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Crassigyrinus BW

Crassigyrinus (meaning "thick tadpole") is an extinct genus of carnivorous stem group tetrapod from the Early Carboniferous of Scotland and a possible specimen from Greer, West Virginia. The type specimen was originally described as Macromerium scoticum and lacked a complete skull. With subsequent discoveries, Crassigyrinus is now known from three skulls, one of which is in articulation with a fairly complete skeleton, and a couple of incomplete lower jaws. Crassigyrinus grew up to 1.5 meters in length, coupled with punitive limbs and unusually large jaws. Crassigyrinus is taxonomically enigmatic, having confused paleontologists for decades with its apparent fish-like and tetrapod features. Some paleontologists have even considered it as the most basal tetrapod, while others hesitate to even place it within the Tetrapoda superclass. Crassigyrinus had unusually large jaws, enabling it to eat other animals it could catch and swallow. It had two rows of sharp teeth in its jaws, the second row having a pair of fangs. Crassigyrinus had large eyes, suggesting that it was either nocturnal, or lived in very murky water. (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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"An evolutionary perspective of our place in the history of the earth reminds us that Homo sapiens sapiens has occupied the planet for the tiniest fraction of that planet's four and a half thousand million years of existence. In many ways we are a biological accident, the product of countless propitious circumstances. As we peer back through the fossil record, through layer upon layer of long-extinct species, many of which thrived far longer than the human species is ever likely to do, we are reminded of our mortality as a species. There is no law that declares the human animal to be different, as seen in this broad biological perspective, from any other animal. There is no law that declares the human species to be immortal."
Richard E. Leakey. Co-author with American science writer Roger Amos Lewin (1946), Origins: What New Discoveries Reveal about the Emergence of our Species and its Possible Future (1977), 256.


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Malerisaurus BW

Malerisaurus is an extinct genus of prolacertiform from the Late Triassic of India belonging to the family Protorosauridae.

Two incomplete Malerisaurus skeletons were discovered in what is thought to be the gastric contents of a Parasuchus hislopi. The fossils were retrieved from fluvial flood plain deposits of the Late Triassic Maleri Formation of the Gondwana supergroup, India. Malerisaurus was a small eosuchian, presumably bipedal, and probably capable of climbing trees and swimming. The skull has some adaptations to a carnivorous diet, but is nevertheless unspecialized and probably more of an insectivore. Malerisaurus, seen as a diapsid skull, shows primitive and advanced facies in its unossified laterosphenoid, absence of antorbital and mandibular fenestrae, gracile form, primitive girdles, elongated cervicals and absence of dermal armour. The suborder Prolacertiformes currently represents four families: Petrolacosauridae, Protorosauridae, Prolacertidae and Tanystropheidae. Provisionally, Malerisaurus is regarded as being phylogenetically close to Protorosaurus.

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