August 20th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day today is


Brought to you in part by my last day in my hometown. We all must fly the nest eventually.

Fun Fact: Deinonychus is an early-Cretaceous Period genus of carnivorous dromaeosauird dinosaurs. Roaming what is now modern day Montana, Wyoming and Oklahoma—and even as far east as Maryland—Deinonychus could grow up to 3.4 meters (11 feet 2 inches) in length.

Among the largest specimens, scientists have discovered a skull that measures 410 millimeters (16.1 inches) in length, a hip height of 0.87 meters (2 feet 10 inches) and have estimated a weight of about 73 kilograms (160 pounds).

Deinonychus is closely related to Microraptor and Velociraptor, both of which have preserved pennaceous which means that, although no skin impressions have been found in the Deinonychus fossils, it most likely also had feathers.

Deinonychus also had large “hands,” each containing three claws where the first digit was shortest and the second was the longest. The hands are thought to have been used by the dinosaur to climb trees or rocks—sort of like a bear. It was originally thought that the dinosaur hunted similarly to modern day eagles and hawks, but lack of foot strength would leave the creature to hunt more similarly to an owl. Studies have concluded that Deinonychus would have a bite force of only 15% of that of an American Alligator—between 4,100 and 8,200 newtons (921.72 to 1,843.43 pounds), humans bite with a force of about 100-150 pounds of force and the American Alligator bites with a force of 9,452 newtons (2,125 pounds).

The first remains of Deinonychus were discovered in southern Montana by Barnum Brown and team in 1931.



August 19th, 2013

Today’s Prehistoric Creature of the Day is (by request),
Ursus spelaeus, more commonly known asThe Cave Bear.

Fun Fact: The cave bear was a Pleistocene period species of bear that roamed modern day Europe and went extinct towards the beginning of the Last Glacial Maximum (27,500 years ago). The mass majority of Ursus spelaeus fossils were discovered in caves which provides evidence that the cave bear indeed spent more time in caves than the brown bear—who only uses caves for hibernation. Because of where the fossils were discovered (caves), skeletons have been found in near completion and well preserved.

The cave bear is believed to weigh about 400-500 kilograms (880-1102 pounds) for males and 225-250 kilograms (496-551 pounds) as females. 90% of cave bear specimens that are currently in museums are male due to the misconception that the females were just “dwarfs.” As a result of the need to adjust heat loss rate, cave bears grew larger during glaciations and smaller during interglacials.



August 16th, 2013

Today’s DOTD is


Brought to you in part by Cryolophosaurus.

Fun Fact: Monolophosaurus, discovered in modern day Xinjiang, China, is a genus of Mid-Jurassic theropod dinosaurs. It’s name—meaning “single-crested lizard”—refers to the single crest upon its skull (go figure). The only known specimen of Monolophosaurus is estimated to measure at 5 meters (16.5 feet) in length.

In 1984, a nearly complete skeleton of Monolophosaurus was discovered and was initially known to the press as “Jiangjunmiaosaurus”—a nomen nudum.



August 15th, 2013

Today’s DOTD isn’t a dinosaur, it’s (by request)


Brought to you in part by last week being Shark Week and my little sister who is scared of sharks.

Fun Fact: Megalodon (meaning “big tooth”) lived in the Cenozoic Era (about 28 to 1.5 million years ago) in what is still the ocean. As one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history, Megalodon reached a maxium length of 14 to 18 meters (46 to 59 feet)—for perspective, the largest great white sharks have been known to reach or exceed 6.1 meters (20 feet) in length and Jaws measured 25 feet in length.

The majority we know about Megalodon is based on it’s fossil record consumed near entirely by teeth and vertebral centra—considering sharks are mostly cartilage, this should not be surprising. Megalodon’s teeth can measure over an impressive 180 millimeters (7.1 inches) and are the largest in size of any known shark. As far as vertebrae goes, a single specimen discovered in 1926 by M. Leriche contained 150 vertebral centra (the largest measured at 155 millimeters (6.1 inches) however, in 1983, a specimen discovered by Bendix-Almgeen contained 20 vertebral centra with the largest reaching 230 millimeters (91 inches) in diameter.

