Showing posts with label North America.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label North America.. Show all posts


As its name suggests, (Camarasaurus) comes from camera .... but not the camera taking pictures. It refers to the camera as room as hollow, or internal and covered space. This refers to two bone peculiarities: the vertebrae, though robust, are quite hollow inside, and on the other hand, the skull was square and its huge nostrilsgiving the sense of having a very hollow or empty skull.

But what was a Camarasaurus?

It was a herbivore, a great vegetarian 18 meters long and 18 tons. It was a long sauropod like Diplodocus or Argentinosaurus. It was not as big as them, even for a sauropod, had a rather short neck and tail. However, the body was very strong, so experts estimate that could reach 18 tons.
It lived 150 million years ago in what is now North America.

Another curiosity is that when paleontologists mounted their bones, found a lump of hip bones. It has been speculated about this, and apparently could be that it was another brain, hip, not in the head ... I repeat: another brain in the hip. Finally, another brain or nerve plexus great about it .... still no full consensus.

The other curiosity we can emphasize is the domed shape of its skull. The experts believe that this will served as a sounding board to create a sound effect that could be used to communicate with other Camarasaurus. I imagine a Camarasaurus, warning of the attack by a group of Allosaurus, with a sort of nasal sound, similar to today's large ships when they enter port.
More things:

  • The Camarasaurus could not be applied on its hind legs.
  • Its front legs have claws capable of giving a good blow to their attackers.
  • Analyzed his teeth, thought to eat vegetables harder than Diplodocus.
  • It lived in the Jurassic.
  • To facilitate digestion, it could swallow stones, as is currently done some birds and other herbivores.


Family of ankilosauridae (which are protected under bony armor, armored lizard literally), we can point the Gastonia burgei. A herbivorous whose most notable physical feature was its enormous armor protecting the back of the body and neck and serves as an indication to know your storyline. An armature, a row of spines and bumps that made ​​it impossible to sink your teeth predators. Besides working in packs, and facing a predator joined rows forming impassable reminds African buffalo versus lions.

The characteristics of the excavation where the fossilized bones were found, no one knows exactly the number of spines possessed. Is known is that some reach 50 cm (1,7 ft) in length, therefore, predators should be very careful not to bump into these horns if they did not to lose an eye, or were nailed to the heart or lungs.

In fact, its only weakness was the belly, for that, the predator must rotate in order to reach an area unprotected. Something that is very difficult because the Gatonia was an animal with a very low center of gravity and weighing more than 1000 kg (2204 lb). Length up to 5 meters (7 ft) long, with a tail of 2 meters which it used as a whip and a simple swipe of the tail, was able to knock down a predator.

Found between predators to Utahraptor, which by name and intuit that was in Utah, in the United States. And the Gastonia lived mainly in what is today North America and Europe during the Cretaceous period, about 125 million years ago.

A curiosity about Gastonia. Phylogenetic by this prehistoric animal is the Ornithischia. This animal, known for their muscles, strength and be massive and heavy, shares a similar bird hip, which means bird and ornitheos ischion by hip. But this similarity does not mean anything, is only superficial because birds are from the order Saurischia


Since I can remember I always wanted to know more and more about dinosaurs, more and more, and my atraena me most was the Pachycephalosaurus. In all the pictures I saw when I was little, it appeared this saurian with what to me looked like a piece of shell that had not yet shaken off. Years later, looking around, I discovered that it was a piece of shell, but its head, its skull formidably thick and strong. Able to withstand the strongest thrusts like the shell of a turtle. I also discovered that the name "Pachycephalosaurus" means literally that: lizard or reptile thick head.

The next thing I asked was why on this lizard had this strange head? My first conclusion was that used to hit, to dispute with other males the dominant male position ... do something like bison and bulls have horns or a bony prominence at the top of the skull. Although I'm not sure why, some experts have dismissed this feature ... but then why has a skull with a 25 cm thick? ... Not everyone agrees that the Pachycephalosaurus not have this bulge to beat their opponents. Many people, as I am, ignorant, think that is the most likely explanation. Others think that the issue that brought its bulging head served to intimidate predators.It is true that possibly get, because along the shell, there were numerous small spiny protrusions capable of hurting. Probably, the predator would attack, receive the following message: I'm not very big, I have no fangs or claws, but I have a weapon / protection in the most fragile part of the body .... the neck and head. What is evident is that its thick head was protected its tiny brain blows ... had special protection. So not only seemed difficult to hunt, but also it was.

