In our fourth episode of I Know Dino, we had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Phil Currie, a renowned paleontologist who has contributed so much to paleontology that there’s even a museum named after him. Dr. Currie is also a professor at the University of Alberta, where he teaches the online course Dino 101, which goes over dinosaur appearances and major groups, how fossils are formed and interpreted, how dinosaurs lived, dinosaur origins, and dinosaur extinction, and more.
Dr. Currie has named 25 new dinosaurs and had three named in his honor. He is also famous for a centrosaurus bonebed, hadrosaur nesting sites, and the Canada-China Dinosaur Project, and he has written numerous books.
He started working at the Royal Alberta Museum in 1976, then known as the Provincial Museum of Alberta, and found so many dinosaur bones the museum ran out of storage space. In 1979 he wrote the proposal for what is now the Tyrell Museum, which showcases Alberta’s dinosaurs and has lab facilities, a study center, and massive storage space. In 2005 he took up the Canada Research Chair at the University of Alberta so he could spend more time in the field.
So of course, we were very honored to be able to interview him.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- The dinosaur of the day: Tarbosaurus, which means “Alarming Lizard.”
- Tarbosaurus lived in Asia during the late Cretaceous, about 70 million years ago, and weighed up to 5 tons, was 33-39 feet long, and had 60 teeth (not quite as big as T-rex).
- Like T-rex, Tarbosaurus had small forearms, and in fact had the smallest forearms of all tyrannosaurs.
- Tarbosaurus lived in the Gobi Desert, in southern Mongolia.
- It was large but had a lightweight skeleton.
- Tarbosaurus is more ancient than T-rex, which suggests the genus started in Asia and moved to North America through a land bridge that connected the two continents.
- Fun Fact: Most dinosaurs were herbivores, but the first dinosaurs were carnivores.
See below for the full transcript of our interview with Dr. Phil Currie:Continue Reading …