This beastly shark is estimated to have a mass anywhere from 48 metric tons to 103 metric tons (based on the length and overall size of the shark of course). And for record breaking sizes, the largest Megalodon tooth measures 193.67 millimeters (7.625 inches) in a jaw reconstruction by Vito Bertucci—also known as “Megalodon Man.”

Seem familiar? If you watch Shark Week ever, it is. Also, if you have seen Shark Attack 3: Megalodon, Mega Shark Versus Giant Octopus, Mermaids: The Body Found OR The Land Before Time V: The Mysterious Island, you have witnessed a poor portrayal of Megalodon.



August 14th, 2013

Today’s DOTD is:

Brought to you in part by the marshmallow in my hair and my friend’s fear of spiders!

Fun Fact: Ornithomimus is a genus of late-Cretaceous ornithomimid dinosaurs that once roamed modern day North America. Ornithomimus (meaning “bird mimic”) is estimated to be 3.8 meters long and weighed 170 kilograms (370 pounds) and it has distinct evidence of feathers. A juvenile discovered has impressions of up to five centimeters long, primitive feathers in the form of hair-like filaments which covered the neck, legs and the rump.

Ornithomimus holds two speices, Ornithomimus velox (named in 1890 by Othniel Charles Marsh) and Ornithomimus edmontonicus (named in 1933 by Sternberg).

Being a swift, bipedal theropod—which evidence that suggests the dinosaur was covered in feathers—and equipped with a small toothless beaked head, it is believed the Ornithomimus was an omnivore.



August 13th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Brought to you in part by my camping trip today!

Fun Fact: Rhabdodon is a Late-Cretaceous genus of dinosaur that roamed modern day Spain, France, Haţeg Island in Romania and possibly the Czech Republic. It’s name means “fluted tooth.” Scientists are unsure if Rhabdodon is an iguanodont or a hypsilophotdonr however, it is likely that it is the “missing link” between the dinosaurs. Currently, it is thought that it, based on evidence, is an iguanodont similar to Tenontosaurus.

It is known that Rhabdodon was smaller than its relatives and the is most likely due to the insular environment of Europe 70 million years ago.

Rhabodon is believed to be the dinosaur equivalent of the modern deer. They were similar in size in relation to the predators they faced. The predators of Rhabodon would include both Pyroraptor and Tarascosaurus.

Seem familiar? The Discovery Channel series “Dinosaur Planet” featured a Rhabdodon however, it was referred to as a “Dwarf Iguanodon.”



August 12th, 2013

Today’s DOTD is late…


Fun Fact: Megalosaurus was the first genus of ancient dinosaurs to be named and described. It was a mid-Jurassic period theropod whose name means “Great Lizard.” Megalosaurus—being a theropod—was a bipedal, meat eating dinosaur that was about 9 meters in length and weighted approximately one tonne.

Based on where the dinosaur was discovered (modern day Europe), it is possible that Megalosaurus hunted Stegosaurus and sauropods. Others believed that it ate Iguanodon (another dinosaur who was named fairly early) however, based on the geography of mid-Jurassic Europe and the fact the Iguandon was found in early rock (Early-Cretaceous), it is unlikely this occurred.

Due to lack of fossil evidence, it is uncertain as to what Megalosaurus looked like (there has been no complete skeleton found) however, a full description has been published.

Sound familiar? Megalosaurus as made appearances in Charles Dicken’s novel “Bleak House” (“Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn Hill.”) and also in several other medias such as John Brosnan’s novel “Carnosaur,” the TV show “Dinosaurs” (as Earl Sinclair), and in the Doctor Who book “The Last Dodo” by Jacqueline Rayner.



August 8th, 2013

Today’s DOTD is:


Brought to you in part by my gay friend Josef and “the fast that it has the word ‘ass’ in it.” (My friends are not mature.)

Fun Fact: Qantassaurus is a “stub-nosed runner” genus of dinosaur from the early-Cretaceous time period and is found in modern day Australia. This dinosaur wasn’t discovered until 1999 by Patricia Vickers-Rich and her husband Tom Rich whom named it after the Australian airline Qantas.

Patricia Vickers-Rich commented on the unique face of the dinosaur with the statement, “The jaw is unique because it is short and stocky, whereas other jaws…are long and slender.”