The only species of this genus was P. wyomingensis and as the name suggests, was found in the state of Wyoming, in the United States. It was a herbivore (or omnivore) of late Cretaceous and may have been represented in this prehistoric animal illustrations and on the horizon the meteorite that ended with most of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, along with the T.Rex and Triceratops.

Could reach up to 7 meters in length and can weigh nearly 3 tons. Its hind legs were strong, however the front were small and "weak", for this is thought to be traveling in a biped. Tail was robust and heavy to counteract the weight of the head.
The neck was short and sturdy able to sustain its heavy skull (this could be evidence that it received and provoked strong impact with his head). Its teeth were small and elongated (so you think he could be omnivorous small dams).

Although it has long been known to this lizard, about 80 years, there have been few remains that have been found, so talk it over, it might be speculated.


Actually, the largest and heaviest wolves may be found in cold northern areas of America and Asia, including Canada and Alaska and the Russian steppes. Normally, these wolves do not exceed 80 kg (176 lb), when they do it is because we are talking about huge wolves, strong, sturdy and large and possibly have been bred in captivity. However, the size of these big wolves is nothing to what I could weigh the Epicyon. A prehistoric wolf stood at 170 (360 lb)kg.

Their name, Epicyon, means literally "more than a dog". And it really is bigger than a dog, from snout to tail could exceed 2.5 meters (9 ft.)(which dog measure that?). In addition, the Epicyon was part of the subfamily of Borophaginae, a group of ancient canids whose name means "bone crushing dogs", in reference to its strong and resistant teeth can crush the bones of its prey. Something like the teeth of hyenas ... when they had not yet appeared on earth. To get an idea, it has been observed that a wolf has a bite pressure of 270 kg  (590 lb) as much as Epicyon morphology, this was over 600 kg (1322 lb)... we just got to the 80 (176 lb) kg of pressure.

It is thought that these prehistoric animals lived and hunted in packs ... thus achieving a great success in their survival. Stalked and hunted with its teeth large and small prey such as (antique mammoths, deer and the Synthetoceras or calicotéridos). The success of their survival was such that the Epicyon lived thousands of years, millions of years. Exactly 15 million years is one of the top predators. Virtually the entire Miocene Epicyon lived as it appeared 25 million years ago and disappeared for 5 ..... an eternity compared to the survival of the species homo sapiens.


I often think that the experts not too fussed for naming dinosaurs. For example, if they find a lizard in Alberta (a province of Canada), as they call Albertosaurus. Well, I'm no expert and I guess that is a valid way to classify other prehistoric animals.

And how was Albertosaurus? Well, this animal had many curious things. For example, Albertosaurus was a fearsome hunter, its bite while being less potent than the T.Rex, was very powerful, as well as the largest of the crocodiles, which are animals with bite even more powerful live.
We could say it was like a smaller version of Tyrannosaurus, but not that much less effective as a predator. Because when weighing 2 tons (nearly half of T. Rex), Albertosaurus could be quicker, faster and agile. An estimated could exceed 50 km / h (31 mi/h)... To get an idea, Usain Bolt (the fastest man in the world) reaches 37 km / h (22 mi/h).

The dimensions of this predator prehistoric were:

Weight: up to 2 tons (4400 lb).
Length: 10 meters (33 ft).
Skull: 1.2 meters (4 ft).
Height: 3.5 meters (10 ft).

As you see, it was so small, was a smaller version of T.Rex, and in fact, the only impediment to not become the apex predator of the late Cretaceous in North America, was this, that the T.Rex occupied that position.

Other characteristics of Albertosaurus was that had small arms, hardly useless.
Also had bony protrusions on the eyes which had the role of protecting the eye when producing its deadly bite.
And finally, have sharp teeth on the inside a form lumber, this allowed it to tear the flesh once bitten and pulled with his strong neck.
Albertosaurus really is the name of a genus and now consists of three species, but the most representative was Arctunguis Albertosaurus.

Sabertoothed vs Cave lion

At the end, when I put the title, I opted for the most striking title, but my intention was to title this entry: "Cave Lion, Sabretooth and Isthmus of Panama" ... for being this last element would change the configuration of these super-predators who lived North and South America. Let me explain.

