spinosaurids

SPINOSAURUS
“Spine lizard”
Early-late Cretaceous, 112-97 million years ago

Spinosaurus was big. Very big. The-longest-flesh-eating-animal-to-ever-walk-the-earth big. Even based on more conservative estimates of about 49 feet in length, it readily beats Giganotosaurus, Carcharodontosaurus, and Tyrannosaurus rex. And according to new research, Spinosaurus was also an able swimmer, snaring prey on land and at sea with its slender, crocodile-like jaws. Scientists have previously proposed that its elaborate sail was used for thermoregulation or sexual display, but based on its newly revised, almost quadrupedal stature, it is now widely accepted that Spinosaurus was just desperately trying to look taller.

Crocodylo-Month, Day 13: Sarcosuchus

(Image source)

Sarcosuchus, which lived in South America and Africa during the Early Cretaceous, was the biggest crocodylomorph to have ever lived, rivaled only by a few other species.  Its skull alone could exceed five feet in length, and the whole animal is believed to have grown up to 40 feet long.

Sarcosuchus was first discovered in 1966, but the holotype remains were very fragmentary, consisting mostly of teeth, scutes, and vertebrae.  It wasn’t until the turn of the 21st century that Sarcosuchus became more completely known, when six more complete specimens were found.  This kicked off a media frenzy in which Sarcosuchus was given the sensational nickname of “SuperCroc”, and was constantly portrayed in pitched battles with Suchomimus, a spinosaurid theropod that lived in the same time and place, and that had been discovered only a few years prior.

This image by Raul Martin is probably the most iconic depiction of Sarcosuchus.  It’s interesting - these two animals have been well-known to science for fairly short times, but the battle between them has reached almost “Tyrannosaurus vs. Triceratops” levels of fame.

Would these animals have fought?  Probably not as often as the paleoartistic record would have you believe.  Suchomimus’s narrow jaws were suited for fish-catching, while Sarcosuchus probably hunted large land-dwelling prey, so they probably weren’t in direct competition for food.  They probably wouldn’t have fought unless one of them was desperate.

Sarcosuchus had a big lump on the end of its nose.  This structure is also present in modern gharials, and is used by males as a sexual signaling device.  However, all known specimens of Sarcosuchus had these lumps, meaning that it was likely not sexually dimorphic, and that it had some other, as-yet-unknown purpose.

Sarcosuchus was not a direct ancestor of modern crocodilians.  It belonged to Pholidosauridae, a group of crocodylomorphs that went extinct midway through the Cretaceous period.

Here we go with a personal take of the Brazilian spinosaurid Irritator. And yes, it is feathered. Please, leave me alone.

Irritator is a genus of spinosaurid dinosaur that lived in the early Cretaceous Period (Albian stage), around 110 million years ago. Current estimations indicate a length of 8 meters and a weight of 2-3 tons. It was found in Brazil. Irritator was a theropod with an unusually shaped crest at the rear of its head, and probably ate fish. So far the only fossil that has been found was an 80 centimeter long fossil skull in the Romualdo Member, a layer member of the Brazilian Santana formation. This skull strongly resembles the skulls of Suchomimus and Spinosaurus. The genus is often regarded today as identical (synonymous) with Angaturama, which lived in the same time and the same place as Irritator.

Irritable, 2012.

Coloured with Tria Markers and pencils. Based on grey headed and Campbell albatrosses

References: Felipe A. Elias

Links: http://smnt2000.deviantart.com/art/Irritable-320298963http://ktboundary-smnt2000.blogspot.it/2012/08/irritable-aka-irritator.html

SUCHOMIMUS
“Crocodile mimic”
Early Cretaceous, 121-113 million years ago

Suchomimus was a smaller relative of Spinosaurus, though it was still 36 feet in length! It had a long, thin skull full of snaring teeth, suggesting it dined primarily on fish – a plentiful resource in its then-swampy western Africa habitat. Its name means “crocodile mimc,” because crocodiles run on two legs and roar now.

Baryonyx walkeri

My version of a strange, piscivorous theropod dinosaur that lived around 130 to 125 million years ago, in the Early Cretaceous of Europe: Baryonyx. A member of the Spinosaurid family, one Baryonyx specimen was found with evidence of fish scales in the area of the stomach, and was also associated with some Iguanodon bones; I’ve portrayed it here as if about to grab the fish Scheenstia, while a lone Iguanodon forages in the distance. Two pterosaurs known as Istiodactylus fly overhead.

