Welcome to a blog now shared by one, two, um... four people. Wipe your shoes off on the mat and delve into the posts featuring rants, museum pictures, and some cool facts. Nerds of all kinds welcome.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some More Theropods

This year is so far proving to be a productive year for theropods. What, with the giant (ok, 8.5ft and 100lbs) alvarezsaur Bonapartenykus, the very recent Ichthyovenator (which I think now might have just had one sail and that the fossil has broken vertebrae), and the astonishing Yutyrannus, we've had some phenomenal discoveries. And this keeps happening. Our first theropod story is on that mysterious ornithomimosaur Deinocheirus, the giant one with sloth arms to disembowel you with. Apparently, some gastralia were found with the remains of a Tarbosaurus, showing its last meal. So, we got some new Deinocheirus material.

Also in breaking news is the fresh off the shelf Ostafrikasaurus, the earliest known spinosaur, dating back to Tendaguru rocks 148 million years old. Looks like those Bahariya giants can trace their history back longer than we thought. Also in the news, while not a theropod, an unusual 450-million year old fossil was found, 7ft long. Nicknamed "Godzillus" =  awesome name.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Some More Info on Spinosaurs

Looks like my blog was mentioned on LITCs newest post:


Pretty cool, though I had to beg like a sucker to get my blog in the list of links, ha ha.

Anyways, back to the point. If you read the post at LITC, David mentions a possible spinosaur phalanx (?) previously thought to be from Torvosaurus, the awesome theropod that terrorized the Morrison Formation (where the phalanx was found) and Portugal, as we all saw in Dinosaur Revolution. So, this means that spinosaurs had a potential reign (well, by bodies of water, I guess; the apex predator role was taken by carnosaurs and their cousins [spinosaurs] the megalosaurs) in a near-worldwide distribution. We now know they came from South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. With possible, scarce remains in Australia, and the phalanx mentioned earlier before, this means they could have occupied six continents. With dinosaurs such as titanosaurs, ankylosaurs, and dromaeosaurs showing up in Antarctica, could it be possible spinosaurs continued their range there too? Interesting food for thought. For now, we'll just have to wait.


©Robinson Kunz

Monday, April 23, 2012


A new spinosaur, Baryonyx-sized, has been discovered in the Laos, called Ichthyovenator laosensis (how convenient) and it had two sails (package deal). Already, I've had two things pop up in my Deviantwatch, maybe it'll start popping up even more frequently soon enough.

© HodariNundu. 2012. 

Identification Help

Does anyone know what these are. I think they might be fish scales, but I'm not too entirely sure. We found them by the river; the big one is about 2in tall, the other is 1in. They have a somewhat bony texture.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Burpee Museum Pictures 2

Yikes, it looks like I'm trying to get Mike's interview off this page. Nah, I would never do that intentionally. I'm just in a posting mood. From the Paleofest visit:

The new Diabloceratops skull.

Homer with his new pals.

The Kosmoceratops skull seen at the far left above.

A cast of Jane's skull.

Champsosaurus, the kickin' awesome crocodile niche Hell Creek animal from head on. Sweet Jesus, those teeth are like frickin' needles.

Pachycephalosaurus running away. I scared him! Ankylosaurus skull in background.

Head on collision!

If this picture isn't self explanatory, you're either dyslexic or blind. Or both.

A look at small, really small fossils from Hell Creek; a Chirostenotes claw, baby T. rex tooth, a scale, shell imprints, some thing in the background, and under that magnifying glass, a mammal's jaw. How you could even see these in the badlands with the naked eye boggles my mind.

Some amphibian.

Cockroaches! I think they were added between my older visit and the Paleofest one.

Some other amphibians and the notorious camera flash, often found where glass roams.

Kosmoceratops skull up close at one of the lectures, left behind from the dinner, I suppose.

Tyler Keillor's great Quetzalcoatlus cast.

A more panoramic view of Jane's room.


Neanderthal head from a temporary (?) exhibit.

