Discover and read the best of Twitter Threads about #fossilfriday

Most recents (8)

Okay, since Twitter hasn't had enough Spinosaurus stuff over the past few weeks, Ima spend #FossilFriday diving into whether or not #Spinosaurus had lips, from a completely non-osteological perspective!
First, why have lips? Lips serve two big functions in tetrapods: first, as protection against tooth desiccation (retaining moisture), and also for hydrodynamics in whales and dolphins, by smoothing out their profile. (2nd image: Florian Graner)
Let’s look at the proposed analogues for Spinosaurs. Crocodilians are a frequent comparison: freshwater piscivorous reptiles with similar snout and tooth shape, and no lips. Moray eels, however, also hunt fish, have crazy dentition, but also have lips! (Image 1: Hal Beral, Getty)
Read 12 tweets
Anomolacarids ... the apex predator of the Cambrian oceans (550 million years ago). Occasionally, you will find a trilobite fossil with a bite taken out of it ... small enough that it survived a bit longer.

Treasure those fossils.

There are many anomolacarids, this is a couple of them.

Anomolacarid fossils are so breathtakingly rare, even a large museum may only have a small piece of this predator arthropod.

Read 4 tweets
For #FossilFriday, here's another recent paper from our lab, on the skull evolution of *the weirdest dinosaurs of all*, the oviraptorosaurs (like Tongtianlong in the image below). Led by my former Master's student @FionMaWS.
Fion studied several oviraptor skulls and jaws, and used various methods to quantify their shapes and sizes.
The measurements were used to produce lots of morphospaces. So, so many morphospaces!
Read 8 tweets
Yamanasaurus lojaensis, the first dinosaur from #Ecuador
It was discovered by Argentine paleontologists Sebastián Apesteguía and Pablo Gallina
En Ecuador, un equipo liderado por el paleontólogo Sebastián Apesteguía encontró los restos de un titanosaurio que vivió hace 85 millones de años. Es de un grupo llamado saltasaurinos de pequeño tamaño (hasta 6 metros de largo), robustos y con coraza protectora.
El primer dinosaurios hallado en #Ecuador era de huesos cortos y gruesos.
Todos los huesos de sus vértebras estaban perforados por cámaras de aire que los hacían más livianos.
Read 10 tweets
It’s #Croctober, so that means I’ll be featuring croc-relatives using the hashtag #AtoZcrocs. Follow along this month for a deep dive into how weird croc #evolution really got.
A is for Anatosuchus, a notosuchian from the Cretaceous of Niger. It’s name means “duck-crocodile,” for it’s oddly flared snout. #Croctober #AtoZcrocs #fossils

📸 Sereno and Larsson, 2009:… skeleton of Anatosuchus, flared snout to the left, body out to the right, missing most of its tailArtist's reconstruction of Anatosuchus in an upright posture, duck-like snout gaping to show off flared shape
Anatosuchus’ upright limb posture and funky snout might have helped it wade in the shallows and root around for small prey. #Croctober #AtoZcrocs #fossils

📸 Sereno and Larsson, 2009:… Photographs of Anatosuchus' skull in dorsal, ventral, and lateral views, snout flares out like a duck bill, but is filled with relatively small teethLine drawing interpretation of the skull shown in similar views as the photographs, snout flares out like a duck bill, but is filled with relatively small teeth
Read 55 tweets
A couple of weeks back I found what I initially thought was petrified wood while hiking to a fishing spot on the North Saskatchewan River (NSR). Turns out it was a dinosaur bone. Here is a thread about my experience and what I learnt. #fossil #dinosaur #alberta
It started with a great day of fishing. The NSR has been pretty high all season and with the start of fall fishing upon us I decided to hike up to a spot where an island forces the river into a small channel. At the end of this channel is a somewhat steep cliff bank
On my way back from fishing I crossed under this bank. Some rocks and a section of the bank had fallen down recently and I had to navigate over them. As I crossed over these rocks I noticed something that looked like a clay pipe. White with a bit of a curve to it.
Read 16 tweets
In a lead up to #GameOfThrones, I invite you to follow along into the paleontology collections of @kunhm because...

I am the Mother of Extinct Dragons.

👩🏻‍🦳 👑 🐲 ☠️ ⚒ 🏛

Let’s get one thing straight: fire-breathing flying dragons never existed alongside humans.


Incredible reptiles roamed the land, sea, and air millions of years ago, and are preserved as terrifyingly beautiful fossils. ⚒
[2/ ]
The cast skull I’m holding is a probable baby T. rex, currently held at the L.A. County Museum.

Casts of fossils are often negatively referred to as “fake”, but they are used extensively by scientists to study fossils that cannot leave their institutions.
[3/ ]
Read 13 tweets
For #FossilFriday I am opening a thread about Early Triassic tetrapod faunal assemblages. After the Permian extinction, terrestrial faunal assemblages were depauperate and most were very similar in composition. Temnospondyls were quick to diversify #paleoart #sciart #scicomm
Along with Temnospondyls, many Early Triassic assemblages also preserve dicynodont remains. Several Lystrosaurus species, some of which were extremely abundant, are quite prevalent in many Induan and Olenekian formations #paleoart #sciart #scicomm
Some Lystrosaurus species, as well as some emydopoids (a group of small, possibly burrowing dicynodonts) were mass extinction survivors. These were Permian animals that were able to survive into the early Triassic. One emydopoid taxon survived into the Middle Triassic #paleoart
Read 9 tweets

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