In our 175th episode, we got to chat with Dr. Brandon Peecook, the Meeker Postdoctoral Fellow at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. His research focuses on the ecology of terrestrial animals from the Permian and Triassic, which includes the earliest known relatives of dinosaurs. He’s been on expeditions in Africa, Antarctica, and all around the U.S., and in 2015, he published the first account of Washington state’s first dinosaur, a theropod. Follow him on Twitter @_gondwannabe_.
Episode 175 is also about Metriacanthosaurus, a sinraptorid that lived in the Jurassic in what is now England.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- A new megaraptoran dinosaur named Tratayenia rosalesi was discovered in Patagonia
- Luxembourg has another dinosaur find, this time a middle Jurassic thyreophoran
- The Dinosaur Discovery Gallery in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia may close after losing funding
- On April 7, Mystic Aquarium in Stonington, Connecticut, will have a new exhibit: Jurassic Giants: A Dinosaur Adventure
- On May 25, Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, NY is getting a new exhibit, called Dinosaur Invasion: 101 Days of Dinosaurs
- The Sinclair dinosaur sculpture in La Vista, Nebraska has been removed as part of a corporate rebranding effort, hopefully the new brand still includes dinosaurs
- Big Mouth Inc is selling a six foot inflatable T. rex sprinkler
- Jurassic World Evolution (the new park builder game) will be released on June 12th
The dinosaur of the day: Metriacanthosaurus
- Phonetic: Met-ree-ah-can-foe-sore-us.
- Sinraptorid that lived in the Jurassic in what is now England
- Name means “moderately-spined lizard”
- Described in 1923, by Friedrich von Huene who classified it as a new species of Megalosaurus, Megalosaurus parkeri (named in honor of fossil hunter W. Parker who found the bones)
- Described a hip, a leg bone, and part of a backbone
- Then in 1932 von Huene reclassified it as Altispinax parkeri, because of its tall neural spines
- In 1964, Alick Walker found that the fossils were too different from Altispinax, so he renamed it as a new genus, Metriacanthosaurus
- Name refers to the height of its neural spines, which are taller Megalosaurus spines, but lower than Altispinax spines
- May be related to Yangchuanosaurus (Gregory Paul synonymized the two in 1988)
- Then in 2007, Darren Naish and David Martill found that they were distinct genera
- Spines may have been for a low hump, similar to Acrocanthosaurus
- Medium sized, estimated to weigh about a tonne
- Not clear how large it was, but compared to similar theropods may have been up to about 20 ft (6 m) long
- Doesn’t actually appear in the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World films, but the name is on an embryo cooler in Jurassic Park
- Also seen in a Jurassic Park brochure, which was made as a movie prop (also on the Jurassic World brochure, and on the Jurassic World website)
Taiwan has lots of Mesozoic rocks, but no dinosaurs so far.
This episode was brought to you 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.
And by the Royal Tyrrell Museum, which is located in southern Alberta, Canada. Right now they are hosting their free-to-attend Winter speaker series (also on YouTube). More information can be found at tyrrellmuseum.com.