Episode 375 is all about Volkheimeria, a medium to small Early Jurassic sauropod that lived in what is now Patagonia.
We also interview Joshua Mathews and Anne Weerda, Joshua is a PhD candidate at Northern Illinois University, Director of Paleontology, and Vice President of Research & Operations at the Burpee Museum. Anne is the Executive Director at the Burpee Museum.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- A revision of Parvicursor shows that two other alvarezsaurids, Ceratonykus & Linhenykus, may be synonyms source
- A new alvarezsaurid, Khulsanurus magnificus, was described from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia source
- According to a new study, dinosaurs probably had some color on their faces source
- The World’s most complete Triceratops is going on display at the Melbourne Museum source
- Cathedral City, California is getting 11 life-sized dinosaur sculptures along highway 111 source
- Jurassic World: Dominion is doing crossovers with the Winter Olympics source
The dinosaur of the day: Volkheimeria
- Eusauropod that lived in the Early Jurassic in what is now Patagonia, Argentina (Cañadón Asfalto Formation)
- Looks like other sauropods, with a long neck and tail, and a stocky body, and walked on all fours
- Had low, flat neural spines
- Estimated to be 29.5 ft (9 m) long
- Weighed about the same as a rhinoceros
- Type and only species is Volkheimeria chubutensis
- Described in 1979 by José Bonaparte
- Genus name means “of Volkheimer”
- Named after Wolfgang Volkheimer, a geologist and paleontologist
- Fossils found include a mostly complete pelvis and sacrum, caudal vertebrae, femur, and tibia
- Found close to Piatnitzkysaurus and Patagosaurus
- Ilium (part of the hip) was much shorter than that of Patagosaurus
- A 2017 study by Ignacio Alejandro Cerda and others looked at growth rates in sauropods, and based on histology, found Volkheimeria had rapid, sustained growth rates
- Had closely spaced growth marks, which goes with its relatively small size
- Other dinosaurs that lived around the same time and place include the sauropod Patagosaurus, and the megalosauroids Condorraptor and Piatnitzkysaurus
Fun Fact: Contrary to the popular expression penguins aren’t at the North OR South Pole, but occasionally other dinosaurs reach them.
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