02 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 2

Don't let the nubby arms fool you, abelisaurs are all business.
Name: Pycnonemosaurus nevesi
Meaning: Neves's thick forest reptile [after the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, 'thick forest', where it was found]
Time: Late Cretaceous, c 70 million years ago
Place: Southwest Brazil
Size: about 8.6-9.1 metres (28-30 feet) long
Type of Dinosaur: brachyrostran abelisaurid (blunt-faced, stump-armed predatory dinosaur)

The abelisaurs were one of the dominant group of predators on the southern continents during the Cretaceous Period. Many types of abelisaurs are known, mainly from only partial remains, so estimating the body size of these animals has been contentious. A study from this year used methods consistent across all abelisaurs to estimate size, and the results found that Pycnonemosaurus has claimed the crown as the biggest of these southern killers yet known.

Abelisaurs have famously stumpy, practically vestigial arms - that could be rotated totally at the shoulder, like our own arms. It seems that these reduced limbs could have functioned as display devices, which is why I applied a bold tissue fan to the arm-nubs of the king of the abelisaurs in the portrait above.

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