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Spinosaurus BW2

Spinosaurus (meaning "spine lizard") is a genus of theropod dinosaur which lived in what is now North Africa, sometime during the Albian and Cenomanian stages of the Cretaceous period, about 112 to 93.5 million years ago. This genus was first known from Egyptian remains discovered in the 1910s and described by German paleontologist Ernst Stromer. These original remains were destroyed in World War II, but additional skull material has come to light in recent years. It is unclear whether one or two species are represented in the described fossils. The best known species is S. aegyptiacus from Egypt, although a potential second species, S. marocannus, has been recovered from Morocco. The distinctive spines of Spinosaurus, which were long extensions of the vertebrae, grew up to 2 meters (7 ft) long and were likely to have had skin connecting them, forming a sail-like structure, although some authors have suggested that they were covered in muscle and formed a hump or ridge. Multiple functions have been put forward for this structure, including thermoregulation and display. According to recent estimates, Spinosaurus is the largest of all known carnivorous dinosaurs, even larger than Tyrannosaurus rex and Giganotosaurus. These estimates suggest that it was around 16 to 18 meters (52 to 59 ft) in length and 7 to 9 tonnes (7.7 to 9.9 short tons) in weight. (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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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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Hybodontspine

A hybodont spine from Morocco. In hybodonts, such spines were mounted at the leading edges of the dorsal and pectoral fins. This spine in particular is a dorsal spine.

Hybodontiformes are an order of extinct sharks, characterized by possessing 1-2 pairs of hooked protrusions on their heads. Hybodontiformes first appeared in the Lower Triassic, some 320–290 million years ago, but blossomed during the Mesozoic era. They did not survive past the end of the Cretaceous period, which ended some 65 million years ago. Hybodont sharks were originally described in the early 19th century from fossil teeth. Complete or partial skeletons of several hybodont genera have been found, although most of what is known about these sharks is based upon the study of their isolated teeth, fins, and cephalic spines.

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