Episode 233 is all about Chungkingosaurus, one of the smallest known stegosaurs.
We also interview Andrew McDonald, curator and an educator at the Western Science Center in Hemet, California. His research focuses on the evolution of dinosaurs in North America during the Cretaceous, and he regular does field work in New Mexico. Since becoming curator, he’s already named two new dinosaurs: Dynamoterror and Invictarx.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Suskityrannus, the “coyote” ancestor to T. rex was described from New Mexico source
- Russian paleontologists have found fossils of Cretaceous stegosaurs which may belong to a new species source
- In Escondido, California, The Roynon Museum of Earth Science and Paleontology will be shutting down on June 29 source
- In Ogden, Utah, Ogden’s George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park has some new models, including a Utahraptor source
- The Museum for Natural Sciences in Brussels, Belgium, has a new Allosaurus named “Arkhane” until April of next year source
The dinosaur of the day: Chungkingosaurus
- Stegosaur that lived in the Late Jurassic in what is now China (Upper Shaximiao Formation)
- Holotype is one of the smallest adult stegosaurs (about 13 ft, 4 m long)
- Other specimens found were longer (estimated to be 16.4 ft, 5 m long)
- Probably looked similar to Tuojiangosaurus (found in the same formation), though smaller, with a high, narrow skull
- Probably had two rows of plates and spikes on its back, possibly arranged in pairs
- A model of Chunkingosaurus at the Chongqing Municipal museum has 14 pairs of plates, 2 pairs of tail spikes, and the plates in the middle look like thick spikes (similar to Tuojiangosaurus)
- Only one specimen found with a thagomizer (tail spikes), and there were two pairs and they were vertical and stout. May have had a third pair, but it was lost during excavation
- Fossils found in 1977
- Described in 1983 by Dong Zhiming and others
- Type species is Chungkingosaurus jiangbeiensis
- Name means “Chungking lizard”
- Named for where the fossils were found, in the Jiangbei district of Chungking municipality
- Four specimens have been found. Zhiming and others described all four, but named the three additional specimens as specimen, 1, 2, and 3, because there are distinctions between the three, but the specimens are too fragmentary in nature
- In 2014, Roman Ulanksy named two of the species as new species, Chunkingosaurus giganticus and Chunkingosaurus magnus. But later Peter Galton and Kenneth Carpenter said they were nomina dubia, and referred them both to Chungkingosaurus jiangbeiensis
- Gregory Paul suggested in 2010 that the third specimen was a juvenile of Tuojiangosaurus
- Part of Huayangosauridae, a group of basal stegosaurs
- May have been prey for theropods such as Yangchuanosaurus
- Other dinosaurs that lived in the same time and place included Tuojiangosaurus, and sauropods like Mamenchisaurus
Fun Fact: A typical theropod is about 3 times as long as it is tall when in a walking/running posture.
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