Info

Eolambia, an Early Cretaceous iguanodontoidean of the western USA, was briefly considered the oldest member of the Hadrosauridae, but more detailed study revealed that it lies outside of that clade. For example, it has only seven sacral vertebrae, whereas every member of Hadrosauridae has eight. The body and trace fossil record for hadrosaurids begins in the Early Cretaceous, setting the stage for their excellent Late Cretaceous fossil record. Hadrosaurids are among the best studied and well...

Definitions of Track Terms

A track, or footprint, is an impression made by an appendage of an animal while it was alive. Although most fossil tracks were formed and preserved in originally soft sediment, solid materials compressed or fractured by the weight of a moving animal also constitute tracks. Crushed eggshells in a nest on the ground, twigs broken underfoot in a forest, or trampled bones in a watering hole are all tracks. This is because they leave visible impressions made by appendages of animals. Likewise, claw...

Bibliography

Technology and the study of dinosaurs. In Farlow, J. O. and Brett-Surman, M. K. (Eds), The Complete Dinosaur. Bloomington, Indiana Indiana University Press. pp. 112-135. Chure, D. J. 2002. Raising the dead excavating dinosaurs. In Schotchmoor, J. G., Springer, D. A., Breithaupt, B. H. and Fiorillo, A. R. (Eds), Dinosaurs The Science Behind the Stories. Alexandria, Virginia American Geological Institute pp 127-136. Conrad, J. E., McKee, E. H. and Turrin, B. D. 1992. Age of...

Ycq

Where R could be any chains of organic compounds that attach to amino acids, giving them distinctive formulas and names. Only 20 different amino acids, but in a myriad combinations, compose the millions of different proteins in any given animal body. Because unaltered dinosaur soft tissues are typically not preserved, paleontologists must look to bones or eggshells for evidence of the dinosaurs' original amino acids and proteins. The proteins specifically involved in bone production are...

Tab

Prince Creek El Gallo Two Medicine Judith River Juifotang Alaska, USA 40K 40Ar, 40Ar 39Ar 74-80 (Late Cretaceous) 76 (Late Cretaceous) Prince Creek El Gallo Two Medicine Judith River Juifotang Alaska, USA 40K 40Ar, 40Ar 39Ar 74-80 (Late Cretaceous) 76 (Late Cretaceous) Inner Mongolia, 40Ar 39Ar China when they were deposited. The derived age of a sedimentary particle thus is older than the bed that encloses it (meaning that the principle of inclusions can apply equally well to individual sand...

Evidence for Dietary Preferences What Did Dinosaurs

Five main lines of evidence can be used to determine either generally or specifically what dinosaurs preferred to eat 2 toothmarks inflicted by those teeth Other forms of evidence can supplement these, such as overall functionally morphology, tracks, or body fossils of potential food items in the same-age strata. Nonetheless, the preceding forms of evidence are what will be covered here, although toothmarks, gastroliths, and coprolites will be discussed in more detail as trace fossils in...

Sum

Because most dinosaur species are based on so few described specimens, an understanding of how these specimens became preserved (or why their relatives were not V preserved) provides a perspective on the fossil record for dinosaurs that acknowledges its scientific weaknesses in places but its strengths in other areas. Taphonomy provides considerable scientific information about dinosaur paleobiology, and contributes to integrated analyses of the characteristic lithofacies, biofacies, and...

Coprolites The End Products of Digestion

Coprolites are trace fossils (Chapter 14) that are rarely matched with their trace-makers with any form of reliability. Nonetheless, a few notable exceptions provide insights into their value in working out food choices for some dinosaurs. Both fossil plants, such as conifers, and bones have been discovered as ground-up material in localized masses attributed to dinosaurs. For example, coprolites filled with ground-up conifer material occur with bones, eggs, and nests of the Late Cretaceous...

Soft Part Anatomy Organs and Feathers

Although soft tissues are more rarely preserved in dinosaurs than their bones and teeth, when found they can provide valuable insights into dinosaur physiology. For example, feathers in dinosaurs have important implications for physiology, as do organs such as hearts and lungs. In birds, feathers have multiple purposes, such as display, flight, and insulation. In Archaeopteryx, the feathers were developed well enough to have served all three purposes (Chapter 15). On the other hand, feathers...

What Is a Hypothesis and How Is It Tested

A hypothesis is a conditional explanation of an observation, or series of observations, that typically proposes a cause for the observations (Fig. 2.3). A hypothesis results from asking the questions What caused the observed fact How did the observed fact occur and Why did the event that I observed happen, and not some other phenomenon Important characteristics of a hypothesis are that it must be 3 based on independently verifiable and observable factual information and In paleontology, the...

Theropoda

J Clades and Species of Theropoda Paleobiogeography and Evolutionary History of Theropoda Theropods as Living Animals Summary Discussion Questions Bibliography Of all dinosaur clades, Theropoda is the most intensively studied and discussed by paleontologists. Based on their frequent appearances on the covers of prestigious science journals and mentions in news reports of the past 20 years or so, theropods remain the most famous of dinosaurs. This fame is at least...

Placed here

Group One High A V and cancellous compact ratios (low density) moved easily by flows with low momentum. Costae (ribs) Vertebrae Sternum Scapula Phalanges Ulna Group Two Low A V ratio and intermediate cancellous compact ratio moved by flows with intermediate momentum. Femur Tibia Humerus Ischium Ilium Pubis Radius Group Three Low A V and cancellous compact ratios moved by flows with high momentum. Mandible Skull bones (parietals, frontals, etc.) Teeth Modified from data by Voorhies (1969)....

