Zuniceratops – Episode 206

Dinosaur of the day Zuniceratops, a ceratopsian that was discovered in New Mexico by an 8 year-old.

Interview with Jingmai O’Connor, professor at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences who recently described the first ever fossilized dinosaur lung remains.

In dinosaur news this week:

  • A 130 million year old fossil from Hebei Province in China has been found
  • The “Baofenglong fossil” recently went on display at Chongqing Yongchuan Museum Town Hall in China. An 80% complete 49 ft (15 m) long herbivore
  • Residents near the Tumbler Ridge Museum voted to fund the museum with added attractions and services
  • Most sauropod fossils are from adults. Dwarf sauropods have a younger distribution, but still mostly adults
  • Several models of Yi qi extra wrist bone were proposed to find an orientation that may have worked with its patagial membranes
  • Flight evolution can be categorized into 4 evolutionary phases: characters unrelated to flight, exapted traits, direct selection, and traits for longer flight duration
  • Pterosaurs and maniraptorans couldn’t assume a bat-like pose
  • Microraptor & Rahonavis could glide, Changyuraptor used it’s tail for pitch control, but troodontids were too big (relative to their wings) to get off the ground
  • Ichthyornis has a skull half way between Archaeopteryx and modern birds
  • “Birds are the only group of animals that rival mammals in terms of brain size”
  • Sauropod trackway “gauge” might not mean much
  • A synchrotron of coprolite from an early dinosaur like Silesaurus opelensis showed lots of beetle remains including wings & beetle tibia
  • Based on carbon-13 isotopes in Deinonychus and Tenontosaurus it appears that raptors were not pack hunters
  • Thanks to guinea fowl walking through soft mud we are closer than ever to recreate how dinosaurs made their tracks
  • The pectoralis of Archaeopteryx was smaller than modern birds, but may have still been large enough to achieve brief flight
  • A study of Psittacosaurus braincases shows that 2 year-old brains elongate significantly (midbrain & olfactory tract/bulbs especially)
  • Ugrunaaluk was smaller than its massive cousins like Edmontosaurus, possibly because of dwarfism from living in the arctic reaching about 18-19ft long
  • A new ceratopsian was found in Grand staircase Escalante National Monument

This episode is brought to you in part by TRX Dinosaurs, which makes beautiful and realistic dinosaur sculptures, puppets, and animatronics. You can see some amazing examples and works in progress on Instagram @trxdinosaurs

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For links to every news story, all of the details we shared about Zuniceratops, more links from Jingmai O’Connor, and our fun fact check out https://iknowdino.com/Zuniceratops-Episode-206/

Check out this episode!