Now, to get into this exciting evolutionary battle, we must consider two things:

1 - Today, the largest cat is the Siberian Tiger ... to about 105 cm and 220 kg.

2 - South and North America were cut off, separated by an ocean, and different species living in each of the old continent.

When in one place and at the same time coincide two similar species with similar characteristics and common prey, one of the two species usually be favored over the other. The species "loser" or disappears or should look other prey in other ecological niches that are not exploited by the species "winner". This, over the years can promote morphological changes occur in the species "loser" and then, the two species are no longer rivals to specialize each in their prey and their characteristics.

Well, this I had to tell you that you may understand better what happened between these two species: American cave lion (Panthera leo atrox) and the saber-toothed tiger (Similodon).

In the Pleistocene, there were these two species. The cave lion was king. It was clever, powerful, with a strong bite and we could say it was the super-predator. It weighed about 360 kg - 400 kg and no other animals, such as wolves, bears or other feline, was able to intimidate it. In fact, in its name we can appreciate the sentiment that created to its discoverers, atrox means terrible.

Then we have the second best, it was the saber tooth tiger (Smilodon fatalis), not that it was small. It was quite large and robust enough, maybe a little less intelligent and less social life. It weighed about 280 kg, so we could say that weighed the same as a Siberian tiger overweight ... but that does not exist in nature.

The cave lion weighed fourth part the sabertooth. And with that weight, this old lion, keeping at bay potential sabertooth. It would be like the African lion and leopard. The saber-tooth (as leopard) had to settle for smaller prey with other predators steal them and take care that they are not stolen and ultimately ... was content to be in the shadow of the Great Cave Lion .... But this did not last long ... the Sabretooth had his opportunity and took it.

In the mid-Pleistocene and in a process that lasted hundreds of years, North America joined with the south, forming what we known today as the Isthmus of Panama. This event is one of the most important, geologically speaking, of which have occurred in the last 60 million years. Varied weather gave way to global and fauna from north to south, and vice versa ... is called the Great American Interchange.

The first cross was the Smilodon fatalis. Over time and thanks to the lack of predators (thought) evolved a new species called Smilodon populator a kind to settle at the top of the food pyramid, a prehistoric beast weighing 450 kg, more robust and larger than not only its relative the Smilodon fatalis, but also that their "oppressor" of the north, the Cave Lion North America.

Two species maintained their reigns until a few thousand years ago, our ancestors probably met them, and some were killed in confrontations with these powerful animals: The Lion cave in the north and Sabretooth in the south.


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.


Recently on the blog include the legendary battle T.rex vs. Triceratops, and people keep leaving your views and comments, but what is certain is that the results would be very different and unfavorable to the Tyrannosaurus if instead of fighting against a triceratops, he should make against a Eotriceratops.

We could say that if the triceratops was a black bear, the bear was a grizzly Eotriceratops. Were indeed very similar but the Eotriceratops was larger, heavier and older. Eotriceratops means "the first with three horns on their heads." This is a triceratops that has the largest horns all have been discovered so far, something he himself would doubt the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

It is estimated that hast measured 12 meters (2 more than the Triceratops) and 15 tonnes (3 more than the T.) and had a huge head of 3 meters long ... 3 METERS!!

The Eotriceratops is older than any other group ceratopsid or Torosaurus Triceratops lived in the late Cretaceous period in what is now North America and the only known species refers to the Eotriceratops xerinsularis.

Apart from size, age and weight, has other features that distinguish it from Triceratops as one nostril much higher (for it is thought he could permacener submerged in water for long periods of time) and larger horns and near eyes.


THE TERRIBLE carnivorous reptiles. That was the name we put this dinosaur, Daspletosaurus. It was another prehistoric animal Tyranosaurido fierce-looking and although a little smaller than its cousin the famous Tyranosaurio. Even being smaller, this dinosaur was a predator that stood at the top of the food chain and devouring other animals such as large or some Ceratopsidae hadrosaurids (horned Triceratops) of several tons.

Possibly, his name is due to the impression that was taxed in the retina of the paleontologists who discovered it: a huge head of 1 meter with 72 serrated teeth, long and sharp with heterodoncia (specialized teeth). Measuring up to 9 meters long and it is estimated that almost could have reached the 4,000 kg.