Cussion Questions Continued

Draw a manus (either left or right, labeling which it is) that corresponds to each of the following phalangeal formulas for these dinosaurs. Also, what feature revealed by the phalangeal formulas indicates that these are all dinosaurs a. Allosaurus fragilis 2-3-4-0-0 b. Apatosaurus louisae 2-1-1-1-1 c. Iguanodon bernissartensis 2-3-3-2-4 d. Triceratops horridus 2-3-4-3-1 e. Stegosaurus stenops 2-2-2-2-1 f. Pinacosaurus grangeri 2-3-3-3-2 5. What bones in a dinosaur skull seem to have been...

Possible Genetic and Environmental Causes for the Origin of Dinosaurs

For dinosaurs to have evolved from archosaur ancestors, a combination of genetic and environmental factors had to combine in just the right way to result in the fossil forms that we define as dinosaurs at least 230 million years after. Before considering what factors may have influenced the origin of dinosaurs, a review of some character traits that define dinosaurs (Chapters 1 and 5) provide a framework for how the traits reflect adaptations, which will be revisited later Three or more sacral...

Museum Of Natural History Troodon

Museum The Rockies Dinosaurs

FIGURE 9.8 Troodon, a relatively small tetanuran with a relatively large brain for a dinosaur. Temporary display on loan from the Museum of the Rockies, at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, Georgia. FIGURE 9.8 Troodon, a relatively small tetanuran with a relatively large brain for a dinosaur. Temporary display on loan from the Museum of the Rockies, at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, Georgia. FIGURE 9.9 Deinonychus, a Late Cretaceous dromaeosaur of the western...

MARY Continued

Of amniotes resulted in the origin of anapsids, synapsids, and diapsids well before the end of the Permian diapsids gave rise to archosaurs, which proliferated throughout the Triassic. Among the archosaur lineages was the ornithodirans, which include dinosaurs and their contemporaries, the pterosaurs. Dinosaurs probably originated during the Middle Triassic, as suggested by both body and trace fossil evidence, and their increased diversification and abundance developed rapidly within the last...

The Cranium

One of the easiest ways to attract the attention of dinosaur paleontologists is to announce that you have found a cranium, especially one of a sauropod (Chapter 10). Most dinosaur paleontologists want to find a dinosaur skeleton that is at least 90 complete, but skulls are relatively rare prizes that can be extremely meaningful for classification and interpretations of behavior. Because of the large number of bones in the cranium, which was attached to the anterior part of the axial skeleton...

Introduction to Dinosaur Evolution

Basic Concepts in Evolutionary Theory Evolutionary Origin of Dinosaurs Summary Discussion Questions Bibliography Evolution is both a fact and a theory evolution and its byproducts have been observed, but a theory has also been constructed to explain these observations (Chapter 2).

Early Recognition of Dinosaur Fossils

Dinosaur fossils are found in the Mesozoic rocks of every continent, which means that dinosaur fossils are in the geographic proximity of many human populations. As people of indigenous societies have always been experienced in the identification of animals, their anatomical traits, and the signs that they leave, they would certainly recognize the animal origin of dinosaur bones and other fossils, such as tracks and eggs, since well before any recorded history. For example, among Native...

Dinosaur Studies

Observant readers may have noticed that one continent, Australia, has barely been mentioned, and Antarctica completely neglected. This lack of information is because Australia has become a discovery site for abundant dinosaur fossils (especially tracks) only in the past 35 years, and the first discovery of an Antarctic dinosaur was not until 1986. However, both of these continents will undoubtedly see expanded research as these finds inspire increased exploration. Discussion of the people in...

Paleobiogeography And Evolutionary History Of Marginocephalia

Torosaurus Latus Fossils

FIGURE 13.8 Cast of skull for the Late Cretaceous neoceratopsian (and ceratopsid) Torosaurus latus, from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota, a candidate for the largest skull possessed by any land animal. Utah Field House of Natural History, Vernal, Utah. FIGURE 13.8 Cast of skull for the Late Cretaceous neoceratopsian (and ceratopsid) Torosaurus latus, from the Hell Creek Formation of South Dakota, a candidate for the largest skull possessed by any land animal. Utah Field House of...

Ethical Decisions and Their Impact on the Science of Paleontology

Two paleontologists, who began as friends, soon became bitter enemies after they started to compete for the same fossils in the same field area. This incident was exacerbated when one of the paleontologists publicly exposed a major scientific mistake made by the other. The paleontologist in error was so deeply embarrassed that he attempted to buy, with his own personal funds, all of the journals that contained his mistake. The two rivals soon began employing spies to report on the dinosaur...

Accumulation and Burial

An accumulation of dinosaur bones in the geologic record may indicate the following A lack of movement sufficient to have carried the original bodies or bones from the site of the dinosaurs' death (an autochthonous assemblage). The cessation or insufficient momentum of a flow that carried the bodies or bones to that spot. A reworking of bones, possibly from several pre-existing bone beds, into a concentrated deposit. Dinosaur paleontologists should be very interested in a mass accumulation of...

What Is an Opinion

An opinion is an idea that is based more on how a person feels, and it may or may not be based on factual information. For example, someone might say, I really dislike Compsognathus (Fig. 2.4). When asked why, the person might say, Because someone told me that it was a scavenger and I don't like scavengers. In this instance, what this person has expressed is an opinion. A listener has few ways of knowing what evidence or rationale supports that feeling, as well as the subsequent statement....

Organization

The book as a whole is broadly divisible into two parts composed of an equal number of chapters. Chapters 1-8 introduce the major concepts associated with the study of dinosaurs, and provide an understanding of factual information in the basic sciences surrounding dinosaur studies (science literacy), as well as scientific methods used to investigate dinosaurs (scientific literacy). By the time a student finishes these chapters, he or she should be able to speak the language of science by asking...