The Natural History Museum in London produced a great short video about the discovery of Baryonyx, which can be seen here:

http://youtu.be/94jLUmbqyMQ

An excellent skeletal drawing of Baryonyx, by the ever-rigorous Scott Hartman, can be found here:

http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/theropods/baryonyx


I had set myself a personal goal this year of making a new digital painting for each issue of Prehistoric Times Magazine, and this is the final image to complete the series. I’m also hoping to create a new piece of digital music for each new image I make – sort of an ongoing multimedia paleoart project – and the soundtrack for this painting can be found here at my SoundCloud page:
https://soundcloud.com/oviraptor-space-program/baryonyx

And a higher res version of the image, here:

http://microcosmicecology.deviantart.com/art/Baryonyx-walkeri-482440269

Please do not reproduce or use without permission, and thanks for viewing (and listening)!

#pterosaur ptuesday Tupuxuara leonardii! #sciart #paleoart #illustration

T.leonardii was a Thalassodromoid Pterodactyloid Pterosaur from Brazil’s Albian (early Cretaceous) Santana formation.

The Santana formation was once a vast shallow inland sea rich with marine life, including the first known marine turtle Santanachelys and many species of pterosaurs and even Spinosaurid dinosaurs.

Image source

There were three known species of Tuxupara, differing mainly in crest shape. It was likely piscavourus and its scleral rings indicate it was probably diurnal as well.

sources

[1] [2]  [3]

ICHTHYOVENATOR
“Fish hunter”
Early Cretaceous, 125-112 million years ago

This Asian spinosaurid grew to between 25 and 30 feet long. Its distinctive silhouette featured two separate sails, unlike the larger and single-sailed Spinosaurus. One theory is that Ichthyovenator initially had one complete sail, but thought the notch looked “hardcore” and didn’t know when to stop shaving.

skeletaldrawing.com
There's something fishy about the new Spinosaurus

Today, after weeks of rampant internet speculation the new-look  Spinosaurus was revealed. And it certainly didn’t disappoint: the paper by Ibrahim et al. musters a range of evidence from bone density, bone isotope data, facial innervation, osteology, etc., to suggest that Spinosaurus not only was a fish-eater (i.e. piscivorous) but was adaptive to that lifestyle to a greater degree than other known spinosaurids. Not only do they claim that Spinosaurus spent most of its life swimming in the water with adaptations that would rival early whales, but Ibrahim et al. specifically claim that the altered limb proportions would require Spinosaurus to have been an obligate quadruped on land, a first for a theropod. Unfortunately, there seems to be something fishy with those new proportions…

Acrocanthosaurus atokensis

Source: http://www.dinosauriaonline.com/Acrocanthosaurus.html

NameAcrocanthosaurus atokensis 

Name Meaning: Atoka High Spined Lizard 

First Described: 1950

Described By: Stovall & Langston 

ClassificationDinosauria, Saurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Tetanurae, Orionides, Avetheropoda, Carnosauria, Allosauroidea, Allosauria, Carcharodontosauria, Charcharodontosauridae

Alright this decidedly non-sauropod was from the Antlers Formation of Oklahoma and the Twins Mountains Formation from Texas in the United Stats. It lived from the Aptian to Albian stages of the Early Creatceous, about 116 to 110 million years ago. It grew up to 11.5 meters in length. This guy is famous because, like the spinosaurids, it had really high spines on its back. It probably supported a hump due to the markings on the lowers spines that show attachment for muscles. This hump could have been used for temperature exchange or used to store fats and other energy sources, or it could have been a display object for mating and territory. It probably served multiple purposes, perhaps storing fat which required a lot more eating to maintain a really large hump, so if you had one it showed that you could hunt well - attracting mates for baby time. This guy was a huge predator and definitely the largest in its time and place. It had very large holes (fenestra) in its skull to offset the weight of it. It was a fairly basal Carcharodontosaurid. It was featured as one of the large predators in the game Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, where the below image is from, which for the record is my favorite game of all time and when my copy of it broke I felt like my world had ended why the hell are the only available copies over $200 I don’t have that kind of money I’m a college student

Source: http://users2.ml.mindenkilapja.hu/users/voros993/uploads/007.jpg

Anyway back on topic: It had very long forelimbs compared to most other large theropods but they couldn’t swing forward far, unable to even scratch the guy’s neck, so it was probably not used to capture prey. But they could retract to the body strongly, so they were probably used to hold the prey when it was grabbed by the mouth. Its very long digits and claws probably aided in this process. It had a very good sense of smell. There are trackways associated with the animal in Texas. It would have lived with Deinonychus and Tenontosaurus, as well as the sauropods Astrodon and Sauropseidon

Sources: 

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/a/acrocanthosaurus.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acrocanthosaurus#Discovery_and_naming

Shout out goes to maroogundy!