Neanderthal bones.

While you're reading, dear readers, why don't you check out and sign up at The Paleo Handbook? We have tons of profiles to read, based as a field guide, and friendly members to chat with. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Burpee Museum Pictures

Well, you guys have heard me talk on and on about Burpee Museum, when I realized, I've never shown any pictures of the place! This is a crime, I tell you! The Burpee Museum of Natural History has quite a bit of exhibits, focusing on Native Americans, native animals, geology, etc, but we'll be focusing on the more prehistoric side of Burpee, with Paleozoic creatures, Hell Creek dinosaurs, with some Morrison Formation thrown in.

The Columbian mammoth at the entrance never fails to amaze with its tremendous size. Hard to imagine the Songhua River mammoth is even bigger when you're looking at it.

Arthropleura at the Mazon Creek Coal Forest exhibition. An artificial thunderstorm can be heard at times.

This is Jane, the pride of Rockford, earning her the nickname "Jane the Rockford T. rex". She's seen rushing a Thescelosaurus in her exhibit.

Another view of Jane.

The replica skeleton of an adult T. rex is also in the room. While you hear about its tremendous size in every dinosaur book ever, you can really only appreciate it up close. And when things like Spinosaurus and Giganotosaurus got bigger, you know we're lucky they went extinct.

Tyler Keillor's awesome Jane sculpture eating a camera flash. Nom nom nom.

A Quetzalcoatlus with a relatively small wingspan (as is it Q. sp, and not Q. nothropi) flies overhead.

Arctodus simus and grizzly bear skull (I think) on the temporary Ice Age exhibition. The same room held a temporary African dinosaurs exhibition (with Baryonyx tenerensis, Afrovenator, Deltadromeus, Jobaria, etc) on display last year.

A sculpture of Castoroides in the Ice Age exhibit.

A look at a juvenile Triceratops skull in the basement.

Homer the juvenile Triceratops skull.

A running Pachycephalosaurus. This isn't the best quality, and I'll show a better picture from my Paleofest visit (this visit was quite a few months ago).

Champsosaurus, the most kickin' awesome crocodile-niche animal from Hell Creek.

Back at the entrance from the 2nd level; Pterygotus, a giant trilobite, and some other Paleozoic invertebrates.

Meganeura on a log. You notice something new every time you visit the forest.


Some Devonian amphibian I forgot the name of.

Dunkleosteus, one of the most awesome fish, and most awesome creatures to exist. My dad said he wants one of these in our house.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Paleo Interview #5: Mike Fredericks

Even if you skimped over the title of the article, you can probably already guess who is our next interviewee (that's still an actual word, wow) is. He is the publisher, editor, and founder of Prehistoric Times magazine, which is now in its 19th year with 101 issues. Recently, I submitted a drawing (entitled "Tug of War" on my Deviantart page) featuring Hesperornis for the 101th issue. Our interviewee was able to publish it in that issue, which is out now for you to buy and enjoy. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gentlemanly ladies and lady-like gentlemen, it is my honour to feature Mike Fredericks. Start virtual applause now.


1. First off, thanks for publishing my drawing in issue #101 of PT. So, when did you first get interested in dinosaurs?
My pleasure Connor, thanks for sharing your nice art. 
Dinosaurs were very popular when I was a kid in the 60s. Several movies, books and toys helped make them “big” in my life at that time. King Kong was shown on TV once a year and I loved it. A film called “Dinosaurus” also was a hit with me. I loved my Marx toy dinosaurs and looked at several kid’s books on dinosaurs practically to the point of rubbing all the ink off of them.

2. What made you want to publish a magazine on dinosaurs?
As a young adult, I rediscovered dinosaurs through the same ways that had initially made me interested in them as a kid; movies, books and toys. Jurassic Park came out in theaters, I found a couple of great dinosaur books in stores that included artwork by William Stout, John Sibbick and others, plus I found a collection of vintage dinosaur toys in an antique store and bought them all. I love both science and art plus I wanted to find out more about dinosaur toys and collectibles. I found another dinosaur nut and he and I decided to start our own dinosaur publication to find more like-minded people around the world.