Special Features

To provoke inquiry about the main topics, each chapter begins with an imagined situation in which some facet of dinosaurs is placed in the context of an everyday experience for the student. From this premise, questions are formulated, such as What was or was not a dinosaur (Chapter 1), Who made some of the original discoveries of dinosaurs (Chapter 3), How do people know the ages of rocks (Chapter 4), What did different dinosaurs eat (Chapters 9-13), and How could crocodiles, birds, and...

Anatomical Vocabulary for Dinosaur Skeletons Which Way is Up

Dinosaur paleontologists have their own set of terms that allows them to communicate effectively with one another regarding dinosaur anatomy. As demonstrated above, a lack of knowledge about anatomical vocabulary in particular is a barrier to understanding dinosaurs, but fortunately it can be overcome through some study and comparisons to what is already known. For example, many of the names given to bones in the human body are also applied to dinosaurs, so a few of these names should be...

And Others

The first discovered sauropod, Cetiosaurus, came from the Middle Jurassic of England and was described and named by Richard Owen in 1841. Unfortunately for dinosaur studies, he thought that it was a large, whale-like marine reptile. Not until later in the nineteenth century did investigators link it to other sauropods, such as those found in the western USA (Chapter 3). The oldest sauropods are from the Late Triassic (see Table 10.2), indicated by the fragmentary remains of Blikanasaurus,...

Growth

Hadrosaur Track

Growth series calculated for some ornithopod species, based on bone proportions, are partially to almost complete. Moreover, these data are supplemented by bone histology relating to growth lines and LAGs (Chapter 8). The Late Cretaceous hadrosaurid Maiasaura of North America is again well represented in this respect, with specimens ranging from possible newborns to full-sized adults. Partial growth series also are available for the Late Jurassic Dryosaurus and Late Cretaceous Hypacrosaurus of...

LE Representative genera of Ceratosauria with approximate geologic age and location

On the basis of only one or two specimens. Additionally, some of these specimens are incomplete or otherwise have scrappy remains. For example, Dilophosaurus is the most famous of ceratosaurs because of its starring role in the 1993 film Jurassic Park. Unlike most other dinosaurs in this movie, it also actually lived during the Jurassic Period. Nevertheless, Dilophosaurus is only known on the basis of seven specimens, all from Arizona. Part of this neglect for all things ceratosaurian may be...

Absolute Age Dating How We Know When Dinosaurs Lived

When geologists confidently say that dinosaurs as a group lived for, at a minimum, 165 million years, or 165 Ma (Latin translation of mega annus), they are referring to the considerable factual evidence supporting the vast amounts of time associated with the age of the Earth. That the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old is known through radiometric age dating, a method used to calculate absolute ages of rocks or other materials using radioactive elements. Radioactive elements have known...

Why Learn about Dinosaur Taphonomy

This chapter summarizes the Three Ds, its subject matter being death, decay, and disintegration. Taphonomy, the study of everything that happens to an organism's body after it dies, is a fascinating science. Taphonomy (from the Greek taphos, burial, and nomos, law) was first recognized as a science for studying the post-death phenomena associated with organisms by Russian paleontologist J. A. Efremov in 1940, although some of its principles were discussed by Leonardo da Vinci in the fifteenth...

Reproduction

The logistics of sauropodomorph mating is difficult to imagine but obviously it did happen many times. The traces of this activity in itself are either undiscovered or perhaps cover such a large scale that paleontologists do not recognize them. However, the results of successful mating and conception, eggs and nests, provide evidence that sauropodomorphs were oviparous animals, despite some conjecture (with no accompanying data) that they gave birth to live young. In fact, the two oldest...

Heterodontosauridae

Heterodontosaurids ( different toothed lizard), which lived only during the Early Jurassic and mostly in southern Africa, derive their name from their differentiated teeth, an unusual condition for any dinosaurian clade. In fact, some of their teeth are morphologically distinctive enough that they are known only in heterodontosaurids. These teeth, occurring in the areas of the former cheeks, have been described as chisel-like because they come to an edge at their crowns, which are also adorned...

Paleobiogeography and Evolutionary History of Sauropodomorpha

Sauropodomorphs lived on every continent, including the former subcontinent of India. Antarctica was recently added to their paleobiogeographic range, with the discovery of remains from a still-unnamed Early Jurassic prosauropod. With evidence gained from both prosauropod and sauropod body and trace fossils, paleontologists can confidently state that sauropodomorphs comprised a long-lived and widespread clade. Extending from the earliest of saurischian history in the Late Triassic (slightly...

Feeding

According to all known evidence, sauropodomorphs were obligate herbivores. Some paleontologists have proposed that the serrated teeth of prosauropods, such as Plateosaurus, reflect carnivorous behavior, and others have noticed some anatomical similarities between prosauropods and therizinosaurs (Chapter 9). Prosauropod teeth that are serrated and leaf-like show little sign of wear. Because grinding would involve direct contact between tooth rows with occlusion, shearing is instead favored as...

Definition and Unique Characteristics of Sauropodomorpha

Sauropodomorpha ( lizard-foot form) is a stem-based clade within Saurischia, like its sister clade Theropoda. Within Sauropodomorpha are two other stem-based sister clades, Prosauropoda and Sauropoda, which also had a common ancestor (Fig. 10.1). Prosauropods were originally interpreted as ancestral to sauropods, but recent analyses have supported their separate lineages from a common ancestor. Sauropodomorpha is distinguished as a clade on the basis of some of the following synapomorphies...

Dinosaur Necrolesties

After a dinosaur died, its body may have undergone a complicated series of post-death (also known as postmortem) processes that involved both biological and physical factors, perhaps well before any part of it became buried. Biostratinomy is the study of what happens to an organism between its death and its final burial. In most cases, dinosaurs would have died before their remains became buried, although a hypothesis was proposed for live burial of some dinosaurs in Late Cretaceous deposits of...

