Showing posts with label Asia.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Asia.. Show all posts

Epidendrosaurus

Now, we know that the transition from reptiles to birds, there was thanks to some small theropods, hunters quickly and nimbly leaping from branch to branch to pounce upon its prey. Increasingly lighter and more agile, were those who had the most jumped protofeathers, who came to the farthest branches and so more prey. Until a jump, went to plan ... a prelude to fly like birds.

One of the clearest examples of these prehistoric animals, with characteristics of birds but without turning it was the Epidendrosaurus, whose name means "lizard on the branches." It is a small theropod maniraptor (hand robber), a taxon whose main feature is the very long, curved fingers ... a feature that served to grip tree branches.

But do not think that the change from reptile to bird was linearly which followed a straight way without errors. The evolution experienced with the species, and species were able to survive for tens of thousands of years and others not, and there is almost no such evidence. But Epidendrosaurus was very successful. In fact, this prehistoric animal lived after the first birds and thousands of years after the first bird which is known Archaeopteryx, this means that even still undergoing evolution and squeezing the characteristics that conditioned the animals, even appeared almost winged reptiles and birds flying when they appeared. The few fossils has been discovered that in the legs and tail feathers had slight marks, similar to those of Microraptor (another small thief).



If we saw now, we look like a bird more than a reptile, if we looked we would see that no beak, but a tiny little mouth full of sharp little teeth and suitable for hunting small reptiles, insects and even mammals were climbing clueless the branches of the trees in late Jurassic. We seem a small bird, it is thought that it was not larger than a dove. The only bones found are young specimens and their skeletons are as big as sparrows.

PSITTACOSAURUS.


Somewhere in Asia where we now find Mongolia, 100 million years ago (Cretaceous) there was a genre of curious animal called a Psittacosaurus "parrot lizard".


A bipedal lizard 2 meters long, with special characteristics that made it look somewhat freaky. Its mouth was toothless in general, although some species did have small sharp teeth to devour the new flowering plants that appeared for the first time in mid-Cretaceous. Its mouth closed with a strong peak like that of a parrot and hence the name Lizard Papagayo. A peak bone, a protuberance of the skull finished with keratin (like rhino horn) that provided a hardened tip and sharp as that of a parrot.



The other peculiarity of this animal is that its tail and back were covered with tubular and hollow bristles. One thinks bristles served as a peacock tail.

Walking on two hind legs, had tubular and hollow bristles as protofeathers, the parrot-like beak and normal ... now would wonder if it was related to birds. And the answer is NO. In fact, and this certainly surprise you, is related to the Triceratops or Eotriceratops. (Ceratopsia)
Animals heavy, clumsy, weighing several tons and with horns, one, three or even five. But if you look at the representations that have been made in the fossils found, we see that these large animals ... also have beaks.

Bruhathkayosaurus measuring


As we have the latest posts dedicated to mammals, marsupials antique and prehistoric arthropods, the truth is that this time I wanted to speak again about dinosaurs, large reptiles ... titanic sized reptiles ... I love it!


The prehistoric animal which we will discuss today, is called Bruhathkayosaurus (which does not refer to a yoga posture which we might call "the reptile"). Its name comes from the Sanskrit bruhath (बृहत) "big, fat", and Kaya (काय) "body" and then, from the Greek meaning saurus reptile: the lizard of large, heavy body.

The Bruhathkayosaurus, and specifically the spice called matleyi, was a giant sauropod, titanosaurids-called. A titanic as the famous sauropod Argentinosaurus and Diplodocus: large herbivorous reptiles 4 legs, long necks and long tails.

By name, Bruhathkayosaurus, we can intuit that the bones have been found in India. And their fossilized bones can extract and calculate the dimensions of this amazing beast. Compare with the two other known sauropods.

The Diplodocus was 30 feet and 80 tons.

The Argentinosaurus 35 meters and 100 tons (some think more).

