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Dinosaur of the Day


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#46    Master Sage

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:16 PM

I've acctulay heard of tht one.

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#47    Jack_of_Blades

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 11:13 PM

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Acrocanthosaurus
Acrocanthosaurus atokensis
  
user posted image  

Pronounced: ak-row-Kan-tho-Sore-us
Diet: Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means: "High Spined Lizard"
Length: 40 feet (13 m)
Height: 16 feet (5 m)
Weight: 3.5 to 5 tons (3,200 to 4,500 kg)
Time: Early Cretaceous - 110 MYA    
Location: Southwestern United States  
  
  Called Acro for short, this dinosaur is a Therapod (a two-legged meat-eater) which had 68 long, knife-like teeth in its 5 foot long head. At 40 feet long, this dinosaur ruled the land about 35 million years before there were any T. rex's. Unlike T. rex, this dinosaur had larger, more powerful arms that could grab, hold and crush other dinosaurs. It could probably lift a small car off the ground!

There is one very interesting feature about the Acro, and that is the high spines along its back and neck. In fact the name Acrocanthosaurus means 'high spined lizard' in Greek (the last part of its name, atokensis, refers to Atoka County in Oklahoma where the only full skeleton was discovered). The spines are not nearly as big as those on some dinosaurs that have 'sails' on their back, like Spinosaurus. Instead, Acro's spines, the longest of which is about 2 feet, were anchors to which huge muscles were attached. This made Acro very strong and powerful. And Acros probably needed to be very strong because there is evidence that it hunted huge sauropod dinosaurs. In Texas, there are dinosaur tracks that show a large Acro tracking and hunting a large brachiosaur called Pleurocoelus. Some modern animals have a similar type of spine along their back to give them strength: horses, elephants and buffaloes all have this type of muscle suspension.

Acro had relatively small feet for a large dinosaur. This was because it lived in a drier climate and did not need a large surface area to keep it from sinking in mud. Although similar in size and weight to T. rex, its feet were only about half the size. T. rex lived in a much wetter environment and probably spent a lot of time walking through marshy ground. The teeth of an Acro were typical of the large meat-eaters of the late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous. They were long (as much as 9 or 10 inches if you include the root) and fairly thin, curving slightly inward with serrations along the front and back edges. This means that Acro did not necessarily use its teeth as a killing tool. Teeth like this were most likely used to rip big pieces of flesh from prey which it was holding with its powerful arms and feet. Unlike T. rex, Acro teeth could not have been used to crunch bone as they would break too easily. When its teeth did break, Acro had new teeth waiting. Like many dinosaurs, it was constantly shedding old teeth and replacing them with new.

Acrocanthosaurus is in the same family of dinosaurs as the Allosaurus, which was a very successful family of dinosaurs. It was most likely the dominant North American predator of the Early Cretaceous. It is known primarily from one specimen, nicknamed 'Fran' which was discovered in Atoka County, Oklahoma by Cephis Hall and Sid Love in 1983. The specimen showed a number of interesting pathologies, including a hole in the right scapula (shoulder blade) that had become infected. The ribs beneath and in front of this scapula appear to have been broken and healed, indicating that the animal had been injured. Scattered remains of Acrocanthosaurus have been found in Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Arizona.

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#48    SG7

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:36 PM

[attachmentid=25539]


Baryonyx
Baryonyx walkeri
  
  
Pronounced:Bear - ee - On - ix
Diet:Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means:"Heavy Claw"
Length:40 feet (12 m)
Height:16 feet (5 m)
Weight:4 tons (3,600 kilos)
Time:Early Cretaceous - 120 MYA
  
  
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  Baryonyx was first discovered in a clay pit in England in 1983 by an amateur fossil collector named William Walker. He found its one-foot-long hand claw and took it to the British Museum in London for help in finding out just what he had discovered. Like its relative, Spinosaurus, this dinosaur seems to have eaten mainly fish. It is thought that the huge claw on its hand would have been used to reach into the water and hook the fish.

