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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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"Fossilized brains are unusual, and this is by far the oldest known example."
John Maisey, Curator in the Division of Paleontology at the AMNH describing the discovery of the oldest known fossil brain.


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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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