Posted 2 months ago

lostbeasts:

everydaypalaeontologist:

crownedrose:

Look, a big meat-eater! Is that a Tyrannosaurus rex?
A simple guide to telling the difference in large carnivorous theropod dinosaurs.

I’ve been in situations where I’ve witnessed, or have had someone ask me the question to whether that big theropod over there is a T. rex. Seeing as the Tyrannosaurus is one of the most well known dinosaurs on Earth, many people mistake other large meat-eating dinosaurs as the T. rex as well. The photos above showcase nine different large sized theropod dinosaurs, including Tyrannosaurus rex in the middle photo.

What is a theropod, you ask? To put it simply, theropoda is the suborder for the bipedal saurischian dinosaurs, which consists of the world’s favourite, T. rex, and is also the suborder which helps us link to the evolution of birds. Many people can’t tell straight away if the big skeleton they see on display is a T. rex or not until they look at the identification panel. If it looks to have a similar skull or a large skeletal body like T. rex, some people will pin it as such. This post is meant to help you see the differences in these guys for the next time you’re at the museum. Each photo above is the skull profile of a large theropod, and the descriptions will also include quick identification traits for the rest of the skeleton. How many can you identify?

1. Albertosaurus sarcophagus (photo source): Albertosaurus is commonly mistaken for a Tyrannosaurus because they are both in the same family: Tyrannosauridae. Albertosaurus was smaller than Tyrannosaurus, but shares the similar features of a large skull, heterodont teeth, and two digits on short forelimbs. On the top of the skull (above and slightly in front the eyes) are bony crests. As well, Albertosaurus is more slender than Tyrannosaurus, especially when you look at the lower legs. (full skeleton)

2. Allosaurus fragilis (photo source): Allosaurus may be one of the more common theropods mistaken for a T. rex that I’ve witnessed. Though smaller than the T. rex, the shape of an Allosaurus skull is flatter at the top, and also is decorated with horns above the eyes, along with a pair of ridges that went along the top of the nasal bones, meeting to the horns. Allosaurus as well had three digits on its forelimbs instead of two like Tyrannosaurus rex. (full skeleton)

3. Carcharodontosaurus saharicus (photo source): In Jurassic Park III, we witness a fight between T. rex and Spinosaurus. Though, do you want to know who who the true rival is? You guessed it: Carcharodontosaurus! (Both reining from what is now Northern Africa). Carcharodontosaurus is larger than T. rex, with three digits on it’s forelimbs (of decent length), a longer skull, and long serrated teeth. (full skeleton)

4. Carnotaurus sastrei (photo source): I’ve done a lot of research work on Carnotaurus the past few months, and when it comes to pathetic forelimbs, Carnotaurus definitely wins out compared to T. rex! Meaning “meat-eating bull”, Carnotaurus has two thick horns decorating its skull right above the eyes; definitely an appropriate name. The skull itself is bulky (and short in length) looking, until you look at the lower jaw that tends to be slender. It’s a very distinctive skull, but those two bull-like horns on the top of the skull and very short arms (don’t let Terra Nova’s bad rendition of the “Carno” fool you!) will help you quickly identify it. (full skeleton)

5. Tyrannosaurus rex (photo source): In centre is the skull of my favourite T. rex: Sue! Most people can recognise them by their iconic skeletons and thick/massive teeth and jaws, but you’d be surprised as well. With such a massive head and body, these dinosaurs were machines when it came to ripping apart carcasses. Then there’s those small forelimbs with two finger digits which are not as pathetic as the public thinks; they’re actually quite powerful! In the Tyrannosauridae family, T. rex is the largest. Most people know a Tyrannosaurus when they see one, but the skull is featured in the centre to show the differences in all nine animals listed here. They have long hind legs (especially compared to the skeleton proportion as a whole), and their skull is quite wide near the back, whereas the tip of the front part of the skull is more narrow; overall, the skull of T. rex is very robust. This structure helped T. rex to have great binocular vision (unlike how T. rex is depicted in Jurassic Park to have movement-based vision was just a fabrication). Like other theropods (and sharks), T. rex constantly replaced their teeth, which were also heterodont (meaning their teeth took on different shapes depending where they lay inside the jaws). (full skeleton)

6. Spinosaurus aegyptiacus (photo source): Believe it or not, I’ve seen people mistake Spinosaurus as a T. rex multiple times. I’ve been surrounded by dinosaurs my entire life, so I’m not sure how you can confuse two very different (and distinct) specimens. Spinosaurus has a large sail on its back, which are extensions of the vertebrae, and a long crocidillian-like snout. If you’ve ever watched Jurassic Park III, you’ll remember this guy being the main antagonist. (full skeleton)