Dinosauria

FIGURE 1.3 Cladogram of the major dinosaur clades covered in this text, using Saurischia and Ornithischia hip structures as a basis for dinosaur classification. Although Linnaean and phylogenetic classification methods differ from one another, a comparison of categories used in each dinosaur classification shows that they use many of the same names. Unless antecedents such as clade or Order are used, confusion may result from not knowing which scheme a paleontologist is using. Consequently,...

Hints on How to Observe

Before any questions in science can be formed, observations have to be made. Observations, as mentioned earlier, can be gathered through all the senses, but in paleontology the two most important are sight and touch. A seeing-impaired paleontologist can still perform important work, as demonstrated by Geerat J. Vermeij, a blind paleontologist who has published detailed taxonomic identifications and interpretations of evolutionary and ecological relationships between fossil and modern gastropods...

Biomineralization and Biochemistry of Bones and Other Hard Parts

As might be expected, the most likely body fossil of a dinosaur encountered in either a field situation or a museum is ossified (formed into bone) material, such as bones, teeth, and some connective tissue (tendons). The primary reason for this bias in the fossil record is because mineralized tissue is more easily preserved than soft tissue (Chapter 7). Modern bones, teeth, and ossified tendons, called hard parts by paleontologists, are composed of a combination of mineral and organic matter....

Perspectives in the Past Present and Future of Dinosaur Studies

Advances in dinosaur studies in the past 25 years are exhilarating. The fast pace of these discoveries and the competition for coverage of these discoveries by the popular press ensures that the history of dinosaur studies will be continually changing, but all of this is still a direct result of the science behind such discoveries. One of the fringe benefits of the ongoing popularity in dinosaurs is that many professional paleontologists can write books for a general audience on their favorite...

Geologic Maps

If a geologic map is drawn with superimposed topographic lines and other information, then it may provide most or all of the information that a typical topographic map would provide. However, these maps are, in some cases, difficult to read because geologic information overlaps topographic information. 2 Types and locations of bedrock units of different ages. 3 Contacts between different rock units. 4 Types and locations of surficial deposits (glacial deposits, river...

Stegosaurus Second Brain

Colorado, and soon afterward in 1877 was given its name by O. C. Marsh. Stegosaurus was about 9 meters long and probably weighed 1.5 to 2.5 tonnes, so it was a relatively large thyreophoran. It is most easily recognized by 1 horizontally positioned, paired, and pointed osteoderms (spikes) emanating from the distal caudal vertebrae and 2 prominent osteoderms evident as vertically oriented plates on its dorsal surface and just lateral and parallel to the axial skeleton. The Stegosaurus tail...

Social Life

Again, very little is known about thyreophoran sociality, other than reasonable hypotheses based on functional morphology and proximity of skeletal remains. Few thyreophoran skeletons are found adjacent to one another most are found as isolated individuals. This recurring circumstance, in stark contrast to the mono-specific accumulations of theropod, sauropod, ornithopod, and ceratopsian remains, seems to be evidence that most thyreophorans roamed either as individuals or in small groups. This...

Acknowledgments

Nancy Whilton of Blackwell Publishing deserves credit for urging me to write a prospectus for the first edition of this textbook, which I was pleased to learn was accepted and lauded by the editorial staff at Blackwell. My energetic, cheerful, and enthusiastic assistants in editorial development and production at Blackwell included Elizabeth Frank, Rosie Hayden, and Sarah Edwards. They deserve not only raves, but raises. This book would be much less educationally valuable without the...

Cranial Anatomy Related to Respiration

Endothermic vertebrates have large spaces within their nasal cavities to accommodate folded bony or cartilaginous structures, which were often lined with mucous membranes called respiratory turbinates. These structures are essential to endotherms because they help to conserve the water and heat associated with the near-constant breathing that endotherms use for their more active metabolism. Turbinates ensure that as much as 60 of the water moisture that is inhaled is absorbed (reclaimed) before...

Locomotion

Sauropodomorph ancestors were bipedal saurischians, and the earliest-known prosauropods may have been at least facultatively bipedal. Limb lengths indirectly indicate bipedalism in fossil vertebrates, in that the fore limbs are considerably shorter than the hind limbs. However, when the limbs are equally long, the animal could still have been bipedal, so another clue lies in the manus anatomy. When the manus is composed of lighter and more delicate bones, it is not likely to have been used for...

Preservation of Dinosaur Skin Impressions and Soft Part Anatomy

Some of the most memorable dinosaur finds in the history of dinosaur studies are of those that either have skin impressions, such as hadrosaur specimens (Edmontosaurus) discovered by the Sternbergs in Late Cretaceous strata of Alberta (Chapter 3), or otherwise show evidence of soft parts. However, not all dinosaur skin was soft, as evidenced by a few sauropods and most thyreophorans (Chapters 10 and 12). Skin impressions were typically preserved as fossils through mummification, a loss of water...

Social Behavior

Some of the social interactions interpreted for dinosaurs are also common behaviors in modern birds and mammals. These behaviors include 1 nurturing of young by some hadrosaurs (Chapter 11) 2 brooding of a nest by an oviraptorid (Fig. 8.8) 3 herding or other large group movements by theropods, sauropods, orni-thopods, and ceratopsians and 4 intraspecific competition in theropods, ornithopods, thyreophorans, and ceratopsians. In contrast, these behaviors are rare to absent in most modern...

Health

Ornithopods, like most dinosaurs, were mostly healthy animals, but a few specimens have evidence of paleopathological conditions. For example, one specimen of Camptosaurus shows fractures in the caudal vertebrae and ilium. Fractured caudal vertebrae also have been reported in hadrosaurids. Some paleontologists have speculated that these fractures are related to mating, caused by stress placed on the caudal region of a receptive (or not so receptive) female by an enthusiastic and vigorous male...

