Thursday, September 22, 2016
Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous
South Dakota, United States
Hell Creek Formation
Length: 5.5 m
Tied with Utahraptor for being the largest known “raptor,” this swift predator shared her home with the considerably more common (and far larger) Tyrannosaurus.
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Chondrichthyes (Cartilaginous Fishes)
Selachimorpha / Selachii (Sharks)
(If Lamnidae) Carcharodon megalodon (Agassiz, 1843)
(If Otodontidae) Carcharocles megalodon (Jordan & Hannibal, 1923)
Middle Miocene to Late Pliocene
Length: Up to 18 m?
The largest shark of all time, she possesses one of the most powerful bite forces known to man and hunted whales as a regular part of her diet.
Estimated Bite Force: 108,514 N - 182, 201 N (Wroe et al., 2008)
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Triceratops prorsus (Marsh, 1890)
Ceratopsia (Horned Dinosaurs)
Upper Maastrichtian, Late Cretaceous
Hell Creek Formation
United States (Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming)
Length: 7.9 – 9.0 m
Everyone’s favorite three horned face was a lot spikier than you we originally thought.
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
Monday, September 12, 2016
Collinsium ciliosum (Yang et al.)
Stem-Onychophora (Velvet Worms)
Early to Middle Cambrian
Yunnan Province, China
Length: 85 mm
With dorsal spines that managed to stay three dimensional even after 500 million years of geological activity, Collinsium was one particularly prickly invertebrate. Like her modern kin (velvet worms), she possesses Matryoshka doll style claws (and in her case, also spines) composed of layered chitin, the same carbohydrate that forms arthropod exoskeletons. Unlike velvet worms though, her kind were far more diverse in lifestyle and ecological niche. She, in fact, was a bona fide filter feeder and lacked eyes altogether (Those are armor plates before her antennae). The glory days of stem-Onychophora would come to an end by the end of the Cambrian, though. Onychophora has now dwindled down to just the velvet worms, all of them active terrestrial predators inhabiting humid environments.
Sunday, September 11th, 2016