Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anurognathus ammoni

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.deviantart.com/art/Anurognathus-ammoni-555849082

Anurognathus ammoni (Döderlein, 1923)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Pterosauria (Pterodactyls)
Monofenestrata
Caelidracones
Anurognathidae

Late Jurassic
Germany

Wingspan: 35 cm

Long before drones and radio waves filled the air, Anurognathus soared amidst the trees of Germany, snatching up airborne insects with her small, sharp teeth.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ceratogaulus hatcheri (Horned Gopher)

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.deviantart.com/art/Ceratogaulus-hatcheri-Horned-Gopher-555848854

Ceratogaulus hatcheri (Matthew, 1902) (Horned Gopher)
Synapsida
Therapsida
Theriodontia
Cynodontia
Mammalia
Theria
Eutheria
Placentalia
Boreoeutheria
Euarchontoglires
Glires
Rodentia
Sciuromorpha?
Mylagaulidae

Late Miocene to Early Pleistocene
North America

Length (Quadrupedal): About 30 cm

The smallest horned mammal known to modern science, she has evolved bony (not just keratinous!) horns as a defensive measure. They are no larger nor more elaborate in her male counterparts.

The horned gopher. An animal so self-explanatory, she makes rocket launcher instructions seem like graduate school level calculus!

Sunday, December 6th, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Opabinia regalis

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.deviantart.com/art/Opabinia-regalis-555848586

Opabinia regalis (Walcott, 1912)
Ecdysozoa
Panarthropoda
Stem-Arthropoda
Dinocaridida?
Radiodonta
Opabiniidae

Middle Cambrian
Burgess Shale
British Columbia, Canada

Length: 7 cm (9.4 cm with proboscis)

Long before plastic and radioactive garbage filled the oceans, Opabinia patrolled the seafloor, snatching up soft prey with her trunk and then shoving them into her backward pointing mouth on the underside of her head.

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

“Ain’t I seen you before? I think I remember those eyes, eyes, eyes!”
-    Usher

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Yi qi

Note: A digitally coloured version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.deviantart.com/art/Yi-qi-555848292

Yi qi (Xu et al., 2015)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Maniraptora
Paraves
Scansoriopterygidae

Middle to Late Jurassic
Hebei, China

Estimated Mass: 380 g

Unlike her sister paravians, Yi qi was too cool for pennaceous feathers, sporting absolutely none (unless they somehow failed to be preserved with her remains). Instead, she evolved a “styliform element,” made of bone or at least calcified cartilage, extending from her wrist to help support her membranous wings as she glided, if not soared, through the forests of Middle and Late Jurassic China.

Note: Colouration based on authors' analysis of melanosomes (pigmentation organelles) preserved in the fossil.

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.deviantart.com/art/Spinosaurus-aegyptiacus-555847940

Spinosaurus aegyptiacus (Stromer, 1915)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Megalosauroidea
Spinosauridae
Spinosaurinae

Early to Late Cretaceous
North Africa

Length: 15+ m

The largest carnivore to ever walk on terra firma, she preferred fish to dinosaurian flesh and the water to life as a land lubber. On a sadder note, her holotype specimen was destroyed during the night of April 24th, 1944 by a Royal Air Force bombing run on Munich, a solemn reminder that we humans would perhaps much rather prefer to destroy this planet than learn a darn thing about it.

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Deinocheirus mirificus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Deinocheirus mirificus (Osmólska & Roniewicz, 1970)
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Maniraptoriformes
Ornithomimosauria
Deinocheiridae

Late Cretaceous
Mongolia

Length: 11 m

Though Deinocheirus was originally known only from her enormous arms (exceeded in size only by Therizinosaurus), two new skeletal remains (this time more complete) described in 2014 (after being successfully recovered from Mongolian thieves) helped shed some light on this previously enigmatic animal, such as her now-confirmed (at least partial) piscivory, though she remains quite an enigma. Unfortunately, in attaining huge size, she has lost the speed and intelligence of her smaller relatives.

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Megatherium americanum (Giant Ground Sloth)

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

I… AM… GROOT!!!!!