Qantassaurus is believed to have grown to 1.8 meters (6 feet) in length and about one meter (3 feet) tall. Based on its possible resemblance to its relatives (if it does at all) it would have short thighs and long shins making Qantassaurus a fast runner. However, Qantassaurus is known only from its discovered jaw fragments which, when compared to related species, so that is had a short and stubby face with 10 teeth in the lower jaw and a possible beak that hosted leaf-shaped teeth back in its cheek—which might have been shed similarly to that of a shark.

It’s likely that Qantassaurus was a “browser” and grabbed ferns and other vegetation with its hands and ran away from predators—similar to the modern gazelle.



August 7th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day Today is:


Brought to you in part by my dear friend Travis, again.

Fun Fact: Pentaceratops (meaning “five-horned face”) was a late Cretaceous herbivorous ceratopsid dinosaur that roamed what is now North America. One specimen scientists have reconstructed shows the animal grew to be 6.8 meters (22.3 feet) in length, 9877 kilogrammes (21,775.06 pounds) with a skull length of 3.22 meters (10.56 feet), although the actual weight and size of the dinosaur are still questioned.

The brow horns of the animal are very long and hard a strong curve forward. It has a large frill (much longer than that of Triceratops) with two large holes in it. With a tall and wide torso, the rear dorsal vertebrae of the dinosaur bear long spines which perhaps ligaments ran to the front to balance out the massive frill.

Pentaceratops was first discovered in 1921 and was named in 1923.



August 6th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day today is:


Brought to you in part by sleeping through my alarm and my dear friend Travis!

Fun Fact: Xenotarsosaurus was a late-Cretaceous theropod dinosaur that lived in modern day Argentina. Fossil evidence of the dinosaur was originally discovered in 1980 by geologist Juan Carloes Sciutto six kilometers north of Ocho Hermanos ranch. However, it wasn’t until 1986 that a team of scientists coined the genus for the fossils and additionally a specific name, “Xenotarsosaurus bonapartei.” The generic name is Greek for “strange tarsos lizard” due to the exceptionally built ankle of the dinosaur. The specific name honers Jose Fernando Bonaparte—the man who recovered the theropod’s bones in 1980.

Only two specimens were found and are the only known fossils of the dinosaur. This bones do include a 24.1 inch long femur, the tibia, fibula, astragalocalcaneum of the ankle and two anterior dorsal vertebrae. The dinosaur has been assigned to the Abelisauridae family however it is believed among some that it should belong to the neoceratosaurian group instead.



August 5th, 2013

Today’s DOTD is:


Brought to you by my Mom’s birthday. Have a good one Mom!

Fun Fact: Einiosaurus was an upper-Cretaceous ceratopsian dinosaur that lived in what is now northwestern Montana. This dinosaur is thought to have grown to be 4.5 meters (14.8 feet) in length and weigh 1.3 tonnes (2,866 pounds).

The name “Einiosaurus” comes from the combination of Blackfeet Indiana (eini) and Latinized Ancient Greek (sauros)—with the specific name (procurvicornis) meaning “with a forward-curving horn” in Latin—meaning “buffalo lizard.”

Einiosaurus had a pointed, narrow snout that is typically portrayed with a downward curving horn—much like a bottle opener—however the horn might have only occurred in some adults. The horns on the frill are low and short and triangular in shape such as a Triceratops whom had prominent supraorbital (above or over the eye) horns. This dinosaur also had a pair of large spikes that projected backwards from the relatively small frill.

Einiosaurus was discovered in 1985 by Jack Horner and excavated from 1985-1989 by the Museum of the Rockies field crew. Originally, the bonebed was thought to host a new species of Styracosaurus (see June 14th, 2013). In 1990, Stephan Czerkas published the name Styracosaurus makeli—honoring Robert Makela—but didn’t not describe it so it remained a nomen nudum. In 1992, Horner discerned three species from the bonebed and indicated them as Type A, B and C. In 1995, (my favorite paleontologist) Scott D. Sampson formally described and named the Type B as Einiosaurus procurvicornis and Type C as Achelousaurus horneri.

In 2010, Gregory S. Paul—who gave the estimates on the size and weight—renamed E. procurvious into Centrosaurus procurvicornis, but has found no acceptance and will not find it here.



August 2nd, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Brought to you in part by my doctor’s orders to wake up at 6:30 everyday!