3. What do you think the hardest part is of composing and publishing a magazine?
I have found it to be a pure joy to publish Prehistoric Times. “Dinosaur people” are the nicest group of people you could ever hope to meet and working and chatting with thousands of them over the past 20 years has been a highlight of my life. I started off slow and only improved the quality of the printing of the magazine as my readership grew so coming up with the money has never been too difficult. (Although I confess to worrying about it from time to time.) I have never been at a loss for content as PT readers are constantly sending me art, info and articles, but most of all you have to love what you are doing and I really enjoy publishing PT.

4. PT features a lot of interviews with paleontologists and paleoartists. What are some of the most memorable interviews you've had?
Having all my favorite paleoartists be a part of the magazine has long been a thrill and I have been fortunate enough to meet most of them in person on several occasions as well. As much as I love the science too, I admit to still being a bit nervous about interviewing paleontologists. I have often let other people do those interviews but for the few that I have done, it was great to be able to ask questions of experts on a subject that I love. Many paleontologists have been good enough to be a part of the magazine over the years and I have had the pleasure of meeting most of them too. I have especially fond memories of interviewing Phil Currie from Canada. Ken Carpenter of Denver was a very good interview in the magazine too, although I didn't do it myself.

5. Here comes the random mandatory question: what is your favorite piece of paleoart / paleoartist?
I have been asked this many times and will never answer. I truly love it all and while I have a few favorites, I am so grateful to all the artists that donate their fine art to PT that I wouldn't want to leave anybody out.

6. Who in your life supported/encouraged your interest in prehistoric creatures?
Certainly my wife has been a saint to put up with it all. We get phone calls at all hours from readers and our beautiful home has dinosaur models on display in it that she does not share my interest in, etc etc. Of course all the PT readers and contributors have supported and encouraged me. If they had not embraced the magazine, I wouldn't still be publishing it.

7. Did any paleontologists/paleoartists (as people such as Thomas Holtz, Bob Bakker, Stephen Brusatte, and Tyler Keillor did for me) influence your interest?
I have had the privilege to meet or converse with most every paleoartist (including Tyler Keillor) and many paleontologists (including Thomas Holtz and Bob Bakker) over the years or at least e-mail with them. They were all the icing on the cake of getting a magazine going on a subject that I love. (One time, Bakker called my house and I didn't believe it was really him for a minute. I thought someone was playing a joke on me.) 

8. What would you recommend for anyone interested in prehistoric creatures?
Read, research and enjoy all that is available out there in books, on-line and everywhere. Oh, and perhaps pick up a copy of Prehistoric Times from time to time. www.prehistorictimes.com
Mike Fredericks
Prehistoric Times

It is once again an honour to feature Mike Fredericks on the blog, and I already have several people on my list that I want to interview too. I've noticed that this interview is different then the rest, because instead of a paleoartist, a paleosculpturist (????), an aspiring well-accomplished paleontologist, and another well-accomplished paleontologist, we had the publisher of Prehistoric Times. I'd have to thank my dad for giving me the idea to interview him, and also thank Mike for interview, and thank the readers for...well... reading, yeah. Oh, make sure to sign up to get updates on your email. Seriously. Do it now. I know you're out there, I know you're reading...

All images from Prehistoric Times website.

*Yes, I know, the highlight around the words doesn't fit the post. I've copied these straight from my email and if I don't do this, there's an ugly white around them. If you know how to remedy this, email me at crexsaurs@gmail.com. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Here's the Problem...

