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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 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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After his dismissal from KSAC (Kansas State University) in 1874, Benjamin Franklin Mudge wrote to Othniel Charles Marsh:

"When you were here, you stated that you should like to employ one or more young men to collect fossils in western Kansas. As perhaps you may have learned, I have been summarily discharged (with two other professors) from this college. This has been done by an incompetent, conceited clergyman, who is acting as president."
Benjamin Franklin Mudge, February 3, 1874 letter in the Yale Archives


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This fossil skeleton of Dorudon, around 50 million years old, has been partially excavated and reassembled where found in Wadi Al-Hitan. Dozens of whale skeletons remain undisturbed on the floor of the valley, usually indicated by small mounds created as wind erosion uncovered them. Dorudon was a genus of ancient cetacean that lived alongside Basilosaurus 41 to 33 million years ago, in the Eocene. They were about five meters (16 ft) long and were most likely carnivorous, feeding on small fish and mollusks. Dorudontines lived in warm seas around the world. Fossils have been found in North America, Egypt as well as Pakistan the eastern part of which bordered the ancient Tethys Sea.

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