Austroraptor cabazai

Source: http://paleo-studies.tumblr.com/post/18364205746/austroraptor-information-sheet

Name: Austroraptor cabazai 

Name Meaning: Southern Thief 

First Described: 2008

Described By: Novas

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

Austroraptor was a fairly large species of raptor from the Bajo de Santa Rosa locality of the Allen Formation, in Río Negro, Argentina. It lived in the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago. It actually is on the upper end of dromaeosaurid size, growing up to 5 meters long and 1.5 meters tall. Only Achillobator and Utahraptor approach its length. It is also the largest dromaeosaur found in the Southern Hemisphere. Its known from a partial skull fragment and partial skeletal remains. It had relatively short front limbs, similar to Tianyuraptor and Mahakala. It had conical, non-serrated teeth like spinosaurids. It had a long, narrowing skull, rather than a box like one like most dromaeosaurids. It lived alongside many early mammals, pterosaurs and the titanosaurids Saltasaurus and Rocasaurus, which it may have eaten. 

Sources:

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/a/austroraptor.html

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

Shout out goes to edorable-ginger!

Jurassic Park: Animal Bios #10: Dilophosaurus

One of the most iconic dinosaur depictions in history, it’s Dilophosaurus wetherilli.

One of the earliest theropod dinosaurs, Dilophosaurus’ likeness is known and loved by all. Although we love Jurassic Park’s portrayal of Dilophosaurus, it did not have an extendable neck frill in life, or spit venom. It was also a much larger animal than portrayed in the film, reaching lengths of around 20 feet. Dilophosaurus’ distinguishing feature was that of two crests on the top of its skull, for which it was named. It also had a notch in its snout typically seen in spinosaurids, although Dilophosaurus is an unclassified neotheropod. This notch probably existed because of the weak connection between the premaxillary and maxillary bones in the skull. One of the reasons this dinosaur is so recognizable is because of the Jurassic Park franchise, so we have Spielberg to thank for showing the world this wonderful creature (even if a few creative liberties were taken in its portrayal). Because of its posession of deadly venom in the Jurassic Park franchise, some fans have replaced this iteration of the anima’s species name with “venenifer” as a tribute to Crichton’s creative portrayal of the dinosaur.

NAME MEANING: Two-Crested Lizard
DIET: Carnivorous
TEMPORAL RANGE: Early Jurassic Period
LOCATION: Arizona, USA
HEIGHT: 10ft (3m)
LENGTH: 20ft (6m)
WEIGHT: 1t (2000lbs)


Within the Jurassic Park universe

In the novels

Dilophosaurus was cloned by InGen on Isla Sorna for Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Though, as we know, the park failed, and all specimens on Isla Nublar were killed in the subsequent bombings. The specimens on Isla Sorna were left to live on their own. In the novels, the Dilophosaurus are portrayed as the correct size, and they do not posess neck frills, although they still spit venom, which contains 7 enzymes.

APPEARANCE: Initially, it was thought that there were two “types” of Dilophosaurus - Both had bright yellow with light green underbellies, and black, leopard-like spots everywhere on the body. The crests are red with black stripes. One “type” tended to have darker crests, and one “type” was visibly smaller than the other. It is discovered later that this was sexual dimorphism.
BEHAVIOR: Reclusive creatures, tend to keep to themselves. They could be seen in the park drinking from rivers and emitting soft hooting cries. Very dangerous if confronted while hunting. The animal will blind its prey with venom, and then rip them open and devour them violently.

Jurassic Park (1990)

In Jurassic Park, the Dilophosaurus is first seen on the park tour, when Dr. Grant, Sattler, and Malcolm see an individual drinking from a river and making soft hooting noises. The endorsement teams later learn that InGen found out the hard way that the dinosaurs were poisonous - one Dilophosaurus had spit at a handler. After the incident, Jurassic Park staff attempted to remove the venom sacs from the animals, but they could not locate or remove them without doing an autopsy, which InGen was against due to the cost of creating the dinosaurs. The Dilophosaurus are not seen again until later, when Dennis Nedry got lost while trying to smuggle dinosaur embryos from the park. Instead of arriving at the docks, he arrived at the river, near the Dilophosaurus enclosure. After Nedry left his car to investigate the area and began to head back, he heard the animal’s distinct hooting call behind him. As he turned, he was blinded and ripped open by the large dinosaur, and then killed when it closed its jaws around his head. Later in the novel, Dr. Grant spots two Dilophosaurus in a mating ritual, which is curious, because it is claimed that no frog DNA was used in the cloning of the park’s Dilophosaurus. After the events of the novel, all remaining Dilophosaurus were killed in the Isla Nublar napalm bombings.

In the films

InGen

Similarly to the novel Dilophosaurus’ origins, the film-canon dinosaurs were cloned on Isla Sorna, and shipped to Isla Nublar for Jurassic Park. Unlike many of the species created by InGen, Dilophosaurus was one of the few actually present on the island when the park failed. The Dilophosaurus on Nublar were one of the newest attractions, and were therefore still small and juvenile, according to Laura Sorkin’s notes in Jurassic Park: The Game (which is considered film-canon). When Hurricane Clarissa struck Isla Sorna, the staff evacuated and all Dilophosaurus were left to survive on their own, although they are not sighted on the island in The Lost World: Jurassic Park or Jurassic Park III.

