Episode 253 is all about Skorpiovenator, a slightly smaller hornless relative of Carnotaurus. It’s one of the most complete abelisaurids found to date.
We also interview Dave Hone, lecturer in Zoology at Queen Mary University of London. He is an expert in both dinosaurs and pterosaurs. He wrote the Tyrannosaur Chronicles and just described the pterosaur Cryodrakon. Find him online @Dave_Hone, on facebook, or on his blog Archosaur Musings.
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In this episode, we discuss:
- A new study shows the first day of the Cenozoic had huge Sulphur emissions and widespread fires source
- The second most complete T. rex, Victoria, is going on a world tour for the next five years source
- The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis has a new Jurassic Paleo Prep Lab source
- New children’s show called Super Dinosaur will be on Amazon on Oct 6 source
- The game Jurassic World Evolution has a new herbivore dinosaur pack source
- The new short Jurassic World Battle at Big Rock was released on YouTube source
The dinosaur of the day: Skorpiovenator
- Abelisaurid that lived in the Late Cretaceous in what is now Argentina (Huincul Formation)
- One of the most complete abelisaurids known
- Holotype was mostly complete (only missing parts of the tail and forelimbs)
- Estimated to be 19.7 ft (6 m) long. Gregory Paul estimated it to be 24.6 ft (7.5 m) long and weigh 1.67 tons. Another estimate in 2016 said it was 20.3 ft (6.2 m) long
- Had short, pretty much useless arms
- Had strong legs and thighs
- Had a short, stout skull that had many ridges, furrows, and bumps
- Not clear why it had so many bumps on its head
- Skull was shorter and deeper than Abelisaurus and Majungasaurus
- Had 19 maxillary teeth, more than other abelisaurids
- Since so many teeth were found with the skeleton, the discovery of Skorpiovenator makes it easier for scientists to compare teeth and figure out what kind of dinosaur it came from. It’s possible that teeth thought to be from carcharodontosaurids at the end of the Cretaceous may have been Skorpiovenator (or other abelisaurids), and helps shed more light on the types of dinosaurs that lived in the Cretaceous in South America
- Described in 2009 by Canale, Scanferia, Agnolin, and Novas
- Name means “scorpion hunter”
- Lots of scorpions at the dig site
- The type species is Skorpiovenator bustingorryi
- Species name in honor of Manuel Bustingorry, owner of the farm where the dinosaur was found
- Other dinosaurs in the same time and place included carcharodontosaurid Mapusaurus and abelisaurid Ilokelesia
- Fossils are now at the Ernesto Bachmann Paleontological Museum of Villa El Chocón, Patagonia, Argentina
Fun Fact: It’s probable that pterosaurs and early flying dinosaurs were regularly eating each other.