Somewhat speculative art of Spinosaurus aegyptiacus hunting a speculative species of “swamp-turtle”. I couldn’t really find anything about turtles/tortoises in the fossil-record of the Chenini formation but it seems highly likely turtles would have inhabited such giant swamp-area. I based the turtles on Axestemys and modern species of similar kinds.
Also I tried doing a background for once. Took me an entire day.
How often are each of the carnivorous animals fed? I imagine feeding a Titanoboa or Kaprosuchus once or twice a week would be no problem, but how often are the Raptor's or Smilodon fed?
Ectothermic carnivores are indeed fed once or twice a week as their metabolism requires. More active carnivores, like theropods and mammals, are fed every day, often multiple times a day. The scheduled feedings listed on the site are only those that we directly invite visitors to see; other feedings may happen behind-the-scenes or spontaneously in the day.
Chilesaurus is a rather sad new discovery as it was discovered only a few days before Yi qi, which overshadowed it in the media - but Chilesaurus really was robbed as it is probably one of the weirdest dinosaurs discovered this year. Why was it weird, you ask? It was a relatively advanced theropod… and an herbivore… but not a maniraptoriform. Seriously, this is weird. Its closest relatives were things like Cryolophosaurus. It lived about 145 million years ago in the Tithonian age of the Late Jurassic, and it was found in the Taqui Formation in Chile, which isn’t exactly a non-avian dinosaur rich country. It was about 3.2 meters long. It also had a backward pointing pubic bone to make room for a large gut… like Ornithischians… but it had enough features for it to be classified as not only a Saurischian, but a Theropod. Its hindlimbs were less adapted to running than its relatives, and it had strong arms with which it could defend itself, using a large first claw to do so. It had traits of Coelurosaurs, basal Sauropodomorphs, and Ornithischians… but belonged to none of those groups. What a weird little dinosaur.
Fukuivenator was a Maniraptoriform found in the Kitadani Formation in Japan, and it’s always rare to find a dinosaur in Japan so that’s fun. It lived about 120 million years ago in the Aptian age of the Early Cretaceous. It was a unique animal in that it had a lot of primitive and advanced features for Coelurosaurs, and was placed as a basal Maniraptoriform, unable to be resolved further than that - making it similar to Ornithomimosaurs and Maniraptorans such as Therizinosaurs and Alvarezsaurs. It is known from a partial skeleton with a skull, and is the most complete non-avian dinosaur known from Japan. It had different types of teeth, some with flattened ends, which means that it may have been omnivorous rather than a pure carnivore, which would be consistent with our understanding of Avian evolution. It had a similar specialized raised second toe, like Dromaeosaurs and Troodontids, however that’s seen as an example of convergent evolution, rather than an ancestral trait.
Azuma, Y., X. Xu, M. Shibata, S. Kawabe, K. Miyata, T. Imai. 2016. A bizarre theropod from the Early Cretaceous of Japan highlighting mosaic evolution among coelurosaurians. Scientific Reports 6 (20478).
Have a theropod you'd like me to write about? List it below!
I know I have to get some more TOTD posts up, but I lost the list of requests. These posts do take time to write, and I’m not on Tumblr or my Mac 24/7 to write them daily (as you guys have figured out by now haha).
But I’m going to make this the official request post. Keep your requests for theropods in the Mesozoic, please. Here’s that mandatory question mark so you can answer?
Procompsognathus was a small, fast Coelophysid from 210 million years ago, in the Norian stage of the Late Triassic. It lived in Germany, and was discovered in the Middle Stubensandstein formation. Not much is known about it, but it was named after a later small theropod, Compsognathus, which it resembles; however, Compsognathus was a fairly more advanced theropod, and was even smaller than Procompsognathus; the two are not significantly closely related to one another, or similar in their anatomy. Not to mention, Compsognathus lived in the late Jurassic. Procompsognathus is only known from a partial skeleton, which is also very crushed. It was a hunter, but not a major predator due to its relatively small size compared to the other early theropods of the day. It lived in a dry environment, much like most dinosaurs in the late Triassic, and mainly fed on insects, lizards, and other small animals. It was made famous, however, for its major presence in Michael Crichton’s novel The Lost World: Jurassic Park (but not in The Lost World movie.) In this work, it was depicted as having a venomous bite; there is no fossil evidence for this to be true (and is, indeed, highly unlikely.)
Weishampel, D. B. (2007). The Dinosauria (2nd ed.). Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press.
Dixon, D. (2007). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs. London, England: Anness Publishing.