A Peek Into The Past: Massospondylus Embryos!
This is a 190 million year old Massospondylus embryo found in South Africa. Due to their delicate nature, embryos do not generally fossilize. This fossil, along with the rest of its clutch (see above), are 1 of only 3 examples of dinosaur embryos currently known to science.
This fossil represents what is believed to be a soon to hatch Massospondylus. The neck, legs and head size, point to the dramatic change they under go during life. For example, as babies, these dinosaurs would walk on all fours, while as adults they walk primarily on their hind legs (check out the Julius Csotonyi image above). The lack of developed teeth also seem to indicate that hatchlings would be dependent on their mother for food and safety for the beginning stages of life.
- ROMKids: Massospondylus Moms & Dinosaur Babies!
- Globe & Mail: Team led by ROM scientist unearths oldest dinosaur nursery
- Wikipedia: Dinosaur Eggs
- Massospondylus image: The BRILLIANT Julius Csotonyi.
- All photos: Kiron Mukherjee.
Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: April 20th, 2014.
My buds David Evans & Kentaro Chiba gave me a peek at some of their research a few weeks back on dinosaur dating. Like trees, rings inside of dinosaur bones can tell you how old the animal was at death. I was invited to take a look at a hadrosaur shin bone they’re studying and observe the rings.
— Kentaro Chiba (@kchibs)January 22, 2014
In order to gain this data, Kentaro cut a slice along the width of the fossil to later observe under a microscope, photograph, and then study. The image Kentaro took is gorgeous not only in its beauty but also in its quality.
David and Kentaro gave me a peek at the image explaining the rings and details. They’re still in the process of analyzing their data, but once ready, they’ll debut their work for the world to see. At that point I might make a print and hang it above my desk!
Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: March 21st, 2014.
Pachycephalosaurus & the BRILLIANT Danielle Dufault!
Bumped into Palaeontology’s Danielle Dufault the other day, one of the best scientific artists in the world! She gave me a few sweet details on some upcoming pachycephalosaurus research at the Museum. She also agreed with me that these striking pals look like dragons, so she’s overall super cool.
Introducing Prenocephale prenes: a pachycephalosaurid dinosaur hailing from the Campanian of Mongolia. 1.5 days work! pic.twitter.com/F1Y6FJvxIA— Danielle Dufault (@MesozoicMuse)February 19, 2014
Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: March 17th, 2014.
The Helmet Of A Titan: Ankylosaur Skull
Recently I hung out with my pals, Brian Iwama & Kevin Seymour from Palaeontology, who were hard at work reinstalling our Ankylosaurus skull back into its case. Occasionally our palaeontology staff will remove specimens from display to take quality photographs to keep their files up to date and for use by colleagues outside of the Museum.
Hanging out with this behemoth was a fascinating experience. The skull is ridiculously heavy as it still houses much of the rock bed it was buried in, within its skull. Ankylosaurus was covered in dermal scutes (essentially armour like bones), which not only added to its heft, but also made it the tank of its time. The scutes are incredibly rough. If you’re not carefully you could easily scratch your skin against the surface.
What I found most amazing was the teeth. Ankylosaurus was a huge beast, whose armour and strong, clubbed tail provided it with weapons to wield against predators. But Ankylosaurus was also a peaceful giant that seemingly preferred to eat alone. What is startling is just how small and few teeth they had. Think of a child’s molar, an Ankylosaurus’ teeth were smaller. Further these teeth wore down fast from the tough low lying vegetation it ate. Many Ankylosaurus had few to little teeth left at the end of their life. But this specimen has a nearly full compliment!
It was great getting an opportunity to hang out with Brian and Kevin while they reinstalled the Ankylosaurus skull into the Dinosaur Gallery!
Written by @kironcmukherjee. Last update: February 10, 2014.
Genuine Albertosaurus tooth. One of the most famous Canadian dinosaurs (just check out the name!) Albertosaurus was a smaller cousin of the Tyrannosaurus rex, similar to the Gorgosaurus. Check out the fine serrated edge along the tooth, similar to a steak knife. The detail is remarkable!
Liz Butler Draws The ROM: Ornithomimus and Protoceratops!
This week I was back in the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs looking at some of my favourites from the Cretaceous; an Ornithomimus and a Protoceratops. I love these dinosaurs, not only for their fabulous looks, but also for their super descriptive names!
Protoceratops means ‘First Horned Face’, which refers both to the dinosaur’s appearance and its relationship to other dinosaurs. Protoceratops is an early member of the suborder Ceratopsia, a group of dinosaurs that includes the famous Triceratops. So much information in one name!
The name Ornithomimus is equally revealing. This name means ‘Bird Mimic’, and it’s easy to see why! Ornithomimus was a slim, bipedal dinosaur, looking very much like modern day flightless birds, such as ostriches and emus. They are one species that really helps me to understand the connections between non-avian dinosaurs and the avian dinosaurs we see flying, hopping, swimming, and running today!
Which dinosaur name is your favourite (Futalognkosaurus, anyone)?
- Liz Butler is an artist and teacher who loves natural history and museums. She loves drawing, painting, and making crafts of all kinds. She is happiest when she can find ways to combine art projects with science content.
- Liz’s Website – Liz Butler Draws
- Liz’s Blog – Saw Whet Studio
- More guest posts from Liz HERE!
- Do you like to sketch? Love museums? Are you a full time student in Canada? The ROM is yours to explore, FREE, every Tuesday! MORE!
Guest Post By Liz Butler. Last Updated: February 1st, 2014.
Partial lower jaw of the smaller Tyrannosaurus rex cousin, Gorgosaurus.
Gorgosaurus is also incredibly similar to the younger Albertosaurus. In the Walking With Dinosaurs animated movie this dinosaur played the adversary, a different villain over the familiar, though essentially same, Tyrannosaurus rex.