Fun Fact: Jaxartosaurus was a late-Cretaceous genus of hadrosaurid dinosaurs (much like Corythosaurus—see July 26th, 2013). The fossils were found in Kazakhstan and China; the first species (J. aralensis) was described in 1937 by Anatoly Nikolaenvich Riabinin, the second species (J. fuyunensis) was described in 1990 by Weishampal and Horner—however, this so-called second species is dubious (doubtful).

Not much is known about these dinosaurs, considering the lack of evidence found. But we do know that they had a large, helmet-like crest that could have been used for visual purposes (mating, identification) or to vocalize with it’s herd (in terms of finding food or fearing dangerous creatures afoot), much like the Corythosaurus.



August 1st, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day today is:


Brought to you by the first day of August and all of my amazing followers. Thank you.

Fun Fact: Spinosaurus, discovered in 1912 in Egypt, was a theropod dinosaur that lived in modern day North Africa during the Cretaceous time period. Spinosaurus may have been the largest carnivorous dinosaur ever discovered—even larger than Tyrannosaurus and Giganotosaurus. Evidence suggests that this dinosaur grew to be 12.6 to 18 meters (41 to 59 feet) in length and weighed 7 to 20.9 tonnes (14,000 to 41,800 pounds!)!

The head of the massive creature is often compared to that of a modern crocodilian,being long and narrow—evidence also suggests that it lived both on land and in water such as a crocodilian and also ate fish. However, the most distinctive feature of the Spinosaurus are the long extensions of the vertebrae the grew to be at least 1.65 meters (5.4 feet) long and likely had skin webbing which would make a sail-like structure.

The original remains of this dinosaur were destroyed during World War II, however more fossils have been uncovered since then providing paleontologists with proper evidence to support their theories.

Seem familiar? Spinosaurus made his debut in Jurassic Park III as it replaced the T. Rex as the main antagonist.



July 31st, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Brought to you in part by the internet.

Fun Fact: Discovered in 1858 in North America, this late-Cretaceous period hadrosaurid became the first ever mounted dinosaur skeleton in 1868. The only species in this genus, Hadrosaurus foulkii, has been the official state dinosaur of New Jersey, United States since 1991.

This bipedal dinosaur was probably a quick runner but also had forelegs to support itself while feeding. Hadrosaurus (meaning “steady lizard”) was a herbivore.



July 30th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Fun Fact: Gallimimus was a late-Cretaceous ornithomimid theropod dinosaur. This dinosaur measured up to 8 meteres in length (26 feet) and were about 2 meters tall at the hip.

Gallimimus is often compared to a modern-day ostrich (small head, toothless beak, large eyes, long neck, short arms, long legs and a long tail). It is estimated that because of the length of the legs, Gallimimus could run at high speeds but it is uncertain if it could.

This dinosaur was discovered by a team of scientists in 1963 in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia and was named “chicken mimic” in referance to the neural arches of the front neck vertebrae with resembled those of Galliformes (chickens, turkeys…).

Seem familiar? Gallimimus made an appearance in Jurassic Park when a flock of them was seen running across a vast field from the Tyrannosaurus (which did kill one of them). If was also in the sequel, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, during the ‘roundup” sequence.



July 29th, 2013

The DOTD Today is:


Fun Fact: Fabrosaurus was an early-Jurassic time period, herbivorous dinosaur who was found in modern day Basutoland, South Africa. The only know fossil of the dinosaur is its partial jawbone with three teeth.

This dinosaur was discovered by Jean Fabre, a French geologist, how however, it is very likely that the Fabrosaurus is a “nomen dubium” (meaning doubtful name) and might just be a Lesothosaurus.

It was estimated the Fabrosaurus would measure around 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length. Little is known about the dinosaur or can be inferred. It was named by Leonard Ginsburg in 1964.



July 26th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Fun Fact:  Corythosaurus was a genus of late-Cretaceous period duck-billed dinosaurs. It lived in what is now modern day North America and it’s name means “helmet lizard.”

The first fossil was discovered by Barnum Brown in 1912 in Red Deer River, Alberta, Canada. Originally, this genus held seven different species with the differences in size and shape might relate to gender and age which now left only one species—C. casuarius.

It is estimated that this dinosaur weighed about 4 tons and measured 10 meters (33 feet) in length. The dinosaur, having had over 20 skulls recovered, had a toothless beak with back jaws that contained a dental battery composed of hundreds of small, interlocking teeth that were used mostly to crush or grind plants.