The body and back legs of Baryonyx are similar to other theropod dinosaurs, but from there it gets a little peculiar. The arms were long and powerfully built. They had three fingers, one with an enormous claw. The skull was long and low with twice as many teeth - 128 - as most other theropods. Even more strangely, the nasal openings were located on top of its head, just in front of the eyes. It had teeth similar to Spinosaurus, long and conical with small serrations, which was also very unlike most theropods. Baryonyx's neck was long and relatively slender. It is no accident that its skull and teeth are very similar to those of a crocodile as they probably both had a diet consisting primarily of fish. Imagine them as huge reptilian grizzly bears, fishing with those terrible foot long claws.

Scientists are still studying the curiosities this dinosaur presents. It seems to combine some very primitive characteristics with more advanced dinosaurian design. As the only known specimen seems to have been a sub-adult, the upper limits of its size are still theoretical.  

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#49    frogfish

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:14 PM

Edmontonia
Edmontonia longiceps
  
user posted image
  
Pronounced: ed-mon-Toe-nee-uh
Diet: Herbivore (plant-eater)
Name Means: "Of Edmonton"
Length: 22 ft.(7 m)
Height: 9 ft (3 m).
Weight: 4 tons (3,200 kilos)
Time: Late Cretaceous - 75 MYA    
Location: N. America  

  Edmontonia is a member of the armored dinosaur family that includes Ankylosaurus. It did not have a clubbed tail like the better-known Ankylosaurus, but it had long, nasty spikes on its sides and thick, bony armor on its back and head. It also had a very long tail for this kind of dinosaur.

Edmontonia is one of the better-known nodosaurs, with several nearly complete specimens. Discovered in 1924, the genus was not named until many years later. Some material attributed to this genus is being debated as belonging to a new genus called Denversaurus. However, this is not yet widely accepted.



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#50    frogfish

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:30 PM

Unenlagia
Unenlagia comahuensis
  
user posted image
  
Pronounced: U-nen-Lah-gee-ah
Diet: Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means: "Half Bird"
Length: 10 feet (3 m)
Height: 5 feet (1.6 m)
Weight: Unknown
Time: Middle Cretaceous - 90 MYA  
Location: South America  

  Unenlagia is the most bird-like dinosaur found so far - it even had arms that were designed so they could flap like a bird's wings! However, this dinosaur was much too large to fly, but it clearly shows how some dinosaurs were evolving to look and act like modern birds. Some scientists think that Unenlagia is actually a young Megaraptor, as the fossils were found in the same area.

Unenlagia is from the same general family that also includes many of the dinosaurs that exhibited bird-like traits, including those falling into the popular raptor category. It had a very pronounced backward-pointing pubis, and it appears as though its shoulder was designed to allow for flapping movements.



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#51    frogfish

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 07:48 PM

Iguanodon
Iguanodon anglicusi
  
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Pronounced: ih-Gwan-o-don
Diet: Herbivore (Plant-Eater)
Name Means: "Lizard Tooth"
Length: 33 feet (10 m)
Height: 12 feet (3.6 m)
Weight: 5 ton (4,500 kilos)
Time: Early Cretaceous - 110 MYA  
Location: Europe, North Africa, Western North America  

  Iguanodon has become quite famous as a result of its starring role in Dinosaur, but before that it helped people understand what dinosaurs really looked like. It was one of the first complete skeletons ever found. This allowed scientists who had never seen a complete dinosaur, to figure out what it would have looked like in life. In fact, the first time this common dinosaur was found as just a partial skeleton, scientists put its thumb spike on its nose!

This was only the second dinosaur to be described, after Megalosaurus. Its teeth were discovered in the early 1820's in England - these original fossils were "rediscovered" in the British Museum in 1977. As nothing like it had ever been described in scientific literature, the teeth of this creature were a puzzle that an amateur paleontologist named Gideon Mantell solved by comparing them to the teeth of living animals. Mantell found that the teeth looked like those of a modern iguana and named it Iguanodon. He speculated that it was a huge extinct version of this modern reptile. It was in 1878 in a coal mine in Belgium that 24 fairly complete and articulated specimens were found. Although they were of a larger species, they clearly showed what this creature looked like in life.



