REASON 17 TO VISIT #ULTIMATEDINOS: OURANOSAURUS!
Ouranosaurus represents another one of those southern dinosaurs that had very distinctive sail like spines coming out of it’s back. We’ve spoken at length about Amargasaurus' spines, but Ouranosaurus' are a bit different, continuing another distinctive theme with southern dinosaurs, nothing is EVER as easy as it seems. Even if it kind of looks it.
Ouranosaurus, I believe is probably our most underrated BIG dinosaur we have on display in Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants of Gondwana, maybe because it lacks sharp teeth, or perhaps because it’s sandwiched in between the awesome Suchomimus skeleton, and the Madagascar faceoff between Majungasaurus and Rapetosaurus. #hard to know
But I think Ouranosaurus is awesome for a few reasons!
LET’S GET REAL ABOUT THE SAIL.
- Did the long neural spines of Ouranosaurus support a giant sail like a Dimetrodon or the big hump like that of a camel? That’s what scientists are trying to decipher.
- If it was a sail it may have been used to help control its body temperature by allowing heat to escape if to hot, or to absorb heat quicker if it was cold. However, it may have more likely been used as a display structure, perhaps subtly changing colour when looking for mates, or trying to scare away competitors.
- If it was support for a giant hump like in that of a bison or camel, it would have been used to store fat and water, for long journeys between meals
- Brian Switek write about the whole sail or hump conundrum here, “Was Spinosaurus a Bison-Backed Dinosaur?”.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SKULL?
- You may not have noticed, but Ouranosaurus has a small little boney bump on its snout. This wouldn’t have been used for fighting or anything, but would have probably been used as another display structure, letting potential mates know that it was ready to… well… you know…
WHO HAD TWO THUMBS AND CAN’T DECIDE IF IT HAS A SAIL OR A HUMP? THIS GUY!
- You’ve probably seen these “thumb” like structures on one of Ouranosaurus’ cousins, Iguanodon. Instead of being used like a human uses its thumb, it would have been used more like a spike, and in this case, maybe for a battle. #thumbs up means fight
How do you think Ouranosaurus used it’s spines? Did it have a sail, or a hump?