Corythosaurus had, much like lambeosaurs, a large tail and an elaborate bony crest on top of it’s head which did contain the elongate nasal passages. With this design, any vocalization would travel through the elaborate chambers and was most likely amplified through the crest. It is believed that the dinosaur could make loud, low pitch cries “like a wind or brass instrument.” And it is assumed that the cries would warn other Corythosaurus about potential danger.

Point of Fact:  It was believed that this dinosaur lived near water, due to its webbed hands and feet. But, it was later discovered that the “webbing” was actually deflated padding, much like that found on many modern mammals.



July 25th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:


Fun Fact:  Utahraptor was an early-Cretaceous genus of theropod dinosaurs (3 toed feet, sharp teeth for eating meat or insects, a large tail to help them balance and a great sense of smell—much like the T. rex) that contained only one species, Utahraptor ostrommaysorum. Utahraptor was discovered in 1975 by Jim Jensen in east-central Utah (near Moab).

Fossil records suggest that Utahraptor was about two times as large as Deinonychus, reaching approximately 7 meters (23 feet) in length and weighing about 500 kg (1,100 pounds)—as compared to a grizzly bear in size.

Utahraptor had long claws with one specimen preserved at 22 centimeters (8.7 inches) in length and is believed to reach 24 centimeters (9.4 inches).

Seem familiar? Utahraptor made an appearance in the 1999 BBC television series “Walking with Dinosaurs” and was also the perspective character in Robert Bakker’s “Raptor Red.”



July 24th, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Dinos Today is:


Fun Fact:  Wannanosaurus, meaning “Wannan lizard,” is a late-Cretaceous dinosaur who lived approximately 80 million years ago. The dinosaur was discovered in Anhui, China and was described by Lian-Hai Hou in 1977.

The only found remains of Wannanosaurus are from a very small individual with a femur length of 8 centimeters (3.1 inches) which allows scientists to estimate the overall length of the dinosaur, which they calculated to be less than 1 meter (3.3 feet). The specimen (of which paleontologists have only recovered the following fossils; skull roof, lower jaw, one upper leg, one lower leg, part of a rib and other fragments) was most likely an adult due to the fused bones in its skull.

Wannanosaurus, being a pachycephalosaurian (a clade of ornithischian dinosaurs that lived during the late-Cretaceous period) it is believed that Wannanosaurus were either herbivores or omnivores. Not much else has been discovered about this dinosaur due to lack of findings.



July 23rd, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:


Fun Fact:  Nodosaurus, meaning “knobbed lizard,” was a late Cretaceous dinosaur. The herbivore’s fossils have been located in the modern day North America and were first discovered in 1889 by Othniel Charles Marsh (remember him from Allosaurus?).

Nodosaurus grew to reach 13 to 20 feet in length and grew bony dermal plates that covered the top of its body—which could protect it from predators. It is possible that this dinosaur also had spikes along its sides.

This dinosaur, unlike its cousin the Ankylosaurus, did not have a club on its tail for defense which leads paleontologists to believe that when threatened, it would act like an armadillo or hedgehogs.



July 22nd, 2013

Today’s DOTD is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the Public Broadcasting System.

Fun Fact:  Stygimoloch (meaning “demon from the Styx”) was a late-Cretaceous dinosaur found in the United States—meaning it lived beside Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops dinosaurs—and was discovered in 1983. Stygimoloch had a crown of short, sharp horns with a cluster of horns on the back of the skull and long central horn (surrounded by 2-3 smaller horns).

The skull of Stygimoloch measures to be about 18 inches long with the horns reaching anywhere from 2 inches to 6 inches in length. The horns on this dinosaur are believed to be similar to mountain goats today—as in they used them to butt into things. Another popular theory was that they were used for show (mating) or that they were used (like elk antlers) to make them seem larger and therefore protect them from predators (this dinosaur was a herbivore).



July 19th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:


Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the creator of Hey Arnold.

Fun Fact:  Kentrosaurus, discovered in 1909 by the German Tendaguru Expedition, is a late Jurassic dinosaur that measured to be about 15 feet in length although some research suggests that they might have reached lengths of up to 18 feet long. The tail accounted for more than half the total length of Kentrosaurus therefore providing evidence that Kentrosaurus would have used its tail as a balancing tool to help it find its center of mass. But interestingly, the tail is in the position that would imply the dinosaur was bipedal however, the bone structure declares that the hind feet did not support the dinosaur alone therefore making it quadrupedal.