What is Meant by Proof

Proof is a word associated with science that is commonly misapplied by non-scientists. For example, although media reports might say that scientists have proof of the relationships between birds and dinosaurs, a reporter actually would be more accurate in saying scientists have documented yet more convincing evidence supporting the relationships between birds and dinosaurs (Chapters 8, 9, and 15). Scientific methods do not deal with absolute proof of a hypothesis or even a theory proof is a...

Amniote Evolution and Diversification before the Dinosaurs

The origin of dinosaurs could arguably be traced back as far as the origin of life itself, which was about 3.8 billion years ago, but for the purposes of this book the evolution of amniotes is a more reasonable starting point. The development of an amniotic egg (one with an amnion, or fluid-filled sac surrounding the embryo Fig. 6.4), from amphibian ancestors for reproduction of offspring outside of aquatic environments, is often heralded as one of the major adaptations in vertebrate evolution....

Instruments Used In The Laboratory

Scanning internal structure of fossil specimens (especially skulls and eggs), and constructing three-dimensional images of structure with computer. Measuring fossil specimens electronically, and transmitting information to a computer. Capturing images of unmagnified or magnified fossils and transmitting digitized images to computer for analysis. Measuring atomic masses of elements and determining abundance of isotopes for radiometric age dating of rocks associated with dinosaur fossils or...

Early Scientific Studies of Dinosaurs The North and South Americans

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, fossil evidence of dinosaurs was being discovered in North America in the latter part of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth centuries, although none of it was connected with dinosaurs at the time. The first probable dinosaur-related discovery in North America was in 1787, when anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761-1818) presented a bone from Cretaceous rocks of Woodbury, New Jersey to the American Philosophical Society, presided over by Benjamin...

Genetics and Natural Selection

Evolution is defined here as the change in a population between generations, where a population is a group of interbreeding organisms, such as a species (Chapter 5). Darwin originally summarized this process in the late nineteenth century with the phrase descent with modification, which is still apt today, despite much revision of his hypotheses since then. A population that goes through generations, from ancestors to descendants, comprises a lineage. Changes that happen to an individual...

Clade Stegosauria

Clade Stegosauria is named on the basis of the shingle-like appearance of the dermal plates on its back (stegos roofed and sauros lizard). Two overt characteristics help to distinguish them from other thyreophorans 1 parascapular spines, which are osteoderms evident as spikes on the shoulder regions and 2 parasagittal plates, which are the dermal armor restricted to two rows of vertically-oriented plates, parallel to but also lateral to the axial skeleton. Spikes also normally occur toward the...

What Is a Fact

A fact is a phenomenon that has an actual, objective existence. For humans to understand facts, observations must be made of them. Contrary to the old adage seeing is believing, these observations are not necessarily visual, but might be gathered through other senses. Observations regarding everyday facts could include seeing a sunset, smelling a flower, or hearing thunder. However, what is considered as a fact can change in terms of how it is interpreted. For example, the sun can be observed...

Pleural Of Phalanx

Phalanx Formula Theropod

FIGURE 5.7 Phalangeal formula applied to a human hand as an example. FIGURE 5.7 Phalangeal formula applied to a human hand as an example. is just below (posterior to) your thumb. Distal to the radius and ulna were, in order, the carpals (wrist bones), metacarpals, phalanges (plural of phalanx), and unguals (claws or hooves) the latter two compose the digits (or fingers). The phalanges are divided from the metacarpals in a human by the location of the knuckle joints and the same is true of...

Paleobiogeography And Evolutionary History Of Ornithopoda

Triassic forms are yet defined by paleontologists. However, some enigmatic dinosaurs have ornithischian features and a few anatomical similarities to ornithopods. These ornithischians made their earliest known appearances in Late Triassic strata of North and South America, as well as in South Africa. Richard Owen first described some of their remains in the nineteenth century, and he wrote of their laterally compressed teeth, which come to a peak but with denticles on their tops and thin enamel...

Preface

While this is indeed another dinosaur book, it is also a book about basic science that just happens to be about dinosaurs. In other words, the primary goal of this book is to teach basic scientific methods through the theme of dinosaur paleontology. My expectation in this respect is that dinosaurs provide a tempting hook for undergraduate non-science majors, who may already be enthused about dinosaurs but perhaps need some encouragement to learn basic science. Learning about science has two...

Ceratopsia

The prominent horns of Triceratops were what first caught the attention of O. C. Marsh when he saw its skull in 1887, leading him to first identify it as a fossil bison. Later, more cautious examination revealed that the horned skull belonged to a dinosaur, and it was promptly renamed in 1889 to Triceratops horridus ( horrid three-horned face). Marsh is credited with naming this famous dinosaur and the Family Ceratopsidae (using the Linnaean system), but the first ceratopsian named from the...

What Is The Tallest Dinosaur That Ever Lived

FIGURE 10.5 Diplodocus, the Late Jurassic sauropod that inspired a pub song. (A) Skeletal reconstruction Denver Museum of Science and Nature. (B) Left pes and ankle of Diplodocus, showing the large ungual on digit I. FIGURE 10.6 Amargosaurus, an Early Cretaceous sauropod from Argentina with unusually long vertebral processes. Trelew Museo de Paleontol gica, Trelew, Argentina. FIGURE 10.6 Amargosaurus, an Early Cretaceous sauropod from Argentina with unusually long vertebral processes. Trelew...