7. Daspletosaurus torosus (photo source): Daspletosaurus is another good example of being mistaken for a T. rex. Daspletosaurus - just like Albertosaurus - is actually in the same family as Tyrannosaurus rex: Tyrannosauridae. Just like T. rex, Daspletosaurus is equipped with two finger digits ending with claws, short forelimbs (though not as short compared to T. rex), but was smaller compared to its North American cousin. Daspletosaurus also walked what is today western North America, but lived about 10 million years before Tyrannosaurus rex came onto the scene. The skull itself had crests near the eyes, and the ‘holes’ in the skull (aka orbit/eye socket, for example) were a bit different in shape compared to T. rex. Sometimes for closely related dinosaurs such as Daspletosaurus and T. rex, you must look closer and closer at detail, and one good way is by look at the shapes of those “holes”. Random note: this guy is the blurry dinosaur in my layout background. (full skeleton)

8. Giganotosaurus carolinii (photo source): This dinosaur is usually confused with Carcharodontosaurus as they are closely related, both belonging to the family Carcharodontosauridae. Giganotosaurus has a long skull (some have described it to me as almost “stretched”), is estimated to be the largest skull of any known theropod, and its teeth are different than Tyrannosaurus: shorter and more narrow. Many though do confuse this to be a T. rex, which is why it’s on the list! (full skeleton)

9. Ceratosaurus nasicornis (photo source): Ceratosaurus is one of my favourite theropods. Decorated with horns/crests above the eyes and a blade-like nasal horn (which is where its name comes from: “horned lizard), these dinosaurs lived in the Late Jurassic. The horns help easily identify these dinosaurs, along with its distinctively long and serrated teeth. Ceratosaurus was much smaller than the T. rex, had shorter forelimbs for its body (possessing three digits on each hand), and one of the more flexible theropods on this list. (full skeleton)

As I was entering the dinosaur names in google and flickr to get photos, I can’t tell you how many of these nine specimens came up in the search when I was not looking for them at that time! There are more theropods out there who get mistaken as a Tyrannosaurus, but the eight above are the ones I see this happen to the most. In the end, you can’t just look at the skull or just the rest of the body to clearly identify a dinosaur; you must take everything into account. Luckily, museums have those nice identification plates for the public to read, but hey, next time you may not need to read them!

If you’d like to know more detailed information about the theropods mentioned here, I am currently writing a series of posts (for Tumblr) called “Theropod Of The Day”. Daily posts (depending on my schedule) will give you quick and easy information on the dinosaurs listed above, and others that are not mentioned here! I’m hoping to get the series started next week, so keep a lookout for the posts, and track the tag “theropod of the day” on Tumblr!

Perfect post (and blog) is perfect.

bless you

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Posted 2 months ago

drawingdinosaurs:

lostbeasts:

grimchild replied to your post: “i don’t understand how feathered dinosaurs in the new jp would confuse…”:
Every other dinosaur is just as inaccurate as the raptors in jurassic park. The T. rex is hilariously bad.

off the top of my head i can’t think of anything wrong with it :/ or most of anything else, apart from maybe sizes and stuff

I’m pretty sure the head of the Tyrannosaurus is the wrong shape at least.

Its head is the wrong shape, it has Allosaurus-esque horns on its head, it lashed its tail around (even though theropod tails are rigidly connected and didn’t allow this movement), and it probably couldn’t keep up with a jeep.

Posted 6 months ago

cute-noise-factory:

Walking with Dinosaurs 2013

CGI & Scales appreciation <3

Once again, lovely visuals.

Posted 8 months ago
I don't know if this has any truth to it, but from what I heard the decision to add dialogue to Walking With Dinosaurs was made well after the majority of the film was already completed. Which doesn't justify it by any means, but if that's true than at least their initial intentions were good, I guess?
Anonymous asked

Yeah. I legitimately feel bad for the design teams that slaved away with the intention of making a great movie that actually felt like a film worthy of bearing the Walking With Dinosaurs name. The dinosaurs looked pretty great and up to date with the current information that we have for them (Except for integument, of course), and they look good, more importantly. The backdrops look good too! It’s just a shame that what I initially thought would be a good film ended in a trainwreck. 

Posted 8 months ago
Posted 9 months ago

palaeofail:

No question today, as I’m rather booked for the holidays.

