Owenodon hoggii

By José Carlos Cortés on @ryuukibart

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Name: Owenodon hoggii

Name Meaning: Owen’s tooth

First Described: 2009

Described By: Galton

Classification: Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Genasauria, Neornithischia, Cerapoda, Ornithopoda, Iguanodontia, Dryomorpha, Ankylopollexia, Styracosterna

Owenodon is another one of those “used to be Iguanodon” taxa from Durlston Bay, Dorset, England. It dates back to the Berriasian age of the Early Cretaceous, about 143 million years ago, and is known from a lower jaw that was then assigned to Iguanodon. The jaw itself was damaged during preparation, and then freed from rock via acid bath, so that tells you something about the general state of the fossil. It was found to be more derived than Camptosaurus, but less so than Iguanodon, and thus a new genus was born.



Shout out goes to @when-dinosaurs-ruled-the-earth


i purchased 4 horrendous models from a museum today of what i believe to be a spinosaurus, velociraptor/ambiguous raptor, pteranodon and a pteranodon skeleton (pteranodon longiceps judging from the crest). they are ugly and horrible and are my special children. anyway here they are terrorizing the species they’re malformed doppelgangers of.

“The demon-bird Austroraptor howls against the full moon.”
Memo Kosemen

30 days left to donate to Tangent Realms: The Worlds of C.M. Kösemen on Indiegogo and claim your awesome backer rewards! Watch the trailer at this link and DONATE TODAY!: http://bit.ly/TRindiegogo 

The 'Pteranodon complex' and dismantling our understanding of the most famous flying reptile
Writing about pterosaurs can be difficult because so much of their classification is disputed. The number of pterosaur species, their assignment to different groups, appropriate clade nomenclature and the arrangement of branches in the pterosaur tree are all contested, sometimes to polarising extents.

In recent years one of our most famous and abundant pterosaurs has been carved up into multiple species, but is this overzealous taxonomic splitting, or is there more to it than that?

World's Largest Megaraptor

Raptors are easily one of the most popular types of dinosaur. With their terrifying sickle killer claws and ultra-fast running speeds, it’s easy to see why. However, there exists a far more terrifying group known as the megaraptors (“giant thieves”). As the name implies, they are essentially huge versions of the regular types, with murderous claws more than 30 centimeters (12 inches) in length.

Keep reading


We’re all used to the common depiction of sabertoothed cats like the famous Smilodon. A fairly standard-looking feline face with protruding teeth, something like this:

It’s a look so ingrained in paleoart and pop culture that it’s even become visual shorthand for making cartoon creature designs look “prehistoric”.

Except… it might be completely wrong.

We’ve all been assuming that these saberteeth were basically tusks, like those we see in modern animals such as walruses and elephants. But it turns out that tusks have a very different chemical structure to normal teeth so they can withstand constant exposure to the environment – and Smilodon’s fangs don’t show any of those adaptations.

There’s a detailed explanation of this idea and the science behind it over at this blog post. It isn’t an academically published theory yet (although I’d love to see somebody do a proper study), but it’s still very plausible and interesting to think about.

The tl;dr version: it’s actually more likely that Smilodon covered its teeth with big jowly lips to protect them. Which means it probably looked like a feline version of a St. Bernard. Or… sort of like Chester Cheetah.

Lead researcher Dr Steve Brusatte said it was “the single most beautiful fossil I have had the privilege to work on.”

“ …It will blow some people’s minds to realise that those dinosaurs in the movies would have been even weirder, and I think even scarier - like big fluffy birds from hell.”

“So maybe [wings] did not evolve for flight - perhaps they evolved as a display structure, or to protect eggs in the nest. Or maybe this animal was starting to move around in the trees and was able to glide.”

Dr Bill Sellers from the University of Manchester added these details about the origin of birds. “It doesn’t look like [this dinosaur] could fly, although that needs more investigation. "However it does mean that we now know about a huge range of these early bird-like dinosaurs; some species are running around on the ground and some are experimenting with early flight.”

