dryosaurus

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“…And for this zoo InGen can charge whatever they want. Two thousand dollars a day, ten thousand dollars a day…And then there is the merchandising. The picture books, T-shirts, video games, caps, stuffed toys, comic books, and pets.”

“Pets?”

“Of course. If InGen can make full size dinosaurs, they can also make pygmy dinosaurs as household pets. What child won’t want a little dinosaur as a pet? A little patented animal for their very own. InGen will sell millions of them…”

– Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton

Artist Francisco Iglesias Perianez takes the buyable pet dinosaur idea and creates this fantastic fan concept art. Who wouldn’t want to buy a dinosaur egg and hatch a little pet dinosaur of their very own?

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Carnegie Museum - Part 1

The first thing that greets visitors on the way to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History is an Apatosaurus statue—life-size, I believe. It certainly whets the appetite for all the nice dinosaur mounts in the exhibition hall. Just inside, there’s a fossil prep lab open for the public to see, including this little line of lambeosaurine skulls. Just ahead of that, a Herrerasaurus mount marks the entrance to the Hall of Dinosaurs. My inner ten-year-old may have taken over at about this juncture.

The phytosaur is a Redondasaurus, and it seems much bigger in person. I’d hate to find myself caught in a Triassic swamp with something like that. A few steps down is a Camarasaurus cast, mirroring in situ skeletons out west in Dinosaur National Monument. Lastly, on the cusp of the next, largest part of the hall, a dryosaur fleeing desperately from a Ceratosaurus because this is all dryosaurs ever did.

Next post, the Jurassic hall, including the Carnegie Diplodocus.

DRYOSAURUS
“Tree lizard”
Late Jurassic, 155-145 million years ago

Though classified as an iguanodont, Dryosaurus was smaller and more agile than its later relatives. Maxing out at about 14 feet long, this bipedal herbivore would’ve grazed the floodplains of Jurassic North America, outrunning predators with its superior speed. It was also among the earliest small business owners, partnering with its contemporary Washosaurus to open an unsuccessful chain of laundromats. Business collapsed during the in-unit craze of the early Cretaceous.

Almost forgot about this. The replacement figure for the previous submission, ripped straight from Noto et al. 2010. Or rather, the base was ripped straight from it, and I… modified it a bit.

Also, I know next to nothing about Mesozoic flora, so I mostly just traced over the plants and spruced them up a bit (heh).

The Oak lizard, Dryosaurus (1878)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Reptilia
Order : Ornithischia
Superfamily : Dryosauroidea
Family : Dryosauridae
Genus : Dryosaurus
Species : D. altus

  • Late Jurassic (155 - 145 Ma)
  • 4 m long and 90 kg (size)
  • Morisson formation, United States, Tendaguru formation, Tanzania (map)

Dryosaurus had a long neck, long, slender legs and a long, stiff tail. Its arms, however, with five fingers on each hand, were short. Known specimens were about 2.4 to 4.3 m long and weighed 77 to 91 kg. However, the adult size is unknown, as no known adult specimens of the genus have been found.

Dryosaurus had a horny beak and cheek teeth and, like other ornithopods, was a herbivore. Some scientists suggest that it had cheek-like structures to prevent the loss of food while the animal processed it in the mouth.

A quick and agile runner with strong legs, Dryosaurus used its stiff tail as a counterbalance. It probably relied on its speed as a main defense against carnivorous dinosaurs.

The teeth of Dryosaurus were, according to museum curator John Foster, characterized by “a strong median ridge on the lateral surface."Dryosaurus subsisted primarily on low growing vegetation in ancient floodplains.

A Dryosaurus hatchling found at Dinosaur National Monument in Utah confirmed that Dryosaurus followed similar patterns of craniofacial development to other vertebrates; the eyes were proportionally large while young and the muzzle proportionally short. As the animal grew, its eyes became proportionally smaller and its snout proportionally longer.

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I’m a Dinosaur - Dryosaurus