Episode 134 is all about Zby, a Turiasaurian sauropod that lived in the Late Jurassic in what is now Portugal.
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In this episode, we discuss:
Movie Review: You are Umasou
The dinosaur of the day: Zby
- Turiasaurian sauropod that lived in the Late Jurassic in what is now Portugal
- Found in the Lourinhã Formation
- Fossils first found in 1996, and was excavated in 1996, 2000, and 2002
- Described and named in 2014 by Octávio Mateus, Philip D. Mannion, and Paul Upchurch
- Named after Georges Zybszewski a Russian-French paleontologist, who studied paleontology and geology in Portugal
- Only one species: Zby atlanticus
- The species name refers to the “scenic bay over the Atlantic Ocean” where the specimen was found
- Known from the holotype, which was a partial skeleton with a complete tooth with a root, part of a cervical neural arch, anterior chevron, and nearly complete right pectoral girdle and forelimb
- Only one tooth was found, but it was a complete tooth crown and root. Sauropod teeth that were shed while the sauropod was alive usually only have the crown (the root was reabsorbed). Because this tooth had the crown and root, the tooth probably was separated from the skull about the specimen died
The tooth had derived characteristics only seen in basal sauropods or eusauropods (wrinkled enamael covering most of the crown, the spatulate crown shape, labial grooves, and a “V”-shaped wear)
- It was an eusauropod dinosaur, a derived clade of sauropods
- Not clear how big Zby was, not enough fossils to know
- Zby is the fourth sauropod named from the Late Jurassic of Portugal
- Closely related to Turiasaurus riodevensis, a sauropod that lived at the same time but in Spain (and possibly the largest sauropod that lived in Europe). They had similar teeth and forelimbs
- A preliminary study in 2009 found similarities with Turiasaurians and tentatively referred Zby to Turiasaurus riodevensis
- Because Zby and Turiasaurus lived at the same time, it’s possible they could be the same genus or species, but more detailed comparisons show enough differences to make them separate genera, according to the authors/scientists who formally named Zby. It’s also hard to compare the two since it’s based only on their teeth and forelimb elements, so there may be a lot more differences between the two
- Other dinosaurs that lived in the same time and place include the sauropods Lourinhasaurus, Lusotitan, Dinheirosaurus, stegosaurs Stegosaurus, Dacentrurus, Miragaia, and theropods Torvosaurus, Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Lourinhanosaurus
- Can see a cast of Zby (pectoral girdle and forelimb only) at the Wills Memorial Building in Bristol (U.K.), and the Saurier Museum Aathal (Aathal, Switzerland)
The egg mountain in You are Umasou is probably based on the real life egg mountain in the Two medicine formation near Bynum, Montana.
- We did our dinosaur dig very close by where Sabrina picked out egg shells from a nest
- Area known for Maisaura “good mother lizard”
- multiple (possibly communal) nests
- first evidence of likely dinosaur parental care
- Troodon remains have also been found there
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