“[This] gives us a snapshot of what life was like at the earliest stages of bird evolution. China is the epicentre of palaeontology right now. There are [museum] storerooms full of new dinosaur fossils that have never been studied before. This is the most exciting time maybe in the history of palaeontology.”


Late Triassic too hot for dinosaurs
An in-depth study of fossils from Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, has revealed temperature fluctuation and unstable environment during the Triassic Period. This likely prevented the diversification of larger dinosaurs until 30 million years after their appearance.

Early dinosaurs of Late Triassic lacked diversity for an unusually long time. Fluctuating climate could have been the reason why.
Image credit: @nathan-e-rogers

Awesome Megafauna Skulls!

My last weird and awesome skull post was really popular, so I decided to do one about something else I’m excessively interested in: Megafauna! This isn’t at all a comprehensive list of the coolest ones, not by a long shot, so you should definitely look up some of the BBC docs on Youtube or google ones from your continent!

The cave bear! (N. America)

‘Hell Pigs’ (N. America) Actually entelodonts, unrelated to pigs at all and more closely tied to hippos and cetaceans! Dat sagittal crest amirite

The Stag Moose  @allosauroid brought to my attention that this is the skull of the Irish elk, Megaloceros, not a stag moose! (Eurasia) Which stood 6 foot at the shoulder/withers

Platybelodon (widespread) Google artist renditions of these guys, you won’t be disappointed

Barbourofelis! (N. America) Like a smaller smilodon, with much cooler teeth. Look at those incisors!

Megatherium (S. America) Primitive sloths the size of elephants!

Titanus Walleri (N. America) Other continents had equally large if not larger ‘terror birds’

Paraceratherium (Eurasia) One of the largest terrestrial mammals we’ve ever discovered. It was actually a species of hornless rhino! Google artist recs of these guys, too

Diprotodon (Australia) The largest known marsupial, which was the size of a hippopotamus and stood 6 feet tall

I saved Glyptodon (S. America) for last, because these things have some of the weirdest skulls I’ve ever seen. They were technically armadillos, but reached the size of a Volkswagen Beetle!


Diapsida: The Cladogram

Version 1.11 · 20 March 2016

Attention: This post will be updated should someone here correct a mistake I made. Please consider reblogging from the original post to get the latest update.

After one exhausting week and tons of feedback from paleonerds and graphic designers, the cladograms are finally here! These cladograms explain the relationships between notable genera within the group Diapsida which encompasses all modern reptiles including birds.

The PDF version is downloadable by donation here, and merchandises such as posters and stickers are now available from my store.

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Will Art for Science · Shop · Patreon

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Gay Transylvanian Baron Paleontologist Spy
Now fallen into shadow, the Romania-born Baron Franz Nopcsa was a groundbreaking scientist, adventurer -- and would-be king
By Cristian Movilă,Vanessa Veselka


I just read this article in the Smithsonian Magazine and I just

This is a real person who existed. His name was Baron Franz Nopcsa von Felo-Szilvas. He had a castle, Sacel Castle, near Deva, Romania, which is in Transylvania. 

He hypothesized that dinosaurs were related to birds in 1906. THIS IS LITERALLY A CENTURY BEFORE JURASSIC PARK CAME OUT. Remember: around the time JP was released, there was STILL a lot of debate as to whether dinosaurs were “really” related to birds. In Nopcsa’s time, everybody was still in the tail-dragging big slow lizard camp. 

Did I mention he was hella gay? he was really hella gay. His first lover was Count Louis Draskovic. Later, he’d shack up with his young Albanian secretary, Bajazid Elmaz Doda, who he said was “the only person who has truly loved me.” He named a species of prehistoric turtle after the guy: Kallakobotion bajazidi. They lived together for 30 years.

Poor guy also probably had bipolar disorder–his work was characterized by periods of frenzied fieldwork, and then he’d have to retreat into isolation for weeks due to an illness he’d describe as “shattered nerves.” 

So yeah let’s remember this pioneer of paleontology because he’s cool as heck.