Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Spinosaurus

The anatomy may not be exactly correct as I'd only started palaeontology back then - I didn't do any anatomy for my undergrad...

Anyway, this was also about the time I started to get obsessed with spinosaurs. There was something about the skull morphology that really hooked me into them. In more poetic terms, you could say that I fell in love with the beauty of the slender and curvy silhouette of the snout. This was just purely an obsession of mine with no scientific context whatsoever.

Still, I find it quite intriguing that we find rather derived or highly specialised forms such as spinosaurs but no transitional forms. We don't have good fossils that show the evolution of such unique skull morphology...then again, basal tetanuran fossil record is pretty scrappy anyway - for instance Chilantaisaurus tashuikouensis is a giant theropod from China that is supposedly closely related to spinosaurs or maybe even belong to the Spinosauridae but it is only known from partial hindlimbs and a humerus (and maybe a few bits and bobs - I can't remember off the top of my head). So not much of the skull I'm afraid...

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