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#52    rapid7

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 10:22 PM


Nice pics!

You know, I still can't get my head round the fact these creatures existed! Truly amazing.




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#53    frogfish

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 11:29 PM

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You know, I still can't get my head round the fact these creatures existed! Truly amazing

Amazing creatures, eh?

If you like these pics, check out the Dinosaur Artwork Thread yes.gif

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#54    frogfish

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Posted 11 May 2006 - 10:23 PM

Tenontosaurus
Tenontosaurus tilletti
  
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Pronounced: teh-Non-toe-Saw-rus
Diet: Herbivore (Plant-Eater)
Name Means: "Sinew Lizard"
Length: 22 feet (6.5 m)
Height: 7 feet (2.2 m)
Weight: 1 ton (900 kilos)
Time: Triassic  
Location: Western North America  
  
  This was an early member of the plant-eating family of dinosaurs that includes Iguanodon . It had a very long tail compared to other members of its family. Instead of front teeth, it had a beak, and it walked on all four feet most of the time.

This dinosaur was originally found as a partial skeleton in 1903. The genus was not named, however, until the early 1960's. By that time parts of more than 20 individuals had been discovered. It had at least 59 caudal vertebrae in its long tail. One specimen was found with Deinonychus teeth associated with it, leading to the conclusion that Tenontosaurus was fed upon by this predator, which probably hunted it in small packs.
  
    


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#55    frogfish

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Posted 13 May 2006 - 07:22 PM

Megalosaurus
Megalosaurus bucklandi
  
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Pronounced: Meg-ah -lo-Saw-rus
Diet: Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means: "big lizard"
Length: 30 feet (9 m)
Height: 10 feet (3 m)
Weight: 1.5 (1,300 kilos)
Time: Jurassic  
Location: Europe, Asia, South America  

  Here it is, the very first dinosaur ever named. Megalosaurus was found in England in the year 1822 by a geologist named William Buckland. He found the teeth and knew it was from a really big animal. The word 'dinosaur' did not yet exist. In fact, this dinosaur was a typical two legged meat-eater, but people back then knew so little about it that they thought it walked on four legs like a big lizard. It wasn't until 20 years later, in 1842, that Sir Richard Owen came up with the word 'dinosaur' to describe these spectacular fossil creatures which were being discovered.

Since so little of Megalosaurus was originally discovered, it was depicted as a large, quadrupedal lizard with a head like a crocodile. This image of the first dinosaurs lasted some years until more complete specimens were discovered.

Megalosaurus was a common carnivore of the Jurassic - species of this genus have been found on several continents. As common as it was, it exhibits only a few of the technical characteristics associated with other Therapods.
  


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#56    frogfish

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Posted 14 May 2006 - 03:56 PM

Pachyrhinosaurus
Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis
  
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Pronounced: Pak-ee-Rhino-Saw-rus
Diet: Herbivore (plant-eater)
Name Means: "Thick Nose Lizard"
Length: 20 ft.(6 meters)
Height: 6 ft. (2 meters)
Weight: 2 tons (1,800 kilos)
Time: Late Cretaceous  
Location: N. America  

  Pachyrhinosaurus is an odd-looking member of the ceratopsian family of horned dinosaurs. It had a large lump on its nose instead of a sharp horn like most of its relatives. This large plant-eater grew to about the same size as its more famous relative, Triceratops. It would have lived in herds, moving about the Cretaceous land eating tough, low-growing plants. It had a sharp beak that would cut off leaves and lots of teeth in the back part of its mouth for chewing up tough plants.

This dinosaur has caused a great deal of debate among scientists because it is so different from other ceratopsians. While most feel that the nasal boss on Pachyrhinosaurus was used as a butting device during display, others have suggested it was the base for a huge keratin horn. It seems that these bosses were quite individualized and may have differed between genders. Also, the shape and size of the frills seems to have varied more among this genus than any other ceratopsian genus.

There weren't many specimens available for study until the late 1980?s. It was only then that scientist began to draw conclusions and raise more questions about this peculiar dinosaur.
  
