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The Sauropod Thread

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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    probably lived on a fairly small island if it was that small in life.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Going by its age and the reconstruction above it would appear to be a saltasaur; generally they weren´t very large (the possible exception being Alamosaurus). 


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,094 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    If you think of a dino or mammal as a fermentation vat on legs the big rhinos were the size of many dinosaurs, but with much shorter neck and tails. Separating the functions of gathering food and chewing. In a mammal this would be done in the mouth.

    For birds and dinos the mouth was about gathering food and the crop for crushing it. So they could have a much lighter head, which means a lighter longer neck and so less energy needed to harvest vegetation as less walking needed to get food either side.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Good thing, too, considering the vegetation back then was apparently a lot tougher and less nutritious...


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  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,094 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    Good thing, too, considering the vegetation back then was apparently a lot tougher and less nutritious...
    I though grass and it's silicates was the big change in tougher vegetation.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Grass was actually among the vegetation that evolved in the Cretaceous- evidence comes precisely from sauropod coprolites.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    I though grass and it's silicates was the big change in tougher vegetation.


    if the artist impression is accurate that beastie is a browser not a grazer anyway.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Probably unwise to generalize, but most titanosaurs known thus far from decent remains (not many) appear to be high browsers. The only sauropods that look unequivocally like grazers are the wide-mouthed rebbachisaurs:

    2192609024_0bfb38d6b3_b.jpg
    Nigersaurus_taqueti_skeletal.png
    nigersaurus-01.jpg?mtime=1379010925


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    It was what we would've known as a prosauropod (apparently the word is no longer used in scientific circles).

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/deadthings/2018/07/09/ingentia-prima/#.W0VcVboRe1t

    I honestly don´t know why this discovery is being hailed as a novelty; there are several giant prosauropods already known, including Lessemsaurus which is from about the same age.

    Lessemsaurus.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    They may have been made by the very same sauropods that left another set of footprints in the area that were found in 1997.

    https://www.inquisitr.com/5013680/140-million-year-old-dinosaur-footprints-discovered-in-dorset-quarry/

    0B6Fl25a?format=jpg&name=600x314


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Skull of a "baby" Diplodocus found, would suggest they were more versatile feeders than adults:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2018/10/11/this-tiny-skull-has-big-implications-largest-dinosaurs/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.7c11cce7b347

    ZT4MCGA7OFAPDBK2MZGLOZPEFM.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    I can understand that, it is obvious when you think about it logically. never crossed my mind though.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    It does make sense; after all, the food they'd have access to would be different, too. Surely adult Diplodocus could not be bothered with small fallen fruits and seeds and very low vegetation. Maybe even some bugs now and then...


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,094 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    A lot of herbivore mammals will eat meat if given an opportunity.

    Having your young being able to use different foods to the adult reduces some competition. Also didn't dinos grow fast and so could use more nutritious food to do that.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    A lot of herbivore mammals will eat meat if given an opportunity.

    Having your young being able to use different foods to the adult reduces some competition. Also didn't dinos grow fast and so could use more nutritious food to do that.

    True. We see it a lot in birds (many grain-eating birds feed insects to their young, to provide more protein for growth), and there's also evidence of drastic diet change in certain dinosaurs, as well. ConsiderLimusaurus (a small Elaphrosaurus species, possibly?); the adults were toothless but the young had teeth and apparently ate small animals, transitioning to a plant-eating diet as they grew older...

    Limusaurus-dinosaurio2.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    Adam Khor wrote: »
    True. We see it a lot in birds (many grain-eating birds feed insects to their young, to provide more protein for growth), and there's also evidence of drastic diet change in certain dinosaurs, as well. ConsiderLimusaurus (a small Elaphrosaurus species, possibly?); the adults were toothless but the young had teeth and apparently ate small animals, transitioning to a plant-eating diet as they grew older...

    Limusaurus-dinosaurio2.jpg
    lack of teeth tend to make me think of insectivore rather than herbivore when I consider how hard to digest plants could be back then.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Understandable... I have a cycad, which is one of the plants that were common in the Mesozoic and presumably eaten often by dinosaurs. Its leaves are incredibly sharp and tough!

    Still, keep in mind that many dinosaurs swallowed stones to help grind tough food. These gizzard stones/gastroliths have been found in association with the skeletons of many dinosaurs, from giant sauropods to Limusaurus itself. The thing the different dinosaurs that are found with gastroliths have in common is that they swallowed their food practically whole; they couldn´t chew, as they either had no teeth (like Limusaurus, or ornithomimosaurs), or their teeth were simple and meant only to pluck vegetation (as in say, Diplodocus). Dinosaurs with complex, efficient chewing teeth (such as hadrosaurs and ceratopsians) are almost never found with gastroliths (except for primitive ceratopsians like Psittacosaurus, whose teeth were good for cutting vegetation but not yet adapted to chewing).


