cenomanian

Mongolia of the Cretaceous

Late Cretaceous Mongolia is one of the richest locations for dinosaur fossil hunting, and a great variety of dinosaurs are known, from the familiar Velociraptor and Protoceratops to the utter weirdness of Deinocheirus and Achillobator. This section, bordered by Vista View to the east and the aquarium and Synapsid Alley to the south, showcases animals from four formations - the Bayan Shireh Formation of Cenomanian Burkhant, the Djadochta Formation of Omnogovi, Nemegt Formation of Omnogovi,  and the Iren Dabasu Formation of Inner Mongolia (technically China, but it’s only fifty miles away).

The bigger animals are found to the north. The Therizinosaurus, Alioramus, and Gigantoraptor exhibits are more densely forested. A boardwalk runs on one edge of the Therizinosaurus exhibit, bringing you closer to their eye level, while on the other side you can see their majesty from the ground - if you can see them in the trees. In contrast, the Nemegt Prairie paddock, shared by Gallimimus and Saurolophus, is noticeably more open. In between the two is a communal paddock. We rotate the larger plant-eaters into there so we can safely clean the exhibits, and sometimes to let them meet with each other - they live in different habitats and normally wouldn’t.

In the middle of the exhibit is the “Duck Pond”, a swamp shared by Ol’ Sam and a flock of Teviornis. Don’t worry, they won’t fly away - their wings are clipped and they spent most of their time wading anyways. To the south of the pond are three chickenparrots from Djadochta, and to the east live alvarezsaurs, ceratopsians, dromaeosaurids and troodontids. Each of these is open and scrubby. Of course Velociraptor is among these - everyone flocks to see them. They probably get the most attention out of everything here.

Animals here:

  • Achillobator
  • Alioramus
  • Citipati
  • Deinocheirus
  • Gallimimus
  • Gigantoraptor
  • Khaan
  • Oviraptor
  • Protoceratops
  • Saurolophus
  • Saurornithoides
  • Shuvuuia
  • Teviornis
  • Therizinosaurus
  • Velociraptor
  • Zanabazar

sylph0fl1ght  asked:

Why did the middle Jurassic sauropod "bite leaves off with big strong teeth and boxy reinforced skulls" suite of adaptations disappear after the cenomanian? Did biting sauropods get pushed out by the small-toothed titanosaurs on top of whatever happened during the cenomanian extinction event?

No idea. Try the Saurian discord, they’re pretty smart.

Australovenator wintonensis was one of a theropod clade known as Megaraptora, which has been at the center of a number of taxonomic realignments in the past couple years. Current analyses place them within Tyrannosauroidea, so although the matter is far from resolved; here they are.

Australovenator first achieved notoriety (albeit not in its own guise) as the ‘Polar/Dwarf Allosaur’ of Walking With Dinosaurs. Known only from ankle material at the time, it wasn’t until further analyses and the description of more material that it was found to be entirely distinct from the allosaurid lineage. It is part of a radiation within the megaraptoran clade which includes the other Australian megaraptoran Rapator and the Japanese Fukuiraptor. The holotype was popularly nicknamed 'Banjo’, after Australian folk lyricist Banjo Paterson, the author of “Waltzing Matilda”.

A gracile carnivore, Australovenator seems to have measured in at about 20 feet (6 meters) in length, its most obvious means of hunting being the large claws on each hand. Its fossils are known from the Aptian-Cenomanian Winton Formation, which represents a river delta/estuarine environment at the extremity of what then would have been the great inland Eromanga Sea.

Buitreraptor gonzalezorum

By Nobu Tamura, CC BY-SA 3.0

Name: Buitreraptor gonzalezorum

Name Meaning: Vulture Raider 

First Described: 2005

Described By: Makovicky, Apesteguía, and Agnolin

ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Coelurosauria, Tyrannoraptora, Maniraptoriformes, Maniraptora, Pennaraptora, Paraves, Eumaniraptora, Dromaeosauroidea, Dromaeosauridae, Unelagiinae

So I have my thesis due on this calendar day and as such I am currently in the middle of pulling an all-nighter (if daylight has broken and I haven’t slept and have no plans of sleeping, does that mean I have successfully pulled the all-nighter? I like to think so… Anywho the moral is that I am tired.) So today’s dinosaur comes early because I need a break from thinking about sexual isolation in the seed beetle Callosobruchus maculatus and how sad it is that the lady at starbucks gave me a small regular hot chocolate rather than the large white mocha that I ASKED FOR. So on to today’s dinosaur. 

Buitreraptor was a smaller dromaeosaur, fairly closely related to Austroraptor. It was about 1.5 meters long and .5 meters high. It was found in the Candeleros Formation, Patagonia, Argentina. It lived from the Cenomanian to the Turonian ages of the Late Cretaceous period, about 94 million years ago. It had a very slim, flat, and long snout, with a lot of very small teeth without serrations or cutting edges. Rather, they were grooved, recurved and flattened. This probably means that it may have been piscivorous, utilizing that snout to feed on fish and other small marine creatures. This skull mimicked its whole body, which was long and slender. The fact that it lived in South America is interesting, as the continent had split from the northern landmasses where other dromaeosaurids are primarily found. Buitreraptor is one of a few southern raptors, who all have similar, different characteristics from their northern relatives. This indicates that Buitreraptor and its relatives were more closely related to each other than their distant, more famous, relatives. It lived alongside very huge animals such as the carcharodontosaurids Giganotosaurus and Mapusaurus, and probably served as their prey. 

Sources: 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buitreraptor

Shout out goes to jurassiraptor!

beth-matthews  asked:

I hope it is permitted to ask: how is the Spinosaurus doing in the Blood Pits of the Birthday Unending? I was very excited when he was brought in.

HE SWIMS.

OH, HOW HE SWIMS.

HE SWIMS, AND HE DREAMS OF CENOMANIAN SEAS, WHICH WERE THICK WITH LIFE AND SWEET WITH SALT, AND THE BLOOD PIT TASTES SO MUCH LIKE HOME.  SO MUCH LIKE HOME.

HE MISSES IT, SOMETIMES, THE CENOMANIAN SKY ABOVE HIM, THE VOICES OF HIS KIN NEARBY.  WHO WOULD NOT MISS THEIR HOME, WERE THEY TAKEN SO VERY FAR FROM IT?  WHO DOES NOT?  WE ARE ALL TIME TRAVELERS, HUMAN AND DINOSAUR AND BIRTHDAY ALIKE, AND ONCE WE HAVE CLOSED THE DOOR ON WHAT WAS, WE CAN NEVER RETURN TO IT.

BUT DO NOT WEEP FOR OUR TIME TRAVELER, EVEN AS WE DO NOT WEEP FOR YOU.  HE HAS SEEN SUCH WONDERS, AND WHEN HE TRAVELS BEYOND BIRTHDAYS, TO WALK A WORLD WHERE HIS KIN ARE WAITING, HE WILL HAVE SUCH STORIES TO TELL THEM, BENEATH THE LOST AND LINGERING CENOMANIAN MOON.