohugou biota, which also included other flying/gliding animals like Anchiornis. Feather impressions are preserved in the fossil, along with one of the weirdest adaptations of any dinosaur. The fossil also preserves melanosomes, which might help us reconstruct the color of this animal.
This animal had styliforms which, along with several of its fingers, helped support the membraneous wings of this animal. No such trait is known among any other Dinosaur. The membraneous wings of Yi qi shed light on the many ways gliding/flying adaptations were experimented with within Dinosauria, but this “leathery-wing” design would ultimately disappear from Dinosauria during the evolutionary journey which resulted in birds.
THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY
Mega-Chicken, Mega-Chicken everywhere! It seems as though many are rejoicing at the giant chicken skeleton model at Chicken Fest 2015. It’s really the cock-of-the-rock! You can check out this freaky fowl in this post by Mr. Luis V. Rey, or in this post by John of the Freezers here.
At Extinct Monsters, Ben talks about the history of Synapsids being exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian. You can find that post here.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series recently shed light on the life and times of Hope Johnson. It’s a very interesting story, and you can see the video and the post here.
The funding goal for Mammoth is Mopey was reached! Congratulations to David and Jennie on reaching their goal, and I look forward to buying myself a copy of the book once it’s on shelves!
This week, to go along with the “Dinosaur theme”, we have my picture of a Triceratops skull housed in the Great Hall of Dinosaurs at the Yale Peabody Museum.
Remember, if you would like to feature your work here, please leave a comment below and we will see what I can do!
I hope you enjoyed PaleoNews #11, and thanks so much for reading!