Episode 247 is all about Patagonykus, The “Patagonian claw” alvarezsaur from the Cretaceous.
We also interview Annalisa Berta, a paleontologist and professor emerita at San Diego State University. She’s also the co-author, along with Dr. Susan Turner, of the upcoming book Women in Vertebrate Paleontology, which is a history of women bone hunters beginning in the late 1700s.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- Elektorornis chenguangi was named based on its fuzzy foot, which was found in amber source
- Elektorornis may have used its toe fuzz like birds use their facial bristles today source
- A team of paleontologists found the first ever Tyrannosauripus footprint in China source
- The Great Plains Dinosaur Museum is offering a dinosaur dig program for adults and kids in Malta, Montana source
- Leeds city centre, in the UK, has five animatronic dinosaurs for the next few weeks source
- In Fortnite Season X, there are weekly missions, including finding dinosaurs source
- The new anime series “Jurassic!” will combine a modern world and prehistoric animals source
The dinosaur of the day: Patagonykus
- Alvarezsaur that lived in the Cretaceous in what is now Neuquen Province, Argentina (Portezuelo Formation)
- Estimated to be 6.5 ft (2 m) long
- Holotype is incomplete, and includes vertebrae, partial forelimb, pelvic girdle, and hindlimbs (no skull)
- Probably ate insects
- Alvaresaurs are small, bipedal, and probably ate insects
- Alvaresaurs also had short, robust forelimbs
- Type species is Patagonykus puertai
- Genus name means “Patagonian claw”
- Described in 1996 by Novas
- A second specimen was found in 2003, but only one digit from its finger
- Other dinosaurs that lived around the same time and place include Megaraptor, Rinconsaurus and Antarctosaurus
Fun Fact: By looking at Tarbosaurus teeth, it appears that what is now the Gobi dessert was once a forest full of conifer trees (things like redwood, pine, & cedar).