Merry Christmas.

Posted 9 months ago

rhamphotheca:

Primeval Predators

These scientifically accurate toys are based on the half-billion-year-old fossils of the Burgess Shale from the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia. The ancestors of all animal groups appeared in the greatest evolutionary explosion of all time – the Big Bang of evolution – 500 million years ago. The best view we have of these first animal communities on Earth exists in the Burgess Shale fossils first discovered on Mt. Stephen in 1886. In 1975, Dr. Desmond Collins led the first ROM expedition to the Burgess Shale. He returned for 18 seasons and discovered new Burgess Shale fossil sites and collected many thousands of unique and bizarre fossils…

(find out more: Royal Ontario Museum)

* thanks to CrankyDinosaur for letting us know about this.

Finally, scientifically accurate prehistoric animal toyyys!

Here’s what I had as a child.

I really want those Primeval Predators things.

By the way, that box of old dinosaur/dragon/kaiju things is indeed labelled realistic dinosaurs. 

Posted 9 months ago

This concludes my coverage of this wonderful film about dinosaurs. But first, an actual personal note about why I don’t like this movie.

As a child, I never understood the concept of talking animals. I always wanted the animals depicted to stay true to the subject matter of their natural counterparts. When I watched Walking With Dinosaurs for the first time a long time ago, I was so taken with how well the narration meshed with the action taking place around the prehistoric animals because, for the most part, the actions of the animals spoke for themselves, and the narrator spoke on very general terms to talk to us about the evolutionary history of one species or to announce where an individual was going. The fact that people are talking over the actions of the dinosaurs and narrating everything the dinosaurs are doingis just cumbersome and redundant. Watching a Pachyrhinosaurus struggling on the ice and hearing the dinosaur’s voice or inner monologue or whatever say “I’m struggling on the ice!” is just completely jarring and distracts from the point of the narrative. It’s also stupid because it, like many forms of dinosaur media directed to kids, talks down to children by assuming that they absolutely need poop jokes and constant narration for them to be interesting. If you’re a child and you’re interested in dinosaurs, chances are you’ll be interested in watching a movie mostly because it has dinosaurs in it, with a narrator whose job is not to be blatantly obvious about what’s happening and/or make slightly raunchy jokes, but to actually provide exposition that enriches and enhances the movie to make it more understandable and, thus, easier to follow for a child. That’s the purpose that the narrator served in the original WWD, which, despite its scientific inaccuracies, was a masterful program in comparison to this childish charade of a film.

I haven’t seen it, but I’ve seen many clips, and it’s enough to tell me how bad it is. Thank you. 

Posted 9 months ago

Edmontosaurus’s cock’s comb and the Soft-Tissue Debate

In a war waged by All Yesterdays and many ardent fans of paleoart and prehistory, it’s being boldly stated that the presence of soft-tissue display organs and integument in dinosaurs was far more prevalent than previously thought. Gone are the shrink-wrapped dinosaurs of yester-year, and in their place are flamboyant dinosaurs covered in feathers, fat, and fiery colors. Recently, these depictions have gained a lot of traction, and a new discovery in paleontology makes the idea that a skeleton doesn’t present the complete image of an animal even more apparent to the few nay-sayers of the paleontology community that are left. 

This finding concerns Edmontosaurus regalis. This highly successful hadrosaur was an extremely common sight near the end of the Mesozoic era, and creatures like it roamed from Mexico to Mongolia at the time. I wouldn’t ordinarily do a post on it (though I did to a post on its relative Shantungosaurus) because, well… it just looks kind of drab. It’s one of the crestless hadrosaurs, animals far less cool and flamboyant than Parasaurolophus and its posse. Or was it?

This compelling new find suggests that Edmontosaurus did have enough street cred to sport a crest like its more hip relatives. Unearthed from the Red Willow river in Canada, the new specimen preserves the remains of a crest made of skin. It wasn’t hollow or made of bone, and thus cannot have served as the kind of sound system that the aforementioned Parasaurolophus may have used with its own crest. Edmontosaurus’s skull adornment has been likened to the crest of a rooster, and may have been used for sexual signaling in a similar fashion. 

I think it’s kind of ridiculous that this is considered such a big deal, though. It seems inevitable to me now that we’d find these sorts of display structures in dinosaurs, which are known to implement ornaments like frills, horns and crests in sexual selection. We all knew that it was going to happen sometime, so it just doesn’t seem to be that huge of a deal to me.