The Bruhathkayosaurus measuring 40 meters and could weigh up to 140 tons.


If one day we will be sure of the existence of Amphicoelias, Bruhathkayosaurus could say that would be the second largest dinosaur on Earth ... but since we are not sure of the existence of Amphicoelias we can say: the Bruhathkayosaurus, the animal was longer and heavier than ever existed. I will not get into an argument about its dimensions ... if yes, if not ... the point is that rivaled in size with the known Argentinosaurus. (sorry for the Argentines who were proud of the huge prehistoric animal bearing the name of their country).

Keep in mind that 140 tons is a lot, sometimes, we get lost in numbers and costs us get an idea of ​​the size ... for example, we can compare it with 21 male African elephants.


The Bruhathkayosaurus lived in the late Cretaceous period in the Maastrichtian, 70 million years ago in what is now the Indian subcontinent.

Dinocrocuta



Well okay, I know that lately I talk a lot of hyenas, if the giant hyena or brevirostris, if Chasmaporthetes including I talk about the evolution LINK. But the animal from which I will talk today is not exactly a hyena, but almost almost (is in the same sub).Let's talk Dinocrocuta, which literally translated for me, means "Hyena terrible."

If the spotted hyena is an animal bite with a power far superior to that of other carnivores of the same size, Dinocrocuta, had a bite even higher. No broken bones, triturated like a herbivore grinds the beans and branches. You just have to take a look at his skull.




The skull was tremendous, huge, note that the strong mandibles look like an elephant but with fangs that look like projectiles. If you have that jaw so wide is to hold the attachments of muscles breakers incredibly powerful and if you have those huge fangs was to withstand the great pressure exerted by the jaws. Possibly one of the largest land mammals with bite force of all time, rather than the Megistotherium, the Androwsarcus and equating to Daeodon or pork terrible.


But this skull to hold the neck and body should be titanic. It is estimated that weighed up to 400 kg (1200 lb). Maybe that will not say anything, but keep in mind that the hyena does not exceed 90kg now, and the lions of Africa, do not exceed 300 kg (900 lb). It is true that during the Miocene, there were other large predators and large herbivores that had fed. And the best thing to have an idea, it's back to the comparisons:

Lion, Dinocrocuta, Cave Lion and  Cave Bear.

As shown in the picture, the skull of Dinocrocuta is almost as big as the cave lion and almost the same as the Cave Bear ... but if you look properly on, will see that the bones are more robust. This means that it was perhaps a top predator of its time.

As I said, the Dinocrocuta lived in the late Miocene in Africa, Asia and Europe. And actively hunted large animals, herbivores and carnivores. Animals like the woolly rhinoceros (which bones have been found with tooth marks posilizados of Dinocrocuta cured, so it is given an active role in not only hunting and predator) the Paraceratherium, the Platybelodon, Calicoterios Anisonodon and even the great mammoth.

Chasmaporthetes



This prehistoric animal is an animal very curious. Due to the different characteristics was an animal uncommon, and is called Chasmaporthetes, although not really a distinct species, it really is the family of a peculiar group of hyenas. Chasmaporthetes size is about 1 meter (3,3 ft) tall at the withers and an average of 80 kg (170 lbs). To get an idea, would be as large as the spotted hyenas that appear in documentaries in Africa but, more graceful, slightly taller and less robust.

The two main features of this hyena are:


First, their teeth. The Hyaenidae are characterized by a modified dentition for intervention on the hard tissues of the mammalian skeleton, and this is because most species are scavengers. However, representatives of the genre were primarily hunters Chasmaporthetes. I remember talking about the kind of prehistoric hyena Pachycrocuta (giant hyena), had a bite so powerful, so strong teeth and was so great that I could grind up the bones of elephants, LINK.

But back to what we want. When the experts found the jaw of Chasmaporthetes began to think that this species were mostly carrion, but rather active predators. To understand the difference, we could say that their molar teeth were made to cut, and not crushed. Something like the current cats, they are better equipped to hunt than to live on carrion.

