Thursday, May 30, 2019

Walk This Way

The right manus of Camarasaurus. Note the columnar arrangement and virtual absence of fingers.
Late last year, I introduced you all to the Lessemsauridae, a group of near-sauropod "prosauropods" that grew unreasonably large—up to 12 tons in Ledumahadi mafube. There’s some disagreement about the posture of these enormous animals: in true, blue Sauropoda, the forelimbs are columnar, the hands are pronated, the weight is bore on the fingertips, and there is a reduction in phalanges and claws. This arrangement is present to some degree even in the earliest true sauropods like Melanorosaurus and Barapasaurus.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Don't knock my Smok or I'll clean your clock!

We miss you, Bill Watterson.
A few months ago, I wrote that my favorite paleo story of 2018 was the publication of Lisowicia bojani, a ridiculously large dicynodont from Poland. In that same post, I mentioned Smok wawelski, a similarly-sized predatory archosaur of uncertain phylogenetic affinities that very likely hunted Lisowicia. It strikes me that Smok might be unfamiliar to many of you out there in Readerland, so today’s quick post is a summary of what we know about this mysterious carnivore. By the way, I posted this Calvin & Hobbes strip because every time I hear the name Smok I immediately think of it.