It's been a while since I noticed this, but I haven't posted about it so, yeah, here it is. I've noticed the problem is with many things, such as paleoart, and people getting in to dinosaurs, laymen, and people wanting to study dinosaurs, is that a lot of people seem to think the whole ecosystem is JUST dinosaurs, filling every niche and dominating everything. It's time to educate people that this is far from the truth. For example, if you look at the Candeleros Formation, you have the dinosaurs, like the superpredator Giganotosaurus and the unique (fine, from a unique family) heron-like Buitreraptor and the vacuum cleaner-mouthed Limaysaurus. But we have a great record of non-dinosaurians there too. For example, the primitive snake Najash, is known from this formation, as is the terrestrial Araripesuchus and the saber-toothed "squirrel" Cronopio. Sphenodontians, turtles, frogs, and fish can be found here too.

And then, when you look at Hell Creek, we have an astounding record of non-dinosaurians. Quetzalcoatlus was like a giant marabou stork, and then we have plenty of mammals too, like Alphadon and Didelphodon, which could have preyed on young dinosaurs. The formations of Early Cretaceous China show plenty of niches being occupied and reveal plenty of non-dinosaurians; the astounding amount of pterosaurs, Hyphalosaurus, Repenomamus (a near badger-sized mammal that preyed on baby dinosaurs), Xianglong, etc. In earlier Chinese rocks, we see the relatively big otter-niche Castorocauda, the flying squirrel-like Volaticotherium, and the giant spider which could have eaten baby scansoriopterygids, Nephila jurassica.

And the dinosaurs weren't stopping anything from being big either. The giant azhdarchids, Quetzalcoaltus, Hatzegopteryx (=Quetzalcoatlus?), Arambourgiania, etc, were already nearly giraffe-height with wingspans the size of small airplanes (a cliched fact in dinosaur books), and they all lived in an ecosystem with dinosaurs. Mammals also were getting big too, the aforementioned Didelphodon was the size of a Virginia opossum, Repenomamus giganticus was a meter long, as was the platypus Kollikodon (originally going to be named Hotcrossbunodon, which means it would be excluded from every book ever), and Castorocauda was the size of a female platypus. And while I've been saying "non-dinosaurians" this whole post, I want to include some birds in this too. Gargantuavis was a rhea to emu-sized bird from Late Cretaceous France, and the possible bird Samrukia was the size of a large ostrich. Lizards such as Palaeosaniwa were 6ft long, perhaps somewhat like a savannah monitor. Madtsoiia was 20-30ft long, if I recall correctly. Several terrestrial crocodiles neared 10-20ft long. It's well-known that many aquatic/semiaquatic crocodiles reached 20-40ft long, but since non-avian dinosaurs don't really dominate this niche at any point, it's safe to exclude them. Dinosaurs weren't the only big animals around.

And dinosaurs weren't the most dominant either, especially near the end of their reign. In Brazil and Pakistan, Baurusuchus and Pabweshi, respectively, overthrew the reign of dinosaurs and became 6-10ft long apex predators. Hatzegopteryx (=Quetzalcoatlus?) and Bakonydraco were the apex predators of their area, and they were pterosaurs. The aforementioned Madtsoiia could have been a contender for apex predator.

So anyways, the point of this long post that it's time to educate that dinosaurs weren't all superior. Many other creatures got big during their reign, many coexisted with them, and many were fierce contenders. Truthfully, most of the research on animals that coexisted with dinosaurs, is passed by and focused on, well, dinosaurs. It's time to educate, research, and change this view.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Archosaurs in Omaha

Recently, I had the awesome chance to visit the zoo in Omaha. Sprawling over 130 acres, it has to be one of the best zoos I've ever visited. Naturally, hundreds of pics were taken by me, including mammals, fish, archosaurs... Bah, who cares about the first two, let's see some archosaurs!

Gentoo penguin, with king, rockhopper, and macaroni penguins in the background.

Blue-bellied rollers.

Crested pigeons.

Cinnamon teal, I think...

Hadada ibis

Scarlet macaw

African black-footed penguins.

Some duck...

Some other duck...

American flamingo.

White stork.

White alligator.

Spectacled caimans.

Laughing thrushes.

White stork again.

Crowned crane.