Dinosaurs Feeding And Adaptation

All ornithopods were obligate herbivores and unlike some other herbivorous dinosaurs, such as sauropodomorphs (Chapter 10), their teeth and jaw structures show that they were efficient chewers of plant material. In fact, features in the skull reflecting adaptations for processing large amounts of vegetation are diagnostic of Ornithopoda. For example, a few primitive ornithschians are discounted as ornithopods by paleontologists partially on the basis of their lack of inset teeth. This...

V

FIGURE 10.2 Important characters for Clade Sauropodomorpha distal part of the tibia covered by an ascending process of the astralagus, short hind limbs in comparison to the torso length, spatula-like teeth with bladed and serrated crowns, 10 elongated cervical vertebrae along with 15 dorsal vertebrae (25 presacrals), large digit I on manus. Thin and flat (spatula-like) teeth with bladed and serrated crowns. Minimum of 10 cervical vertebrae that are typically elongated and 25 pre-sacral...

Paleobiogeography and Evolutionary History of Thyreophora

Stegosaurs are firmly documented only in western North America, eastern Africa, western Europe, eastern Asia, and Australia. Moreover, their temporal distribution is limited to the Early Jurassic (at the earliest) through the Late Cretaceous, although Cretaceous stegosaurs are comparatively rare in relation to their Jurassic predecessors. Ankylosaurs are known from Middle Jurassic through to Late Cretaceous strata, and well-defined specimens have been recovered in North America, Europe, Asia,...

Reproduction and Growth

Evidence relating to thyreophoran reproduction is almost unknown and represents a huge gap in knowledge about their paleobiology. No nests or eggs, let alone embryos, from either ankylosaurs or stegosaurs have been discovered. In fact, of all the dinosaur eggs that have been described, none have been allied in even a general sense to thyreophorans. A little more is known about thyreophoran growth because of some skeletal material from the Late Jurassic for stegosaurs and the Late Cretaceous for...

Archosaur Evolution and Diversification

The Archosauria is defined as having, at minimum, the following characteristics Openings anterior to the orbits (antorbital fenestrae). Teeth with serrations compressed laterally and none on the palate. Differently shaped calcaneum. Some paleontologists place Archosauria within the clades Archosauromorpha and Archosauriformes, the latter originating from the former (Chapter 5). The majority of paleontologists agree upon the designation of Archosauria as a clade that had arrived by the Early...

Early Scientific Studies of Dinosaurs The Europeans

Prominent scientists of the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries connected fossils to formerly-living organisms. Among them were Leonardo da Vinci (of Mona Lisa fame 1452-1519), Niels Stensen of Denmark (also known as Steno, Chapter 4 1638-87), Robert Hooke (1635-1703), and Robert Plot (1640-96) of England. Plot, a museum curator at Oxford, made the first known description and illustration of a dinosaur bone in 1677. The problem with his interpretation is that although he recognized the fossil...

Cussion Questions

What evidence would be needed to show that any sauropodomorphs lived in shallow aquatic environments but came up on land occasionally, as with modern hippopotamuses If one species of sauropodomorph was deemed to be aquatic but it was only capable of withstanding 1.5 atm of pressure, what would be the maximum depth difference between it in fresh water versus salt water 2. What evidence would be needed to support the hypothesis that some of the long-tailed sauropods used their tails as whips What...

Antecedent Of Dinosaurs

A necessary antecedent of dinosaur eggs was dinosaur sexual activity. The certainty of dinosaur sex as a prelude to their laying eggs is supported by the numerous observations of how mating in all egg-laying vertebrates is a necessary precursor to egg development. Fertilization of an egg without the help of a male, known as parthenogenesis, is common in nearly every major invertebrate clade but is known in only a few vertebrates (some amphibians and lizards). As a result, this process probably...

LE Representative genera of Prosauropoda with approximate geologic age and where they occur

But they were initially misidentified as human bones. A later diagnosis showed them as rightfully belonging to Anchisaurus of the Early Jurassic. Regardless of any such missteps, paleontologists immediately recognized the kinship of prosauropods and sauropods. Because the former preceded sauropods in the geologic record, they were considered as ancestral to sauropods. For this reason, they were given the name Prosauropoda, first dubbed in 1920 by Friedrich von Huene (Chapter 3). Although...

Beginning Dinosaur Cladistics

Acetabulum with open medial wall. Femur with ball-like head on proximal end. Astragalus with long ascending process that fits into the anterior part of the tibia. Sigmoidally shaped third metatarsal. Saurischians apparently are the earliest known clade of dinosaurs, and they are certainly the most abundant dinosaurs in both the body and trace fossil record of the Late Triassic (Chapter 6). The first ornithischians occur in slightly younger strata than the first...

Classification of Dinosaurs

The method by which organisms or traces of their activities are named, which provides a framework for communicating through a classification system, is taxonomy. Thus, a name given to a group of organisms in a classification system is called a taxon (plural taxa). Dinosaurs can be classified in two ways. The more up-to-date of those two methods, cladistics (explained below), is the preferred one used worldwide by paleontologists (people who study the fossil record). The older, traditional...

Pace Angulation 180 Animal

Body Impressions Sauropod

FIGURE 14.1 Measurable parameters that can be derived from a well-preserved dinosaur track and trackway, assuming bipedalism. Note diagonal pattern to the trackway, which is typical for those made by dinosaurs. FIGURE 14.1 Measurable parameters that can be derived from a well-preserved dinosaur track and trackway, assuming bipedalism. Note diagonal pattern to the trackway, which is typical for those made by dinosaurs. individuals of some quadrupedal dinosaurs. For example, stegosaurs show five...

Dinosaurs as a Part of Popular Culture in Fiction

For reasons that perhaps can only be explained by psychologists, dinosaurs have always had a large popular appeal. This is evidenced by them being the subject of numerous books, comics, movies, television shows, Web pages, toys, models, and works of art in nearly every industrialized nation of the world. Recognition of this pervasive celebration of everything dinosaurian leads to a sociological observation dinosaur images in popularized media serve as the most direct source of many public ideas...