Megatherium americanum (Cuvier, 1796) (Giant Ground Sloth)
Mammalia
Theria
Eutheria
Placentalia
Xenarthra
Pilosa
Folivora (Sloths)
Megatheriidae

Late Pliocene to Early Holocene
South America

Length (Quadrupedal): 6 m

As big as an elephant, this ground sloth was one of the largest land mammals of all time, exceeded in only size by Paraceratherium and some proboscideans. Sadly, she still proved no match for the most dangerous mammal of all: humans.

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Inspiration for Groot pose here: comicbook.com/blog/2014/07/18/…

Phorusrhacos longissimus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.blogspot.com/2015/11/phorusrhacos-longissimus.html

Phorusrhacos longissimus (Ameghino, 1887)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Maniraptora
Paraves
Aves (Birds)
Neognathae
Cariamiformes
Phorusrhacidae (Terror Birds)

Miocene
Patagonia, Argentina

Height: 2.5 m

Originally thought to be a xenarthran mammal until 1891 (hence the grammatically incorrect Greek genus), this giant predatory bird hunted her prey with terrifying speed and rapid dorsal-ventral cuts from her beak and likely serrated mouth and tongue, similar to modern vultures, petrels, and her more famous dinosaurian antecedents such as Allosaurus fragilis.

Source: http://antediluviansalad.blogspot.com/2015/09/terror-birds-cometh-new-theory.html

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Phorusrhacos longissimus

Phorusrhacos longissimus (Ameghino, 1887)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Maniraptora
Paraves
Aves (Birds)
Neognathae
Cariamiformes
Phorusrhacidae (Terror Birds)

Miocene
Patagonia, Argentina

Height: 2.5 m

Originally thought to be a xenarthran mammal until 1891 (hence the grammatically incorrect Greek genus), this giant predatory bird hunted her prey with terrifying speed and rapid dorsal-ventral cuts from her beak and likely serrated mouth and tongue, similar to modern vultures, petrels, and her more famous dinosaurian antecedents such as Allosaurus fragilis.

Source: http://antediluviansalad.blogspot.com/2015/09/terror-birds-cometh-new-theory.html

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yutyrannus huali

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
http://sounder1995.blogspot.com/2015/11/yutyrannus-huali.html

Yutyrannus huali (Xu et al., 2012)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Avetheropoda
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea

Aptian, Early Cretaceous
Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, Northeastern China

Length: 9 m

The largest known dinosaur with preserved feather impressions, she lived in a noticeably colder Chinese home (average annual temperature: 10 degrees Celsius).

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Yutyrannus huali

Yutyrannus huali (Xu et al., 2012)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Avetheropoda
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea

Aptian, Early Cretaceous
Yixian Formation, Liaoning Province, Northeastern China

Length: 9 m

The largest known dinosaur with preserved feather impressions, she lived in a noticeably colder Chinese home (average annual temperature: 10 degrees Celsius).

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mammuthus columbi (Columbian Mammoth)

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Mammuthus columbi (Falconer, 1857) (Columbian Mammoth)
-    Formerly = Mammuthus imperator? (Leidy, 1858)
- Formerly = Mammuthus jeffersonii? (Osborn, 1922)
Synapsida
Mammalia
Theria
Eutheria
Placentalia
Afrotheria
Paenungulata
Proboscidea
Elephantidae

Pleistocene to Early Holocene
North America

Height: 4 m at the shoulder

A (more) southern relative of the woolly mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius), the Columbian mammoth sadly is also no longer a resident of our home planet. Whether he’s a victim of climate change and/or overhunting by North American “native” humans (Both the mammoths and humans migrated to North America from Asia by crossing the Bering land bridge) remains contested.

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Lythronax argestes

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Lythronax argestes (Loewen et al., 2013)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea
Tyrannosauridae
Tyrannosaurinae

Campanian, Late Cretaceous
Utah, United States

Length: 8 m

Despite being the oldest known tyrannosaurid, Lythronax already hunted her prey with full color binocular vision like her younger and larger sister, T. rex.

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Lythronax argestes

Lythronax argestes (Loewen et al., 2013)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea
Tyrannosauridae
Tyrannosaurinae

Campanian, Late Cretaceous
Utah, United States

Length: 8 m

Despite being the oldest known tyrannosaurid, Lythronax already hunted her prey with full color binocular vision like her younger and larger sister, T. rex.