The idea that predators were reinforced when analyzing its skeleton, found that their physiology was specialized in speed. Experts think that the Chasmaporthetes could reach up to 100 km / h (64 mll/h) and had to compete with the giant cheetah Acinonyx pardinensis of the time. Her long legs and slender body adapted to the speed, gave him a look that is classified in the group of hyena-like dogs ... talk about it another day.


Secondly, its distribution. We are accustomed to seeing the hyenas in Africa or South Asia and is easy to think that we in the east half and the Strait of Gibraltar, the hyenas could colonize Asia and Europe. For example, in Europe was the spice Chasmaporthetes lunensis. Well, another species, called Chasmaporthetes australis was the only species of hyena that through the Bering Strait colonized all of North America. This may not tell you much but it was this species, the swift hunter hyena, hyena more common around the world and of all time (although it is hardly known today). Lived parts of the world more than any other hyena, whether extinct or still alive.

Chasmaporthetes is a genus that lived in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America about 15 million years ago during the Miocene. In short, a sort of prehistoric animal that I thought you would like to know if you love animals, prehistoric or not.

Xiongguanlong, the ancestor of T.Rex


Xiongguanlong, the dragon of Jiayuguan (a city in China) is of utmost importance if we are to understand the appearance on earth Jurassic was the best known of all dinosaurs: Tyrannosaurus rex.

Its dimensions are not overly large jaw crusher or lacked teeth 30 cm long (1,2 ft) but its evolutionary features makes it worth being described as other lucky animals in this blog. Seriously, any prehistoric animal lover should know about this dinosaur.

The Xiongguanlong measured about 6 meters long and nearly 2 meters tall (7 ft), weighing around 300 kg (660 lb) the T.Rex was over twice and weighed 30 times more). His skull was about 50 cm (1,65 ft) long and the snout was long and thin that the T.Rex, more adapted to cut meat to crush bones. But I began to have those morphological features of Tyrannosaurus rex:



A box-shaped skull.
Reinforced temple bones to support the jaw muscles.
A strong spine that holds a large head.
Reduced forelimbs.
A predator might be terrible in its time but was not the biggest nor feared, did not reach the level of predator.



This Tyrannosauroidea theropod dinosaur lived in the Cretaceous between 125 and 100 million years. Keep in mind that most of the family lived in the Cretaceous Tyrannosauroidea ... not in the Jurassic as the movie suggests: Jurassic Park.

And for that matter, so as not to cause further confusion and this time for my culpa.Que the Xiongguanlong is the ancestor of T.Rex, does not mean it's necessarily the direct ancestor or the t. rex is the offspring following, but is useful in determining the overall pattern of evolution tyrannosaurid, is like knowing discovered a missing link in the evolution of T.Rex.


Last image taken from http://ca.bestpicturesof.com/paleoart

Nephila Jurassica

What is the largest known spider in prehistory? I guess those with arachnophobia do not want to know. But for everyone else, this question is no longer, at least, interesting to know.

Currently, the spider named Goliath is larger and heavier there. You can reach 30 cm in length with legs extended, although poisonous, is not fatal.


The fossil ever found largest spider is the Nephila Jurassica. A spider bigger than Goliath. Each leg was 15 cm and its body (the females who were older) had a thickness of up to 12 cm. We extended that could reach 42 cm easily.

Nephila Another curiosity is that the oldest fossil spider found. And it was in April 2011 when they discovered their fossils in what is now China.

Another curiosity of this spider is that their fossils belong to the Jurassic and the Carboniferous (when there were large insects that increased much in size by the lack of predators and the high concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere). But hey, that does not mean they do not exist. In fact we think that existed when the land was a continent, Pangea, 1000 million years ago.

Finally, little is known of Jurassica Nephila, sure we'll learn more over time.
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