Asthenosphere

FIGURE 4.8 The rock cycle as explained through plate tectonics, showing relationship of lithosphere and asthenosphere, as well as convergent, divergent, and transform-fault boundaries. interpreted as a result of plates moving laterally against one another without any accompanying volcanism. Evidence for this movement consists of the aforementioned stress eventually resulting in earthquakes measurable movement along the fault plane can be defined through offset features in the landscape. Hot...

Why Study Sauropodomorphs

Marsh provided the first, classic appraisal of Apatosaurus, which at that time was known A careful estimate of the size of Brontosaurus shows that when living the animals must have weighed more than twenty tons. The very small head and brain, and slender neural cord, indicate a stupid, slow-moving reptile. The beast was wholly without offensive or defensive weapons, or dermal armature. In habits, Brontosaurus was more or less amphibious, and its food was probably aquatic plants...

LE Common sedimentary rocks classified on the basis of composition and texture

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks formed through consolidation of previously broken rock material, mostly composed of silicate minerals. Shale. Mostly mud-sized particles (clay and silt), but shows parting of layers (fissility). Mudstone. Mostly mud-sized particles, no preferred parting of layers (sometimes synonymized with shale). Siltstone. Silt-sized particles. Sandstone. Sand-sized particles. Graywacke. Sandstone with an appreciable amount (> 15 ) of mud. Conglomerate. Sandstone containing...

Possible Causes of Injury Poor Health and Death in Dinosaurs

Typical, popular depictions of dinosaur deaths are melodramatic and limited to two scenarios mortal combat with other dinosaurs or a direct hit from an asteroid. The latter scenario has been added only recently, dating from 1980 (Chapter 16). Dinosaur deaths, depicted in fiction or other re-enactments, usually focus on dinosaur-versus-dinosaur conflicts, except where anachronistic humans are included to finish them off in some creative way (Chapter 1). But has anyone ever seen a depiction of a...

Tetanurae Avetheropoda and Its Numerous Clades

Tetanurae contains the theropods best known, such as Allosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and Utahraptor. It also includes lesser-known genera, such as Oviraptor, Troodon, and Struthiomimus. The immediate ancestors of birds and their descendants are also placed within this clade, which has led most dinosaur paleontologists to state that birds are thero-pods (Chapter 15). The overlapping of theropod traits with those of birds is the main reason why Tetanurae and its members are...

Figure

Crylophosaurus ellioti, an Early Jurassic carnosaur from Antarctica. Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand. remains on egg clutches (e.g., Oviraptor and Troodon) does not necessarily mean that these dinosaurs were female. Although the majority of birds that exhibit brooding behavior are female, it has also been documented in some male birds. For example, male emus (Dromaius novaehollandiaea), a large flightless bird native to Australia, sit continuously on egg clutches for about 55 days and...

Ankylosauria Ankylosauridae and Nodosauridae

Ankylosaurus Osteoderm

Ankylosauria derives its name from the encasement of its members in dermal armor (ankylos fused, sauros lizard), which is why many paleontologists describe them as tanks. This military allusion is apt in terms of the function of the armor, as certainly defense may have been one function, but its use for offense and species recognition is also possible. The following characters help to identify members of Ankylosauria (Fig. 12.2) A broad, laterally compressed skull with armor covering the...

Ceratosauria Coelophysoidea and Neoceratosauria

Although relatively less known than Tetanurae, the stem-based clade Ceratosauria ( horned lizard) includes abundant specimens of some interestingly varied theropods, whose remains have been found on all continents except Antarctica. Two stem-based clades are within Ceratosauria, Coelophysoidea and Neocer-atosauria. Coelophysoideans were the dominant theropods soon after the beginning of the geologic range for dinosaurs. Herrerasaurids in the Late Triassic were supplanted by coelophysoideans,...

Paleobiogeography And Evolutionary History Of Theropoda

Theropod body fossils are in Upper Triassic to Upper Cretaceous deposits on all seven continents, and so far their trace fossils are only missing from Antarctica. The small (1 meter long) possible theropod Eoraptor, of the earliest part of the Late Triassic, has been proposed as approximating the characteristics of a theropod ancestor because it shares some traits with theropods but also lacks others that define this clade. As mentioned earlier, herrerasaurids may also approximate the earliest...

Alluvial And Fluvial Environment

Deltaic Environment

Is held together by cement that was chemically precipitated, or by a fine-grained matrix of broken rock material. Depending on the rate of lithification, the processes involved in the formation of a rock from sediment, this consolidation can occur within a few years or over the course of millions of years. Sedimentary rocks are varied and are classified on the basis of their composition types of minerals and the texture size, shape, and arrangement of the sediment and associated cement or...

Importance and Applications of Dinosaur Tracks

The most abundant and important dinosaur trace fossils are dinosaur tracks. Tracks have all of the advantages of most other trace fossils 1 they are potentially more abundant than other dinosaur body fossils 2 they may be preserved in rocks that do not normally preserve dinosaur body fossils and 3 they directly reflect dinosaur behavior where it happened. The aspects of dinosaur behavior that can be interpreted from tracks include, but are not limited to Where and in what environments they...

Defining Dinosaurs

Summary Discussion Questions Bibliography Because this book is about dinosaurs, probably the most appropriate way to start is by defining them. This is not an easy task, even for dinosaur experts, so here is a preliminary attempt A dinosaur was a reptile- or bird-like animal with an upright posture that spent most The term reptile-like is applied because dinosaurs evolved from reptilian ancestors, yet they were clearly different from present-day reptiles such as crocodiles, alligators, and...