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Arthropleura armata

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Arthropleura armata (Meyer, 1853)
Arthropoda
Myriapoda
Diplopoda (Millipedes)
Arthropleuridea

Early Carboniferous to Early Permian
Northeastern North America and Scotland

Length: 2.6 m

One of the largest arthropods of all time, she grazed the jungles that once covered North America and Scotland.

Monday, October 19th, 2015

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Kelenken guillermoi

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Kelenken guillermoi (Bertelli et al., 2007)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Coelurosauria
Avialae
Aves (Birds)
Neognathae
Cariamiformes
Phorusrhacidae (“Terror Birds”)

Middle Miocene
South America

Height: Up to 3 m

Armed with sharp talons and the most massive skull of any known bird, this titanic predator towered over all other competition. She dispatched her prey with swift downward blows from her beak.

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Qianzhousaurus sinensis

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Qianzhousaurus sinensis (Lü et al., 2014)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea
Tyrannosauridae
Tyrannosaurinae
Alioramini

Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous
Southern China

Length: 8 m

This strange Chinese relative of T. rex (no wait, that’s me!) helped shed some light on the evolution and phylogenetic relationships of Mongolian sister Alioramus.

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Qianzhousaurus sinensis

Qianzhousaurus sinensis (Lü et al., 2014)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Coelurosauria
Tyrannosauroidea
Tyrannosauridae
Tyrannosaurinae
Alioramini

Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous
Southern China

Length: 8 m

This strange Chinese relative of T. rex (no wait, that’s me!) helped shed some light on the evolution and phylogenetic relationships of Mongolian sister Alioramus.

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Torvosaurus gurneyi

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Torvosaurus gurneyi (Hendrickx & Mateus, 2014)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Megalosauroidea
Megalosauridae

Late Jurassic
Portugal

Length: 10 m

The largest carnivore to ever walk on European soil, she remained synonymous with her North American sister Torvosaurus tanneri until a new analysis in 2014 discovered enough oral differences between them to warrant her own separate species, in this case named after the writer and illustrator of Dinotopia, James Gurney. 

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Torvosaurus gurneyi

Torvosaurus gurneyi (Hendrickx & Mateus, 2014)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Megalosauroidea
Megalosauridae

Late Jurassic
Portugal

Length: 10 m

The largest carnivore to ever walk on European soil, she remained synonymous with her North American sister Torvosaurus tanneri until a new analysis in 2014 discovered enough oral differences between them to warrant her own separate species, in this case named after the writer and illustrator of Dinotopia, James Gurney.

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

2 Years...


It was a long, long time ago, on the night of Saturday, August 24th, 2013. It was my fourth day of university, and that night they had numerous activities set up around campus to welcome all the incoming freshmen/women. One of the activities was customizing a design for a transparent cup (the design was on paper and would be visible through the outer wall of the cup). Here, you see my customized design. It's supposed to be a silhouette of Django (from Django Unchained) riding atop his horse with a Ray Gun (from Call of Duty zombies). Meanwhile, the words of Leonard Nimoy (Spock from Star Trek) echo in the background...

More than two years later, a lot has changed. Nimoy is now dead, along with Paul Walker, John Nash, Nelson Mandela, Robin Williams, Wes Craven, Brian Rickard (Yoteslaya on YouTube), and probably a lot of other people that I am forgetting to mention. ISIS became the new big threat in the Middle East. NASA found water on Mars. The Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in the US. Islamic extremists gunned down twelve heroic cartoonists in the streets of Paris in broad daylight. Numerous African American deaths at the hands of law enforcement gained notoriety in the media. Crimea became Russian territory. A refugee crisis arrived on European shores. Vladimir Putin sent Russian forces into Syria. The list goes on...

It's amazing how quickly two years can go by and how much can happen during that time. I myself have changed drastically along with the rest of the world. As I get older and wiser and have to start thinking about post-university life, I will hopefully revamp the above design to create something epic... Hopefully with giant robots and dinosaurs... with lasers! Stay tuned... (ETA: Early 2016?)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Europelta carbonensis

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Europelta carbonensis (Kirkland et al., 2013)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
ArchosauriaAvemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Ornithischia
Thyreophora (Armored Dinosaurs)
Ankylosauria
Nodosauridae
Struthiosaurinae

Early Cretaceous
Spain

Length: 4.5 m

The most complete ankylosaur known from Europe, her remains were found in a Spanish coal mine.

