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I want a cup that has prehistoric sea life printed on it that is also see through do I can see an anomalacaris, a dunkleosteus, a trilobite, and a plesiosaur swimmin round in my blue flavored gatorade

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(Hindlimb of Ueekenkcoracias tambussiae, from Degrange et al., 2021)

Meaning of name: Ueekenkcoracias = outsider roller [referring to its unexpected geographic location]; tambussiae = for Claudia Patricia Tambussi [Argentinian paleontologist]

Age: Eocene (Ypresian), 52.2 million years ago

Where found: Huitrera Formation, Chubut, Argentina

How much is known: A partial right hindlimb.

Notes: Although not much is known of Ueekenkcoracias, its describers suggest that its closest living relatives are the rollers and ground rollers, a group of often brightly-colored, crow-sized birds that hunt insects and other small animals. Rollers today range across Eurasia, Africa, and Australia, ground rollers are only found in Madagascar, and their previously known close fossil relatives have been found in Europe and North America. This makes Ueekenkcoracias a potentially surprising discovery, because it is the first member of this lineage known from South America.

Reference: Degrange, F.J., D. Pol, P. Puerta, and P. Wilf. 2021. Unexpected larger distribution of Paleogene stem-rollers (Aves, Coracii): new evidence from the Eocene of Patagonia, Argentina. Scientific Reports 11: 1363. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-80479-8

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Is it really that time again? So soon?

Welp, I suppose it is, so here’s my annual redesign of Primeval’s iconic Future Predator, the 2021 edition!

Keep reading

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everyone talks about spinosaurus vs t. rex but nobody talks about these two animals filled completely different niches and did not live in the same time or place

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(Vertebrae, hips, and right hindlimb of Shri devi, from Turner et al., 2021)

Meaning of name: Shri devi = Shri Devi [a protector deity in Tibetan/Mongolian Buddhism]

Age: Late Cretaceous (Campanian?)

Where found: Barun Goyot Formation, Ömnögov, Mongolia

How much is known: Partial skeleton of one individual, including the hips, a complete hindlimb, and much of the vertebral column.

Notes: Shri was a velociraptorine dromaeosaurid, making it a close relative of Velociraptor. The two were certainly very similar to each other, but differed in details of their vertebrae. Shri lived alongside the smaller halszkaraptorine dromaeosaurid Hulsanpes, revealing an interesting pattern in which different Late Cretaceous localities of Central Asia often had a different coexisting velociraptorine–halszkaraptorine pair of their own. Other examples include Tsaagan (velociraptorine) and Halszkaraptor (halszkaraptorine, of course) both being known from Ukhaa Tolgod, and Velociraptor (velociraptorine, of course) and Mahakala (halszkaraptorine) both being known from Tugrugyin Shireh.

When it was first unearthed in the 1990s, Shri was nicknamed “Ichabodcraniosaurus”, as the specimen is missing its skull despite being very well preserved. (The nickname references the character Ichabod Crane, who gets chased by the Headless Horseman in the short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.)

Reference: Turner, A.H., S. Montanari, and M.A. Norell. 2021. A new dromaeosaurid from the Late Cretaceous Khulsan locality of Mongolia. American Museum Novitates 3965: 1–48. doi: 10.1206/3965.1

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(Skull of Parapsittacopes bergdahli, from Mayr, 2021)

Meaning of name: Parapsittacopes = near Psittacopes [another Eocene bird that was likely a close relative]; bergdahli = for Paul Bergdahl [the collector of the original fossil]

Age: Eocene (Ypresian), 54.6‒55 million years ago

Where found: London Clay Formation, Essex, UK

How much is known: Partial skeleton of one individual, including a skull and parts of all four limbs.

Notes: Parapsittacopes was likely a psittacopedid, a group of small (wren- to sparrow-sized) Eocene birds that were originally thought to have been closely related to parrots. Like parrots, they had two toes pointing forward and two backward on each foot. However, more recent studies suggest that psittacopedids might have been more closely related to passeriform birds (songbirds and their kin), which instead have the typical condition of modern birds in which three toes face forward and one points back.

Most previously known psittacopedid fossils were preserved as flattened remains, so the three-dimensionally preserved bones of Parapsittacopes reveal several previously unknown psittacopedid features. Some of these features provide further support for placing them as close relatives of passeriforms.

Psittacopedids exhibited a wide variety of beak shapes, and included probable seed-eating and nectar-eating species. The beak of Parapsittacopes was short and slightly widened, a common feature of birds that hunt insects in flight. Parapsittacopes may have caught insects by flying at them from a perch. It may have also fed on fruits.

Reference: Mayr, G. 2021. A remarkably complete skeleton from the London Clay provides insights into the morphology and diversity of early Eocene zygodactyl near-passerine birds. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/14772019.2020.1862930

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If anyone is need of time-scaled bird phylogenies, I’ve got some right here. Updated with studies from 2020. Further descriptions and references available here.

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Your friend and mine, Dromaeosaurus albertensis. I have nothing left to say about this thing.

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