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Lystrosaurus BW

Lystrosaurus is an extinct genus of dicynodont therapsid that lived during the Late Permian and Early Triassic periods, around 250 million years ago in what is now Antarctica, India and South Africa. At present 4 to 6 species are recognized, although from the 1930s to 1970s the number of species was thought to be much higher. Lystrosaurus had only two teeth, as with all other dicynodonts, as well as a pair of tusk-like canines. Lystrosaurus is thought to have had a horny beak that was used for biting off pieces of vegetation. Lystrosaurus was a heavily-built, herbivorous animal, approximately the size of a pig. The structure of its shoulders and hip joints suggest that Lystrosaurus moved with a semi-sprawling gait. Lystrosaurus was by far the most common terrestrial vertebrate of the Early Triassic, accounting for as many as 95% of the total individuals in some fossil beds. It has often been suggested that it had anatomical features that enabled it to adapt better than most animals to the atmospheric conditions that were created by the Permian–Triassic extinction event and which persisted through the Early Triassic — low concentrations of oxygen and high concentrations of carbon dioxide. However recent research suggests that these features were no more pronounced in Lystrosaurus than in genera that perished in the extinction or genera that survived but were much less abundant than Lystrosaurus. (Read more...)


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Paul Sereno2

Paul Sereno is an American paleontologist who is the discoverer of several new dinosaur species on several continents. He has conducted excavations at sites as varied as Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Morocco and Niger. He is a professor at the University of Chicago and a National Geographic "explorer-in-residence." Sereno's most widely publicized discovery is that of a nearly complete specimen of Sarcosuchus imperator (popularly known as SuperCroc) at Gadoufaoua in the Tenere desert of Niger. Other major discoveries include Eoraptor - the oldest known dinosaur fossil, Jobaria, the first good skull of Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, Afrovenator, Suchomimus and the African pterosaur. (Read more...)

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"The head was as long or longer than that of a fully grown grizzly bear, and the jaws were deeper in proportion to their length. The muzzle was shorter and deeper than that of a bull-dog. The teeth were all sharp cylindric fangs, smooth and glistening, and of irregular size. At certain distance in each jaw they projected three inches above the gum, and were sunk one inch into the jaw margin, being thus as long as the fangs of a tiger, but more slender. Two such fangs crossed each other on each side of the middle of the front. Besides the smaller fishes, the reptiles no doubt supplied the demands of his appetite."
E.D. Cope describing the head and jaws of the giant prehistoric fish Xiphactinus.


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Naturkundemuseum Berlin - Archaeopteryx - Eichstätt

The Berlin Specimen (HMN 1880) of Archaeopteryx was discovered in 1876 or 1877 on the Blumenberg near Eichstätt, Germany, by Jakob Niemeyer. He exchanged this precious fossil for a cow, with Johann Dörr. Placed on sale in 1881, with potential buyers including O.C. Marsh of Yale University's Peabody Museum, it was bought by the Humboldt Museum für Naturkunde, where it is now displayed. The transaction was financed by Ernst Werner von Siemens, founder of the famous company that bears his name. Described in 1884 by Wilhelm Dames, it is the most complete specimen, and the first with a complete head. Once classified as a new species, A. siemensii, a recent evaluation supports the A. siemensii species definition.

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