April 27th, 2009

Tyrannosaurus rex

My Birth Dinosaur!

Sorry there's no real entry today. I'll play catch-up tomorrow morning.

I was thinking, though...how many dinosaur taxa were named the year that I was born? Yeah, these are the sorts of things that nag at me. Anyway, turns out, four non-avian dinosaur taxa were named in 1964: Chilantaisaurus, Eustreptospondylus, Fabrosaurus, and Metriacanthosaurus. At this point, though, only three of the taxa appear to be valid, as Fabrosaurus is a nomen dubium. So, I thought, well, which would I choose as my "birth dinosaur," from these three taxa? All are Old World theropods. All are fairly obscure taxa. I've finally settled on Metriacanthosaurus. Originally described as Megalosaurus parkeri in 1923, the holotype was referred to a new genus in 1964. It was collected from the Jurassic-aged Oxford Clay Formation of England. It is presently considered to belong within to the Family Sinraptoridae, within the Superfamily Allosauroidea:


F. V. Huene. 1923. "Carnivorous Saurischia in Europe since the Triassic." Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 34:449-458.

A. D. Walker. 1964. "Triassic reptiles from the Elgin area: Ornithosuchus and the origin of carnosaurs." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Sciences 248:53-134.


And, while I'm in a paleo' sort of mood, here's a marvelous thing: Puijila darwini, a semi-aquatic cousin of living seals, sea lions, and walruses. The fossil skeleton was recovered from Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic, from Miocene-aged sediments.
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