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Jaekelopterus rhenaniae

A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Jaekelopterus rhenaniae (Waterston, 1964)Ecdysozoa
Panarthropoda
Arthropoda
Cherlicerata
Merostomata
Eurypterida (Sea Scorpions)
Pterygotioidea
Pterygotidae

Middle Devonian
Germany

Length: 2.6 m (3.6 m if chelicerae (pincers) extended)

One of the largest arthropods of all time, she prefers to hunt in freshwater rather than the saltier homes of her ancestors.

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Basilosaurus isis

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Basilosaurus isis (Andrews, 1904)Synapsida
Therapsida
Mammalia
Theria
Eutheria
Laurasiatheria
Cetartiodactyla
Whippomorpha
Cetacea
Basilosauridae

Late Eocene
Egypt and Jordan

12 - 20 m

This ancient predatory whale's strange name comes from the fact that her bones were initially thought to belong to some sort of enormous non-avian sauropsid (reptile for those less cladistically inclined). Having the strongest (calculated) bite force of any known mammal (about 16,400 pounds at her upper third premolar), she would have fed her young by biting open the skulls of juvenile Dorudon, another (smaller) ancient whale. (Source: journals.plos.org/plosone/arti…)

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Atopodentatus unicus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Atopodentatus unicus (Cheng et al., 2014)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Sauropterygia?

Middle Triassic
Yunnan Province, China

Length: 3 m

Her bifurcated premaxilla (split upper jaw) likely evolved for filter feeding, but honestly, your guess is as good as mine.

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis

Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis (Brusatte & Sereno, 2007)Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Carnosauria
Allosauroidea
Carcharodontosauridae

Early - Late Cretaceous
North Africa

Length: 10 - 13 m

One of the largest carnivores to ever walk the Earth, she has evolved serrated, blade-like teeth (the "serrations" actually being deep folds: www.nature.com/articles/srep12…), adapted for slicing through flesh with ease. Sadly, her genus's original remains were no match for British WWII bombers...

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis

Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis (Brusatte & Sereno, 2007)Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Tetanurae
Carnosauria
Allosauroidea
Carcharodontosauridae

Early - Late Cretaceous
North Africa

Length: 10 - 13 m

One of the largest carnivores to ever walk the Earth, she has evolved serrated, blade-like teeth (the "serrations" actually being deep folds: www.nature.com/articles/srep12…), adapted for slicing through flesh with ease. Sadly, her genus's original remains were no match for British WWII bombers...

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015

Brontosaurus excelsus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Brontosaurus excelsus (Marsh, 1879)Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Sauropodomorpha
Anchisauria
Sauropoda
Neosauropoda
Diplodocoidea
Diplodocidae
Apatosaurinae

Late Jurassic
Morrison Formation
Wyoming and Utah, United States

Length: 22 m

If you needed further evidence that the Linnaean taxonomic system is broken and needs replacement, then Old Bronty here is your Huckleberry. More than a century after her genus was synonymized with Apatosaurus in 1903, a new study in 2015 revalidated Othniel Charles Marsh's original description of Brontosaurus being phylogenetically distinct from Apatosaurus (Apatosaurus had a fatter neck). Brontosaurus lives again!

Link to paper here (I apologize if there's a paywall!):
peerj.com/articles/857/

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Tylosaurus pembinensis

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Tylosaurus pembinensis (Marsh, 1872)
Sauropsida
Diapsida
Lepidosauria
Squamata
Toxicofera
Mosasauroidea
Mosasauridae
Tylosaurinae

Late Cretaceous
Central / Western United States

Length: 15 m

More than a century after Cope and Marsh first dug up fossils of this giant sea lizard, our view of her has changed drastically. We now know that she swam mostly using an asymmetrical tail fluke, was countershaded, and lacked a dorsal crest.

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Majungasaurus crenatissimus

Note: A digitally colored version of the original, available here:
sounder1995.deviantart.com/art…

Majungasaurus crenatissimus (Lavocat, 1955)Sauropsida
Diapsida
Archosauria
Avemetatarsalia
Dinosauria
Saurischia
Theropoda
Ceratosauria
Abelisauroidea
Abelisauridae
Majungasaurinae

Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)
Madagascar

Length: 8 m

When she's not busy sleeping, Majungasaurus dined on sauropods such as Rapetosaurus and, occasionally, other Majungasaurus.

Saturday, September 12th, 2015