Kentrosaurus was a stegosauird and, being a stegosauird, had two rows of small plates and sharp spikes that ran down its back (such as its more popular cousin, Stegosaurus) and a powerful, double-spiked tail that was probably used for defense. On the contrary, scientists are still in controversy over the placement of the Kentrosaurus dinosaur’s armor.



July 18th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and my lack of sleep.

Fun Fact:  Lambeosaurus is a Late Cretaceous Period dinosaur that—much like Iguanodon—walked on it’s back legs (bipedal) or on all four legs (quadrupedal). This species is known for the hatchet-shaped hollow crest on its skull.

With little known about this dinosaur, paleontologists follow a similar dinosaur—Corythosaurus, which is actually found in slightly older rocks—in assuming how the Lambeosaurus lived. In fact, as juveniles, you can only tell the species apart by the crest (Lambeosaurs has hollow nasal passages and is stacked forward whereas the Corythosaurus has forking nasal processes which make up part of the sides of the crest.

Amazingly, paleontologists seem to like to have difficulty with taxonomy (naming and classifying creatures) because for the third time in DOTD, we have another dinosaur that suffered naming difficulties as when it was studied in 1923 by William Parks (over 20 years post the study by Lawrence Lambe), it was believed that the juveniles of Lambeosaurus were their own species!

Lambeosaurus is assumed to have grown to be about 31 feet in length—but that is based off of the similarities between it and Corythosaurus.



July 17th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur Of The Day is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the Theropod Convention.

Fun Fact:  Cryolophosaurus was an early Jurassic carnivorous theropod that had a Spanish comb-like crest on the top of its head. In fact, the comb had a strong enough resemblance to the haircut of a very famous rock’n’roll star, the dinosaur was informally known as “Elvisaurus.”
As a theropod, Cryolophosaurus had large, three-toed feet; meat munching, sharp teeth; a long, thick tail to help it balance; and a great sense of smell. Cryolophosaurus sub-adults reached about 21 feet in length and weighed about 1,030 pounds however it is not known how large they got in adulthood. 
The Elvis-like crest is unique in that it runs across the skull (eye socket to eye socket) instead of the more common crests that run along the skulls. The crest is an extension of the skull bone that, in this particular creature, was probably used for mating as it would be an ineffective weapon.



July 16th, 2013


Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the Special Dinosaurs A to Z event!

Fun Fact:  Zigongosaurus is a mid-Jurassic to late-Jurassic dinosaur found in China by paleontologists. So little is known about the Jurassic Chinese sauropods (order) that scientists aren’t sure which genus it should fall into (omeisaurus, mamerichisaurus or one of its own).

Remember the name disputes over Apatosaurus? Well, things were far more complicated for Zigongosaurus! When the bones were first being put together, authors thought it was Omeisaurus (a mid-Jurassic sauropod) with some others believing it to be a brachiosaurid (like Brachiosaurus). In 1983, Dong, Zhou and Zhang named the dinosaur Omeisaurus fuxiensis which they based off evidence of Zigongosaurus fuxiensis which ultimately suggested that they were the same creature. In the mid-1990s, scientists decided that the dinosaur had more in common with Mamenchisaurus based on the neural spines of the vertebrae. So they renamed the dinosaur Mamenchisaurus fuxiensis. But, one author, by the name of Valerie Martin-Rolland, believes it should be in its own, distinct genus.

Regardless of the genus, Zigongosaurus would grow to be 50 feet long! That’s the width of a high school basketball court!



July 15th, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Dinos Dinosaur of the Day is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the Special Dinosaurs A to Z episode!

Fun Fact: Apatosaurus—also known more popularly as “Brontosaurus”—lived in the Jurassic time period and was one of the largest land mammals to have ever existed reaching an average length of 75 feet and having a mass of at least 16 metric tons (35,273.9619 pounds!).

The name Apatosaurus is derived from Greek words meaning “deceptive lizard” and the dinosaur was given such name after Othniel Charles Marsh discovered that the chevron bones were similar to a group of prehistoric marine lizards, mosasaurs. Othniel Charles Marsh’s name would come up again as he mistakenly put together a set of bones from an adult Apatosaurus and named the “new” species “Brontosaurus” meaning “thunder lizard” in 1879. The mistake was not “fixed” until the 1970s.

