Spinosaurus fishiness part deux

Spinosaurus fishiness part deux

In my previous post on the proportions of the new Spinosaurus material I argued that the pelvis and legs are not nearly as reduced in size as the composite skeletal in Ibrahim, et al., (2014) implies. Theropod-worker extraordinaire and all-around swell guy Thomas Holtz mentioned a photo (seen at left) that could serve as a sort of independent visual line of evidence that the pelvis and legs of the new Spinosaurus specimen are shorter than other theropods, and potentially shorter than I calculated from the supplementary data. I think it's worth taking a closer look...

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There's something fishy about the new Spinosaurus

There's something fishy about the new Spinosaurus

Today, after weeks of rampant internet speculation the new-look Spinosaurus was revealed. And it certainly didn't disappoint: the paper by Ibrahim et al. musters a range of evidence from bone density, bone isotope data, facial innervation, osteology, etc., to suggest that Spinosaurus not only was a fish-eater (i.e. piscivorous) but was adaptive to that lifestyle to a greater degree than other known spinosaurids. Not only do they claim that Spinosaurus spent most of its life swimming in the water with adaptations that would rival early whales, but Ibrahim et al. specifically claim that the altered limb proportions would require Spinosaurus to have been an obligate quadruped on land, a first for a theropod.

Unfortunately, there seems to be something fishy with those new proportions...

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Smackdown: Supersaurus vs. Giraffatitan and Diplodocus

Smackdown: Supersaurus vs. Giraffatitan and Diplodocus

This entry was inspired by a post at the always-excellent SV-POW. They compared the size (and neck length) of SupersaurusBrachiosaurus and Diplodocus. In a stroke of serendipity I read their post as I was reworking my skeletal of the largest specimen of Diplodocus, NMMNH 3690 formerly known as Seismosaurus. Let's see if that changes anything... 

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Update on skeletal drawing votes

We're about halfway through the vote to determine what my next skeletal reconstruction will be, so I tallied up all the votes from the previous post, Deviant Art, and the Skeletal Drawing Facebook page. Currently Yutyrannus is holding the lead, although several dinosaurs are still in striking distance.

Vote totals as of noon EST on March 15th

Vote totals as of noon EST on March 15th

Looking over the data (closing in on 600 votes already) it's clear that different venues favored different dinosaurs. For example Argentinosaurus and Protoceratops are the current winners on Facebook, but they can't keep up with theropod mania on the other two polls. It'll be interesting to see if there are any lead changes before tomorrow night.

I'll announce the winner on Monday, and do the skeletal drawing in the coming week, along with one or two other surprised (as time allows).