Still, it changes Edmontosaurus’s overall look greatly. The crest does a stupendous job of demonstrating that, no matter how much we may think we know a dinosaur based on skeletal remains, we can never truly know it the way its contemporaries did. And with that, I end this belated update.

Posted 9 months ago

NARRATOR: And so, having found the real truth about dinosaur integument, the young blogger went to jump off of a very high building, not quite content with the way things were.

Posted 9 months ago

Oh, in case you didn’t know.

They also put current pop music in the walking with dinosaurs 3d film with the voiceovers.

Good. I’m glad.

Posted 9 months ago
For anon.. dinosaurs are defined not by a set of traits, but by descent. Basically, if an animal descended from the animal defined to be the dinosaur ancestor, it's a dinosaur. That ancestor is defined as the most recent common ancestor of Triceratops and modern birds. Anything not descended from that ancestor, such as pterosaurs, crocodilians, and dimetrodon, is not a dinosaur. All dinosaurs do share certain traits, but it's not how the word is defined.
kororaa asked

lostbeasts:

yup!!! weird how it’s just Triceratops though, unless there’s a reason for that

I think I might know why Triceratops is used to mark that place in phylogeny. I’m going to tentatively say that it’s because Triceratops is a very well-known, derived ornithischian from the end of the Mesozoic, and we thus have a lot of data on it all while knowing that it was very advanced.

Posted 9 months ago

Wow, a couple of reblogs and I already feel like a sellout.

Here’s what’s next on this blog. 

  1. The finale to the fossil Pokemon series 
  2. A post about the feeding habits of Gastornis, which will also be a Cenozoic post.
  3. A post about the soft-tissues of Edmontosaurus, and the crest that it was found to have.
Posted 9 months ago

palaeofail:

Ladies and gentlemen, conservapedia!

I really, really need to do a post on  Ropen. I hope you all think that’s a good idea. Now that I think about it, Ropen also sounds like the name of a Godzilla monster.

But seriously, look at this crap.

Posted 9 months ago
lostbeasts:

you sure about that

I&#8217;m going to have to say that I&#8217;m not sure that I&#8217;ll believe that I&#8217;m there either. Look, you messed it up. Let me present to you Zanabazarjunior&#8217;s guide to not making a shoddy (dinosaur/prehistoric animal/animal) movie. Sponsored by Coca Cola. Freshness in a can.
Make sure everything is scientifically accurate.
Make a convincing plot.
Don&#8217;t ever, under any circumstance, give any dinosaurs individual f***ing voICEOVERS COME ON GUYS WAS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO NOT GOOF LIKE THAT? IT UTTERLY RUINS THE MOVIE&#8217;S IMMERSION AND MAKES IT SO MUCH LESS CONVINCING THAT IT&#8217;S APPALLING. APPARENTLY, THIS IS ONLY FOR THE AMERICAN VERSION. WHY DO WE NEED THIS? I DON&#8217;T KNOW. BUT IT RUINS THE MOVIE COMPLETELY AND I&#8217;M NOT GOING TO GO SEE IT THANK YOU YOU&#8217;RE WELCOME GOODBYETHISHASBEENANORIGINALZANABAZARJUNIORPOSTSPONSOREDBYCOCACOLAFRESHNESSNOWDIABETESLATER.
Have a good opening sequence.

lostbeasts:

you sure about that

I’m going to have to say that I’m not sure that I’ll believe that I’m there either. Look, you messed it up. Let me present to you Zanabazarjunior’s guide to not making a shoddy (dinosaur/prehistoric animal/animal) movie. Sponsored by Coca Cola. Freshness in a can.

  1. Make sure everything is scientifically accurate.
  2. Make a convincing plot.
  3. Don’t ever, under any circumstance, give any dinosaurs individual f***ing voICEOVERS COME ON GUYS WAS IT REALLY THAT HARD TO NOT GOOF LIKE THAT? IT UTTERLY RUINS THE MOVIE’S IMMERSION AND MAKES IT SO MUCH LESS CONVINCING THAT IT’S APPALLING. APPARENTLY, THIS IS ONLY FOR THE AMERICAN VERSION. WHY DO WE NEED THIS? I DON’T KNOW. BUT IT RUINS THE MOVIE COMPLETELY AND I’M NOT GOING TO GO SEE IT THANK YOU YOU’RE WELCOME GOODBYETHISHASBEENANORIGINALZANABAZARJUNIORPOSTSPONSOREDBYCOCACOLAFRESHNESSNOWDIABETESLATER.
  4. Have a good opening sequence.