A feature to highlight in this prehistoric predator was his strong neck and a strong legs (compared with other similar sized tyranosauridos.

The strong hind legs brought him agility and speed in racing, and a starting power and strength to pursue valuable prey. It was really a terrible carnivore and fast.

On the strength of his neck, holding a skull strong armed indeed, its function was to hold its prey. Since its forelegs were minimal and not very useful, Daspletosaurus used their strong teeth to catch and mortally wound its prey. Grab their prey with a bite bowed numerous sharp teeth and retained and the onslaught endured and the struggles of its prey with its powerful neck.

The Daspletosaurus lived in North America in the Cretaceous period about 75 million years.

In the video below looks like a group of successful practice Daspletosaurus a hunt. (Up to 4.40 min)


One of the first animals that we put in the blog was the big Azhdarchidae. Huge pterosaur (flying reptiles) with a wingspan of 10 meters. Well, now the largest pterosaur know all ... indeed is considered the largest flying animal of history: the Quetzalcoatlus.

The Quetzalcoatlus was by far the largest flying animal. For example, a current condor reaches 3.3 meters (11 ft) , 3.6 meters (12 ft) of an albatross, a magnificiens Argentinavis reached the 8 meters (26 ft) wingspan, large Azhdarchidae reached the 10 meters (33 ft) ... but the Quetzalcoatlus reached 15 meters (48 ft) . And while most current research suggests that reached 12 meters, still the largest flying animal ever.

The most representative species of this genus is the northropi Quetzalcoatlus, a pterosaur, with a similar appearance to other pterosaurs had a long beak, sharp and toothless. With a small head and a ridge height of almost 5 meters (16 ft) when placed standing, weighing 200 kg (450 lb) . To think that 200 kg (450 lb) is a lot for a flying animal, for example, weighs 12 kg (25 lb) condor, so some experts believe that weighed much less ... about 80 kg.

It lived in the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian ago by 68-65.5 million years ago) in North America.

Saurophaganax, theeater of saurians.

Saurophaganax, theeater of saurians is a genus represented by a single species of theropod dinosaur alosáurido: Saurophaganax maximus.

This was a predator who was at the top of the food chain of the time. A hunter considered the gender of the Allosaurus, which rivaled the east by the Jurassic reservoirs superior.De titanic fact, Saurophaganax maximus, was greater than any Allosaurus... as a Zhuchengtyrannus. Could grow to 11 meters long (36 ft), 3.5 tons, and nearly 4 meters (17 ft) high ... But some paleontologists experts who have researched their fossils suggest that it could reach up to 15 meters (50 ft)long and nearly 6 tons (as T. Rex) y. .. apart from these data that can help us imagine a similar beast, S. maximus shared a characteristic of other species of Allosaurus: speed. Could grow to more than 10 km / h; nothing compared to a Formula One car but far more titanic than animals that were part of their diet as the Apatosaurus.

If it was a Allosurus or not is not known, but is increasingly more confident that it is not, what we do know the Saurophaganax maximus is: if it looked like the Allosaurus, the bite would be so terrible as these predators ... not good .... even more powerful and effective because it is a large species 3 meters (12 ft) and two tons heavier. We could say that if the Allosaurus was a bull shark, S. maximus would be a great white shark.

The main feature is its maximus Saurophaganax horizontal plate at the base of the dorsal neural spine, this gives a look similar to the typical fantastic dragons have a series of chevrons along the body.

Allosaurus Europaeus.

Allosaurus was a large bipedal predator with a large skull, equipped with dozens of large, sharp teeth. It averaged 8.5 meters (28 ft) in length, though fragmentary remains suggest it could have reached over 12 meters (39 ft). Relative to the large and powerful hindlimbs, its three-fingered forelimbs were small, and the body was balanced by a long, heavy tail.

Allosaurus fragilis, the best-known species, had an average length of 8.5 meters (28 ft), with the largest definitive Allosaurus specimen estimated at 9.7 meters long (32 ft), and an estimated weight of 2.3 metric tons (2.5 short tons).

The skull and teeth of Allosaurus were modestly proportioned for a theropod of its size.

Allosaurus is a genus of large theropod dinosaur that lived 155 to 145 million years ago, in the late Jurassic period in the Kimmeridgian and Tithonian, in what is now North America and Europe.

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