Dinosaurs as Objects of Art and Artistic Inspiration

The first drawing of a dinosaur bone was in the seventeenth century, but it was interpreted as something entirely different at the time Chapter 3 . Much later, after their public recognition as formerly reptile-like animals, dinosaurs were depicted as dynamic creatures by many nineteenth-century artists. Dinosaurs have been a popular theme in art ever since, portrayed worldwide in drawings, paintings, and sculptures. More recently, multimedia approaches use photography particularly digital and...

Dinosaur Egg Biogeochemistry and Physiology

Dinosaur eggs contain a wealth of useful biogeochemical information pertinent to how dinosaurs took elements into their bodies and used them. Relevant chemical constituents of eggshells include Calcite, which provides information about the degree of mineralization of the egg as well as the effects of diagenesis Chapter 7 . Stable isotopes for oxygen, which can indicate the temperature of the original environment inhabited by the egglayer and for carbon, which can reflect dietary choices by the...

Dinosaur Skin Feathers and Organs

Dinosaurs Organs

Skin and its derivatives in modern vertebrates, such as nails, feathers, hooves, and hair, are composed of the structural protein keratin. Because most skin is soft tissue and has lower preservation potential than skeletal material Chapter 7 , the discovery of dinosaur body fossils that have any evidence of soft tissues are the cause of much celebration, often followed by much debate. Both older and recent finds of evidence of soft tissue clarify better what some dinosaurs looked like in life,...

Definition and Unique Characteristics of Thyreophora

Thyreophora is a stem-based clade within Ornithischia and Genasauria, and a sister clade to Cerapoda within Genasauria. Thyreophora contains two stem-based clades FIGURE 12.1 Cladogram showing interrelationships between basal thyreophorans Scelidosaurus, Scutellosaurus, and Emausaurus and other clades within Thyreophora, particularly Ankylosauria and Stegosauria. of importance Fig. 12.1 Ankylosauria, which includes Nodosauridae nodosaurids and Ankylosauridae ankylosaurids and Stegosauria...

Examples Of Marginocephalians

Marginocephalians Dinosaurs Images

Clade Marginocephalia, consisting of the relatively rare pachycephalo-saurs but also the very common most famous dinosaurs known, the Late Cretaceous Triceratops of North America. However, perhaps less known is that Marginocephalia is a group of dinosaurs that rivals Theropoda Chapter 9 and Ornithopoda Chapter 11 in its diversity. Largely because of the ceratopsians, Marginocephalia is also among the best-represented of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs through their skeletal remains, first discovered...

Toothmarks as Indicators of Diet

A toothmark is an impression left by the bite of an animal with teeth, regardless of what was being bitten. Toothmarks are trace fossils, whereas the medium they bit into are body fossils. Dinosaur toothmarks, first described and interpreted in 1908 Chapter 3 , have been so far only reported from bones, and no dinosaur toothmarks in fossil plant material are currently known. For those dinosaurs that fed on other animals, some left distinctive toothmarks on bones, which clearly indicates their...

Linnaean Classification of Organisms

Although the Linnaean classification scheme enjoyed a long history, for all practical purposes it has been replaced by cladistics Chapter 1 . One of the problems with the Linnaean system was that organisms with characters that did not fit into standard grades phylum, class, and so on were sometimes placed in between them, with the addition of an appropriate designated prefix. For example, superfamily includes more than one family but does not constitute an order, infraclass is within a class...

Theropod Skeletons

Stereochemistry Terminology

FIGURE 5.1 Orientation terminology as applied to anatomical features in vertebrates, using the skeletons of the Early Cretaceous theropod Deinonychus antirrhopus left and a modern human Homo sapiens right . FIGURE 5.1 Orientation terminology as applied to anatomical features in vertebrates, using the skeletons of the Early Cretaceous theropod Deinonychus antirrhopus left and a modern human Homo sapiens right . variations in a species and the nature of fossilization, paleontologists usually only...

Definition and Unique Characteristics of Ornithopoda

Ornithopoda bird foot , first named as a group by O. C. Marsh in the late nineteenth century Chapter 3 , was described in early literature as bipedal ornithis-chians. However, considering that bipedalism is now recognized as a probable ancestral trait for all dinosaurs, saurischians included, the definition of ornithopods has been refined considerably. Ornithopoda is now distinguished by the following characters, among others Fig. 11.1 Offset tooth row, where the maxillary teeth are higher more...

Appendicular Skeleton Legs and Feet

Dinosaur limb bones, especially if they are associated with a manus anterior foot, or hand and pes posterior foot , are wonderful finds, because they can provide information on how dinosaurs moved about their environments. Foot anatomy in FIGURE 5.5 Pectoral girdle of the Late Cretaceous hadrosaur Edmontosaurus of North America. Denver Museum of Science and Nature, Denver, Colorado. FIGURE 5.5 Pectoral girdle of the Late Cretaceous hadrosaur Edmontosaurus of North America. Denver Museum of...

Gastroliths Mostly for Herbivores

Some modern birds will swallow mineral grains several millimeters in diameter, which then reside in their gizzards and aid in the digestion of food by helping to grind tough material. Because birds do not have teeth, they need this mechanism to break down their food. The muscular action of the gizzard and the grinding caused by the mineral material helps to increase the surface area of the food for easier digestibility. Gastroliths were first described and interpreted from a Late Cretaceous...

Field Relations and Relative Age Dating

Relative Age Rocks

Geology is the primary scientific field associated with dinosaur studies, but people with little understanding of geology have found fossils of plants and animals, including dinosaurs Chapter 3 . However, some advanced knowledge of this subject is certainly helpful for continued success. Paleontology is the most readily recognizable subdivision of geology that applies to dinosaur studies, but other specialties, such as sedimentology, stratigraphy, and tectonics, are also essential to form a...