In our 89th episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with David Trexler, Cory Coverdell, and Kara Ludwig from the Two Medicine Dinosaur Center in Bynum, Montana.
To learn more about the museum, check out our video in part 3 of our #EpicDinosaurRoadTrip.
Episode 89 is also all about Shantungosaurus, one of the largest known ornithischians.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- The dinosaur of the day: Shantungosaurus
- Name means “Shandong Lizard”
- Type species is Shantungosaurus giganteus
- Described in 1973 by Hu, and known from five incomplete skeletons
- Found a bone bed of five individuals, none complete
- Composited bones to mount one of the largest hadrosaurids
- Composite skeleton is mounted at the Geological Institute of China in Beijing, and is 48 ft (14.7 m ) long
- Another mounted skeleton, which used to be called Zhuchengosaurus maximus, is 54 ft (16.6 m) long
- Synonym is Zhuchengosaurus maximus
- Zhuchengosaurus turned out to be a different growth stage of Shantungosaurus
- One of the largest known ornithischians
- Probably the largest non-sauropod (largest ornithischian)
- May have weighed up to 16 tons (18 short tons)
- Skull that was found is 5.3 ft (1.63 m) long
- Spinosaurus had similar length, but didn’t weigh as much
- Unclear why it was so large
- Saurolophine hadrosaurid that lived in the late Cretaceous in what is now China
- Xu Xing and colleagues said it is similar to Edmontosaurus
- No crest on the top of the skull, so not a saurolophine, but had a large nasal opening
- Near its nostrils is a large hole, possibly covered by a loose flap that it could inflate to make sounds
- May have made sounds to defend its territory
- Had a toothless beak, but its jaws had 1500 chewing teeth
- Hadrosauridae (duck billed dinosaurs) is a family of common herbivores from the Cretaceous whose fossils have been found in Asia, Europe, and North America
- Fun fact: Even though snakes can’t see as wide of a spectrum of red as dinosaurs probably could, they can “see” infrared (AKA heat). In fact the pit viper is named after a pit that looks a lot like a nostril, but is actually a sensitive infrared detector. And they appear to use this organ while hunting to find an exposed area on warm blooded prey. These IR detecting pits appear to have evolved at least twice independently among different groups of snakes, so it’s possible that maybe a few dinosaurs evolved the ability too. And if say T-rex had evolved infra-red vision we couldn’t tell by looking at birds since T-rex had already split from the group of dinosaurs that later evolved into birds.
For those who may prefer reading, see below for the full transcript of our interview withDavid Trexler, Cory Coverdell, and Kara Ludwig:Continue Reading …