22 November 2016

Dinovember 2016, Day 21

It seems I have gotten a day behind in posting. Oh well, I'll just post them the day after then...

Kid, you got a lot of growing up to do.
Name: Abydosaurus mcintoshi
Meaning: [great sauropod specialist Jack] McIntosh's Abydos reptile [Abydos is the location where, in Egyptian mythology, the severed head and neck of the god Osiris were buried; this is in reference to the fact that several skulls of this dinosaur were discovered at the same site]
Time: Early Cretaceous, c 104.5 million years ago
Place: Utah
Size: the best specimen is a juvenile, so its adult size is unclear, but there are fragmentary remains from the site that indicate a potential large adult possibly as much as 30 metres (98 feet) long
Type of Dinosaur: brachiosaurid macronarian (tall-shouldered big-nosed long-necked plant-eating dinosaur)

In a nice little twist on the case of almost all other sauropod species, Abydosaurus mcintoshi is known from several good skulls and only a few parts of the postcrania. The type and best specimen is a juvenile but the site where it was discovered yielded bones from at least five individuals of varying ages and sizes. Here, a hypothetical adult is shown with a youngster. If you can tell by from the picture, I went with the adult have darker face stripes on some background mottling, while the juvenile is paler with faint face stripes but darker stripes down the neck. I thought perhaps the adolescents could have had a more patterned body, maybe so they're easier for adult herdmates to see, while the giant grown-ups lose this patterning and develop bolder face and throat markings for display.

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