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    indeed stones did help digestion in larger herbivores you did intimate these were fairly small though?


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Gastroliths are not exclusive to large animals; ground birds, such as chicken and turkey are also known to use gizzard stones. At 15 kg or so, Limusaurus would be about the size of a large turkey.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 91,094 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    Ostriches do that too. But the stones wear out. Some have been found with diamonds inside, because they didn't wear out as fast.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Ostriches do that too. But the stones wear out. Some have been found with diamonds inside, because they didn't wear out as fast.

    Indeed! There was even a persistent belief in Medieval times that they would eat gold and even iron. And then there's this photograph from around 1930, which shows what was found inside an ostrich that died at London zoo, apparently after swallowing a large nail.

    001ostrich1_465_369_int.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    The monstrous Jurassic sauropod vertebra called "Amphicoelias fragillimus" found during the Bone Wars in the XIX century has often been posited as a contender for the title of largest dinosaur of all times (and thus, largest land animal of all times).

    Believed to have been a diplodocid, it was scaled based on Diplodocus and the like, which would've resulted in an animal 50 to 60 m long. However, a new study suggests the vertebra may actually have belonged to a different kind of sauropod, a rebbachisaurid. If so, the proportions change completely and the resulting animal may have been "only" about 30 m long.

    That is still a dinosaur as long as a blue whale, and potentially the largest rebbachisaurid known.
    Because the original Amphicoelias is most definitely a diplodocid, the owner of the legendary vertebra has been renamed as Maarapunisaurus fragillimus.

    https://svpow.com/2018/10/21/what-if-amphicoelias-fragillimus-was-a-rebbachisaurid/amp/?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR24-c_blHS_RJHzkuJaHvNVNx2KG67VjNSBI3cAaKnjxKjr9URI-GJ3W54

    carpenter2018-amphicoelias-fragillimus-is-maraapunisaurus-fig7.jpeg?w=480&h=87

    carpenter2018-amphicoelias-fragillimus-is-maraapunisaurus-frontispiece.jpeg?w=480&h=579


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Turiasaurs were a group of sauropods that reached gigantic size independently from other, more derived and better known linneages such as titanosaurs, brachiosaurs and and diplodocoids. Turiasaurus proper is one of the largest dinosaurs currently known at 30 m long and around 50 tons.

    https://peerj.com/articles/6348.pdf


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    DDGHsbZXcAA9c3u.jpg


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Bajadasaurus was a dicraeosaurid- closely related to Amargasaurus, but 15 million years older. It wouldn´t surprise me if it were reclassified as an early species of Amargasaurus in the future. Both were found in Argentina.

    The discoverers argue that the long spines on the neck may have been covered on a horny sheat, thus making them effective weapons. Like most other dicraeosaurids, Bajadasaurus appears to have been rather smallish for a sauropod and so the spines would've been useful to protect the neck from large theropod bites.

    Part of the skull was also found, showing the eyes were located high on the head- useful for keeping watch of its surroundings while low-grazing.

    Most articles are in Spanish:

    https://redhistoria.com/bajadasaurus-pronuspinax-nuevo-dinosaurio-con-increibles-armas-de-defensa/

    recreacion-Bajadasaurus-pronuspinax.jpg?w=701&ssl=1

    5c588b492d133_dino1.jpg

    4-vertebra-cervical-de-frente-y-de-lado_imagelarge.jpg

    sl1y42Pjh_720x0__1.jpg

    dino_0.jpg?itok=YIpIBNHs

    41598_2018_37943_Fig1_HTML.png

    5c588b39c3149_dino.jpg

    dino2.jpg


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭Adam Khor


    Because Peru was mostly covered by sea during the late Cretaceous, very few dinosaur remains have been found there. The only one known thus far is this titanosaur, which was 14 m long and covered on bony scutes which were found preserved along with its bones. It was found in the 90s, and is currently displayed at the San Marcos Museum of Natural History.

    The article is in Spanish.

    https://elcomercio.pe/tecnologia/ciencias/dinosaurio-grande-habito-peru-titanosaurio-caracteristicas-paleontologia-noticia-602696

    5c51e6683af11.png

    dino1.JPG


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