*Note: The lighter colouration of the “female Dilophosaurus” depicted here is fan speculation and should not be taken as canon.

APPEARANCE: Olive green, with darker green blotches and white striping on the body, tail, and crests. The frill is bright yellow and red. Colouring could have changed as they grew, as the specimens seen in the film are juvenile.
BEHAVIOR: Like in the novel, are reclusive and shy. They don’t even show themselves to the endorsement team in the film. Although small, they are vicious and deadly, extending their frills in a threat display, spitting venom in the eyes of their prey, blinding them, and promptly devouring them.

Masrani

It is assumed that Masrani Global either created their own Dilophosaurus, or captured some of InGen’s old specimens. It is extremely likely that they are an attraction in Jurassic World.

Jurassic Park (1993)

The portrayal of Dilophosaurus in the 1993 film Jurassic Park is what gave it its fame. In the film, the Dilophosaurus paddock is the first attraction witnessed by the Jurassic Park endorsement team on Isla Nublar, during the tour. However, no individuals show themselves, much to Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler’s disappointment. Later in the film, while Dennis Nedry is attempting to smuggle dinosaur embryos from the island, he loses his way and crashes his jeep. While attempting to tie an anchor to free his stuck car, a small Dilophosaurus observes him curiously, evading his sight and making small chirping noises. When Nedry goes to return to the car, the animal makes a loud, bird-like noise, and Nedry turns to see it standing in front of him, cocking its head at him curiously. Nedry is relieved at first, thinking the Dilophosaurus may have been a larger dinosaur. He proceeds to talk to it like a dog, even throwing a stick for it, which the dinosaur is uninterested in, and quickly turns its attention back to Nedry. Disgruntled by how boring the Dilophosaurus is, Nedry goes to climb back up the rock face to his jeep, the animal following him the whole way. Nedry turns around again, and the Dilophosaurus extends its neck frill, hissing loudly at him, and spitting venom on to his body. Frightened at this point, Nedry goes to get in his car and turns around one last time, allowing the small theropod to spit venom in his eyes. Screaming, blind, and in pain, Nedry slams his head on the jeep and falls over, the Barbasol shaving cream can of embryos falling out of his raincoat pocket and into the mud. He quickly regains his composure and rushes into the jeep, slamming the door behind him. His feeling of safety is short lived however, as the Dilophosaurus had circled around the car to the other open door. The animal’s hissing is the last thing Nedry hears before he is killed and devoured, his screams heard as the camera pans down to the Barbasol can, covered by the mud created by the rain.

Jurassic Park: The Game (2011)

At the very beginning of the game, Nima Cruz and Miles Chadwick go into the jungle to search for Dennis Nedry, who had not shown up to exchange the Barbasol can with smuggled dinosaur embryos. They eventually find him dead in his jeep, and Cruz catches a glimpse of the Dilophosaurus feeding on his corpse before it runs away. A bit put off, the two set to work trying to find the can. Once they find it, another Dilophosaurus lunges out of the foliage and spits at Chadwick. Startled, he pulls out his pistol and shoots at the animal, effectively scaring it off. Wanting to get out of there before more trouble shows up, Cruz sets to work repairing the crashed jeep. While she’s working, however, a whole pack of the animals shows up, and attacks. Cruz, upon suggesting a distraction, is pushed over by a terrified Chadwick who apparently hopes the dinosaurs will go after her. He’s mistaken, and two Dilophosaurus jump on and devour him. Terrified, Cruz runs back to the jeep and is accosted by several of the dinosaurs, but evades them, eventually being able to get in the car. After driving frantically for a time, and even running over one of the Dilophosaurus, she manages to crash the jeep again. She is forced to leave the car, and is punced on. Before the Dilophosaurus can kill her, the pack hears the clicking noises of the Troodon pack, and retreats. Later the next night, mercenaries Billy Yoder and Oscar Morales are patrolling the jungle, and Yoder accidentally steps on an egg in what is presumably a Dilophosaurus nest. He is attacked and pinned by a Dilophosaurus, but Morales thinks quick, kicking the dinosaur off of Yoder. Preparing to kill it, Morales is stopped by Yoder, who claims there is no reason to kill it now that it is injured and outnumbered. The Dilophosaurus uses this time to scurry away.

Jurassic World (2015)

It is unknown whether the Dilophosaurus will appear in Jurassic World, but fans consider it extremely likely, due to some hints. One of the biggest hints is the existence of a “Dilophosaurus Ambush” LEGO set, which was sold alongside a few other LEGO sets that depict canon moments seen in various trailers and TV spots.