So yes, I’m sorry but the Brontosaurus never existed. Neither did the Pterodactyl but we’ll save that lesson for another dinosaur day!



July 11th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is (Yes, it’s back!)


Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and summer vacation!

Fun Fact: Dilophosaurus was an early Jurassic Period dinosaur that measured out to be 23 feet long and weighed 1,100 to 2,200 pounds. Dilophosaurus is unique because instead of just one crest (located at the top of the skull), it has two which give it its name meaning “two-crested lizard.”
Seem familiar? Dilophosaurus made several appearances in the Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Blockbuster Hit, Jurassic Park.



June 28th, 2013

Your “Daily Dose of Dinos” Dinosaur Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and Leah’s return.

Fun Fact:  Megaraptor, when first discovered, was thought to be a part of the allosaurid family based on the finding of a 30 centimeter claw. It was initially believed that the claw belonged to the Megaraptor’s foot— making it a dromaeosaur-like coelurosaur. However, it was later discovered (along with the entire Megaraptor’s arm) that the claw belonged to the hand of the beast making it a member of the Neovenatoridae family.



June 27th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and China.

 Fun Fact:  Jeholornis was an ealry cretaceous bird who ate seeds and possibly insects. Jeholornis had a long tail, a few teeth and feathers that grew about 20 centimeters long. Although Jeholornis was about the size of a turkey, they have many features in common with today’s Roadrunner (meep meep!).



June 26th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and Craig Bartlett.

Fun Fact:  Protoceratops (meaning “first” “horn” “face”) is an ancestor of the more popular Triceratops. Protoceratops was very small, being only about 6 feet long and 2 feet tall with a full grown adult weighing less than 400 lbs! They were first found in Mongolia which leads scientists to believe they were desert dwelling creatures. 
The most unique thing about these Ceratopsia dinosaurs is that although they did have the signature frill, the Protoceratops didn’t have horns!



June 25th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and the lack of Erin’s maturity.

Fun Fact:  Raptorex is just one of many—much smaller—ancestors of Tyrannosaurus Rex. The only known specimen, found in China, is believed to be a juvenile measuring at 8.2 feet and dying when it was about 3. Although paleontologists believe juveniles were typically around 9.8 feet long and weighed only 140 pounds, there has not been enough data to confirm the actual size. 
Unlike the T Rex, Raptorex had 3 fingers as apposed to 2 but similarly had short arms. Also in opposition, Raptorex is thought to have had feathers! 



June 24th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought you you in part by Dinosaur Train and PBS Kids.

Fun Fact:  Titanoboa actually lived after the extinction of dinosaurs in a 10 million year period called the Paleocene Epoch. Titanoboa is the largest, heaviest and longest snake ever discovered growing to lengths of 40 to 50 feet long and weighing about 2,500 lbs!



June 20th, 2013

Today’s Dinosaur of the Day is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and The Conductor.

Fun Fact:  Sinovenator (meaning Chinese Hunter) was only about the size of a chicken! They were also most likely nocturnal!



June 19th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day Today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and Dr. Scott D. Sampson. Thank you.

Fun Fact:  Kosmoceratops, a member of the ceratopsia family, has more horns than any other known dinosaur. Many Kosmoceratops fossils have been found in Utah. The name Kosmoceratops is derived from Ancient Greek meaning “decoration horn face.”


Also, Kosmoceratops was named by Dr. Scott D. Sampson—the lead paleontologist on Dinosaur Train. 


June 14th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and contributions from viewers like you. Thank you.

Fun Fact:  Styracosaurus are part of the Ceratopsidae family which the Triceratops belongs to! They had large, flashy horns with the nose horn reaching 2 feet in length and 6 inches in width!



June 12th, 2013

The Dinosaur of the Day today is:

Brought to you in part by Dinosaur Train and in association with Erin’s unwillingness to let go of childhood.
Thank you.

Fun Fact:  The Therizinosaurus’s forelimbs grew to about 2.5 meters (that’s 8 feet!) with the largest specimen on record at 3.5 meters (that’s 11.5 feet!!). Scientists often compare these dinosaurs to the 3 toed sloth we know today!