Episode 164 is all about Nasutoceratops, a centrosaurine ceratopsian whose name means “large nosed horned face.”
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In this episode, we discuss:
- The first new dinosaur of the year was described: Diluvicursor pickeringi, a turkey-sized ornithopod.
- Scientists studied Gigantoraptor and the evolution of oviraptorid jaws
- Researchers analyzed and created a 3D model of a Massospondylus skull, which you can 3D print
- There was a Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology conference, with a Science Through Narrative symposium. Highlights include:
- Glen McIntosh’s talk on using narrative film structure to engage an audience, and making sure your dinosaurs are believable.
- Dr. Elizabeth Rega’s talk on visual narrative and anatomy, and how to focus on emotions and know your audience.
- Dr. Stuart Sumida’s talk on anatomy and animation and visual effects, and the six rules to keep in mind so that your characters are believable.
- Angela Lepito’s talk on feature animation and the scientific community collaborating, and how stories are universal.
- Emilie Lorditch’s talk on tools for science communication and how science fact is often more interesting than science fiction.
- New podcast The Missing Compys, on the differences between the Jurassic Park book and movie
- The Frost Museum of Science in Miami, Florida is holding a big fundraising event this Saturday, called Big Bang: Sonic Odyssey.
- Alberton Civic Hall in Alberton, South Africa will have a Dino Expo on February 2 and 3.
- Dippy the Diplodocus is stopping at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in May, and you can dine with him.
- The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois will have the Antarctic Dinosaur exhibit starting June 15.
- Three thieves stole a baby sauropod from Sinclair’s in Missoula, Montana.
- Birthdays the Beginning (a.k.a. Happy Birthdays), a cube game where you can sprout dinosaurs, is launching on Nintendo Switch March 29.
- Steve Moore, a volunteer firefighter, wore a T. rex costume to plow through snow.
The dinosaur of the day: Nasutoceratops
- Basal centrosaurine ceratopsian that lived in the Cretaceous in what is now southern Utah, U.S.
- Name means “large-nosed horned face”
- Found in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
- Holotype found in 2006 during the Kaiparowits Basin Project
- Named and described in 2010 by Eric Karl Lund as part of his thesis, who named it Nasutuceratops titusi, but it was an invalid nomen ex dissertatione. In 2013 Andrew Farke and Katherine Clayton named it the valid way, and changed the name Nasutoceratops
- Only one species: Nasutoceratops titusi
- The species name is in honor of Alan Titus, Monument Paleontologist at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, for his years of research collaboration
- Nasutoceratops and Diabloceratops are the only centrosaurines found in southwest US (so far)
- Centrosaurines may not have been as common in the southwest of the US (then Laramidia) possibly because of geological barriers
- Large, quadrupedal herbivore
- About 14.8 ft (4.5 m long and weighed 2.5 tonnes
- May have been slow, and lived in herds for protection
- Some skin impressions were found, and they have a pattern of large hexagonal scales with smaller triangular scales
- Skull was about 4.9 ft (1.5 m) long
- Had a short snout and rounded horns above its eyes (somewhat similar to modern cattle, according to Dr. David Hone)
- Horns were kind of bull like, where they point forwards and outwards, curve inwards, and then point upwards
- Horns reached to almost the tip of its snout (longest horns of all centrosaurines, so far)
- Brow horns were about 40% the total length of the skull
- Also had cheek horns that were about 3.3 in (85 mm) long, largest known of centrosaurines
- Horns may have been used for display, to signal dominance, and to fight rivals, as well as for defense
- Had a low, narrow horn on its nose/snout (which was large)
- Large snout probably didn’t help it with its sense of smell, since the olfactory receptors are further back in the head
- Had pneumatic elements (holes) in its nasal bones, which is unique
- Had a circular skull frill
- Had osteoderms on the edge of the frill that were shaped like crescents
- The area where Nasutoceratops lived was an ancient floodplain with lots of swamps, ponds, and lakes. It was wet and humid with lots of life
- Other dinosaurs that lived at the same time and place include dromaeosaurids, the troodontid Talos, the ornithomimid Ornithomimus, tyrannosaurids Albertosaurus and Teratophoneus, ankylosaurids, hadrosaurs such as Parasaurolophus and Gryposaurus, and other ceratopsians Utahceratops and Kosmoceratops
- Other animals included sharks and rays, frogs, salamanders, turtles, lizards, crocodilians, and early mammals
- Can see Nasutoceratops skull at the Natural History Museum of Utah
Fossilization is not selected just by decay-resistance.
This episode is brought to you in part by TRX Dinosaurs, which makes beautiful and realistic dinosaur sculptures, puppets, and exhibits. You can see some amazing examples and works in progress on Instagram @trxdinosaurs.