Episode 313 is all about Borealosaurus, a titanosaur from China with unusual tail vertebrae.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- A review of caenagnathids from the Dinosaur Park Formation resulted in a new genus named Citipes source
- The Dueling Dinosaurs are going on display at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. source
- If you’re looking for some dinosaur gift ideas check out our 2020 Holiday Gift Guide source
The dinosaur of the day: Borealosaurus
- Titanosaur sauropod that lived in the Late Cretaceous in what is now China (Sunjiawan Formation, Liaoning Province)
- Estimated 39 ft (12 m) long and weighed 10 tonnes
- Found fragmentary remains
- Holotype is an opisthocoelous mid-distal caudal vertebrae, centra with convex articulation at the front and concave at the back
- Referred specimens include a peg-like tooth crown, a middle caudal, and mostly complete, robust humerus (not clear if these fossils are part of the holotype or even each other)
- Type species is Borealosaurus wimani
- Described and named in 2004 by Hailu You and others
- Genus name means “North Wind lizard”
- Name refers to the fact it was found in northern China
- Species name is in honor of paleontologist Carl Wiman, who named the first Chinese dinosaur, Euhelopus, in 1929 (at first named Helpous but that name was in use, so he renamed it Euhelopus. However in the same paper he also named Tanius)
- Fossils were collected between 1999 and 2002 near Shuangmiao village
- Titanosaurs usually have procoelous caudals (opposite of opisthocoelous) but the titanosaur Opisthocoelicaudia (named in 1977) also had opisthocoelous vertebrae, so Borealosaurus may have been closely related
- Other sauropods have been found to have some degree of this characteristic (Fukuititan, Nemegtosaurus, Rinconsaurus, Sonidosaurus)
- However, Borealosaurus probably needs to be studied more, since some scientists don’t think it was a titanosaur and others think it was a basal titanosaur (need more fossils)
- Other dinosaurs that lived around the same time and place included ankylosaurs (Crichtonpelta) and iguanodonts (Shuangmiaosaurus)
Fun Fact: Evolution can be inadvertently caused by weather events.