    


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#57    frogfish

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 07:17 PM

Homalocephale
Homalocephale calathocercos
  
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Pronounced: Home-ah-low-Seff-uh-lee
Diet: Herbivore (plant-eater)
Name Means:
Length: 10 ft. (3 m)
Height: 3.3 ft. (1 m)
Weight: 500 pounds (225 kilos)
Time: Late Cretaceous - 67 MYA
Location: Asia  

  Homalocephale, a fairly small dinosaur, was discovered in 1969 in Mongolia. This was the only member of this bone-headed family that had been found with a body and skull until a 1996 discovery of an almost complete pacycephalosaur.

This dinosaur is another example of families of dinosaurs spreading between North America and Asia that evolved as they migrated. The design of this dinosaur's mouth seems to indicate it was a plant-eater.



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#58    frogfish

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 09:26 PM

Ceratosaurus
Ceratosaurus nasicornis
  
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Pronounced: sair-At-o-Saw-rus
Diet: Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means: "horned lizard"
Length: 20 feet (6 m)
Height: 8 feet (2.5 m)
Weight: 1 ton(1,000 kilos)
Time: Late Jurassic - 150 MYA  
Location: Western U.S.  

  Ceratosaurus was a medium sized meat-eater that lived at the same time as the larger Allosaurus in the last part of the Jurassic Period. What makes it different and distinctive is the large horn on top of its nose and the two horns over its eyes. About 100 years ago, when it was first discovered, it was one of the most well known dinosaurs. Another unusual feature is that Ceratosaurus had four fingers on its hands, instead of the more common three among the other large meat eaters.

Recently, the classification for Ceratosaurus has been questioned. It is being considered by some to be more closely associated with Carnosauria that Ceratosauria. An interesting footnote is that the Nanotyrannus type specimen was thought to be a Ceratosaurus when it was first being prepared.



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#59    frogfish

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Posted 17 May 2006 - 07:45 PM

Becklespinax

  user posted image
  
Pronounced: beck-ell-Spy-nax
Diet: Carnivore( meat-eater)
Name Means: "Beckle's Spined"
Length: 26 ft. (8 m)
Height: 9 ft. (3 m)
Weight: 1 ton (900 kilos)
Time: Early Cretaceous - 128 MYA    
Location: Europe  

  Becklespinax was a large meat eater from England that has caused much confusion among scientists. It was discovered way back in 1884 and has had several names since then. Unfortunately, very little of this dinosaur has been found, which only helps make things confusing. One thing that is known is that it had fairly tall spines on its back, which may have made it look like the North American dinosaur Acrocanthosaurus. However, it is not thought that they were actually related.

An interesting story associated with this dinosaur, although it can't be proven, is that Sir Richard Owen had the tall neural spines of this dinosaur when he was providing direction to Waterhouse Hawkins on how to design his sculptures. The famous Crystal Palace dinosaur sculptures, which still stand today in London, include what is known as the "Humpbacked Megalosaurus". This humped feature may be a result of Owen's interpretation that these neural spines belonged to Megalosaurus, as was believed in an early assignment of the specimen.
--------------
another of my favorites...Does look like Acro, eh?


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#60    Thunderbolt

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 11:24 AM

Torvosaurus
Torvosaurus tanneri
  
  
Pronounced: Tore-voe-Sore-us
Diet: Carnivore (Meat-Eater)
Name Means: "Savage Lizard"
Length: 40 feet (12 m)
Height: 14 feet (4.5 m)
Weight: 3 tons (2,700 kilos)
Time: Late Jurassic - 150 MYA
  
  
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  Torvosaurus was one of the largest, most ferocious meat-eating dinosaurs ever to walk the Earth. Its fossil bones show that it was not only big, but that it was also very strong. It appeared right after Allosaurus became extinct and would have been the top predator of its time.

Torvosaurus has had several different classifications within the theropod family. It is often compared to Allosaurus, but it was much bigger and appears to have been more closely related to the European megalosaurs. Similarities between Torvosaurus and Ceratosaurus have also been noted in studies of the fossils.
  
    

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