Episode 119 is all about Chasmosaurus, a ceratopsid that lived in the Cretaceous in North America.
We also share listener Vince’s experiences at Discover the Dinosaurs. Here are some photos he was kind enough to share:
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Scientists discovered a new Jurassic sauropodiform dinosaur, Xingxiulong chengi, found in China, according to Nature
- Auburn University is raising money to house its only dinosaur egg
- The Backroom at the Field Museum in Chicago has a pop-up bar/museum exhibit starting March 25th
- A 12-year-old girl discovered an Edmontosaurus, and it has been nicknamed after her.
- 20 animatronic dinosaurs are coming to Atlanta starting March 30th
- The Port Lympne Animal Reserve has added a Spinosaurus to its Dinosaur Forest
- The University of Lisbon, Portugal launched a new website, called Paleowire to share news, events, job opportunities, and more related to paleontology
- Sideshow Collectibles has a new Gastonia with an optional pterosaur for $349
- Science has a great overview of early feathered dinosaurs and which could likely fly
- A stage production used lights to simulate dinosaurs in New Orleans
- New research demonstrates how sauropods’ vertebrae interlocked for added strength
- ScienceOpen.com has added papers from the Journal of Paleontological Techniques to their collection of Open Access papers
- Dinosaur survival VR game Island 359 was demoed at GDC with full body tracking
- Giant dinosaur statues are on display at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay
- An amazing new interactive map is available on paleobiodb.org where you can look up local fossil finds
- New research in the Journal of Theoretical Biology aims to answer why dinosaurs became bipedal
- New Mexico paleontologists have apparently discovered a close relative to Triceratops in their archives
- After a $100 million renovation, the Witte Museum in San Antonio, Texas is back open with new high-tech dinosaur features
The dinosaur of the day: Chasmosaurus
- Ceratopsid that lived in the Cretaceous in North America
- Name means “opening lizard,” named that because of large openings in its frill
- Found in the Dinosaur Park Formation of the Dinosaur Provincial Park of Alberta, Canada
- Two species: Chasmosaurus russelli and Chasmosaurus belli (type species)
- Chasmosaurus russelli is in the older lower Dinosaur Park Formation and Chasmosaurus belli is in the middle Dinosaur Park Formation
- Lawrence Morris Lambe found the first Chasmosaurus bones in 1897 (holotype, part of a neck frill). He thought it could be a new species but categorized it as an already known genus, Monoclonius. He called it Monoclonis belli
- Species name belli is in honor of collector Walter Bell
- In 1913, Charles Sterberg and his sons found a few complete Monoclonis bellis skulls in Alberta (plus a largely complete skeleton with skin impressions), and in January 1914, Lambe named them Protorosaurus (as an ancestor to Torosaurus). But that name was already used for a Permian reptile found in Germany, described in 1836 by Meyer. So Lambe renamed it Chasmosaurus in February 1914
- Many skulls and fossils have been referred to Chasmosaurus, and many species named (though only two are still valid)
- Barnum Brown named Chasmosaurus kaiseni in 1933 (based on a skull that had long brow horns), which may be related to Chasmosaurus canadensis, named in 1990 by Thomas Lehman.
- Chasmosaurus canadensis was originally Monoclonis canadensis (Lambe had found it in 1902 and described it as Eoceratops canadensis in 1915). This Eoceratops and Chasmosaurus kaiseni were thought to be Mojoceratops (Nicholas Longrich), but some scientists think Mojoceratops is a synonym of Chasmosaurus russelli. In 2016, Campbell and others found that Eoceratops and Chasmosaurus kaiseni were Chasmosaurus.
- In 1933 Richard Swann Lull named a specimen Chasmosaurus breviorstris (had a short snout), but it’s now seen as a junior synonym of Chasmosaurus belli.
- Charles Mortram Sternberg named Chasmosaurus russelli in 1940 (species name in honor of Loris Shano Russell).
- In 1987 Gregory Paul renamed Pentaceratops sternbergii into Chasmosaurus, but no one has really accepted that
- In 1989 Thomas Lehman described Chasmosaurus mariscalensis (found in Texas), but that’s been renamed Agujaceratops.
- In 2000, George Olshevsy renamed Monoclonius recurvicornis (originally named in 1889) to Chasmosaurus recurvicornis, but it’s now a nomen dubium
- In 2001, Chasmosaurus irvinensis was named, but has since been renamed Vagaceratops (in 2010)
- Chasmosaurus was about 14-16 ft (4.3-4.8 m) long and weighed 1.5-2 tons
- Skin impressions that Charles Sternberg found had large scales in horizontal rows that were among smaller scales (hexagonal or pentagonal), unclear about color
- Had three horns, one on the nose and two on the brow
- Horns were short, though Chasmosaurus russelli had longer horns (esp. brown horns), that were more curved backwards
- Chasmosaurus belli had a v-shaped frill at the back (Chasmosaurus russelli is more of a shallow u-shape)
- Sides of the frill had osteoderms
- Not clear what Chasmosaurus used its horns and frill for (horns were short and frill had such large openings, so not great for defense). May have used its beak for defense instead
- Frill may have been to look more vicious or for thermoregulation, or to attract mates (may have been brightly colored)
- Skin covered the large openings so it would have looked like a solid frill (because of soft tissue in the frill, it’s possible Chasmosaurus could have flushed and made its frill look more vivid)
- Had a longer snout and jaws than other ceratopsians it lived around, so may have been a pickier eater
- May have taken care of its young
- Phil Currie and a team found a juvenile Chasmosaurus belli in Alberta. Thought to be three years old and had similar limb and frill proportions to an adult, so probably wasn’t that fast, and didn’t need to be to keep up with adults
- Chasmosaurinae is a subfamily of ceratopsid
- Chasmosaurinae had large brow horns and long frills (compared to centrosaurines, another subfamily of ceratopsid, which had short brow horns and shorter frills with long spines coming out of the frills)
- Chasmosaurine fossils have been found in western Canada, the western United States, and northern Mexico.
Fun fact: The first dinosaurs were carnivorous, later some dinosaurs were omnivorous, and eventually some dinosaurs were herbivorous. Herbivores were massively successful by the mid-Jurassic.
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