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Dino Talk: A Dinosaur Forum

Late April 2001

Now that I think about it, a trunk would be a great advantage for a sauropod: a big argument against sauropod endothermy has been that they couldn't eat enough to support their metabolism. But with a trunk, they could gather food more efficiently. Of course, the skulls lack enough blood vessel spaces for such muscle attachments...or do they? Anyone know what kind of "trunk-bearing" bone would look like? Elephants' skulls aren't particularly fortified with blood vessels, are they?
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 30, 2001

Eoraptor probably ate small mammals, or lizards and fish. The bigger hunter niches were occupied by Saurosuchus and Herrerasaurus, and larger crocodylians.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 30, 2001

Yes, but also remember that animals are restricted to their "zoological realms" by certain geographical or climate barriers. For example, Asia and Europe are contiguous, but a tiger would never stroll into Paris. Of course, we can't exactly know what kinds of zoogeographical realms existed during the Triassic.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 30, 2001

Cool pictures, Brad! My scanner is broken, or else I'd put some of my newest things up...
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 30, 2001

Why would Hererrasaurus be fighting Placodus in the first place? This is beloming a more interesting version of the old Tyrannosaurus vs. Giganotosauurs wars! Placodus looks like it would be very slow and clumsy on land, and the hererrasaur would just run around the placoont and bite it to death. The Placodus might be able to crush the Herrerasur's legs in its jaws if it had a chance, but I think the Herrerausaur's speed and agility would allow it to win the match.

_Anancus_ was an ever tuskier herbivore- its tuskes were up to 4 metres long, as long as its body!
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 30, 2001

Now we take herreresaurus as another cotestent against Placodus.Here are the tusky herbivores placerias,lystrosaurus and kennermyiria who had tusks for display,fights and to the females.
from DONOVAN R., age 10, ?, SINGAPORE, ?; April 30, 2001

Hi Brad
I love your art work! Could you paint a brontosaurus next time.
I think it would be blue-gray or green. Back to your other awesome
paintings - Wow, that's cool! Is there really any evidence of a
dinosaur with a trunk??

from stacy, age 14, Oakville, on, canada; April 29, 2001

New dino pictures.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 29, 2001

Pisanosaurus is also part of Eoraptor's ecosystem. But remember that Eoraptor did live in the age of Pangea, and could travel to anywhere it wanted to go. Eoraptor hunting Placodus, then? I still doubt it. Eoraptor probably ate smaller animals.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 29, 2001

Brad's right I think, the animals known to live with Eoraptor were dicynodonts, Sarcosuchus, Herrerasaurus, and some other crocodylians. Placodus wasn't in the Valley of the Moon during Eoraptor's time.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 29, 2001

Allosaurus is the correct spelling. Just add it to your computer's word list.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 28, 2001

I'm guessing that Placodus could probably hold its breath a lot longer than Eoraptor. Maybe it just hid underwater? I don't think these animals lived in the same environment anyway, so it probably wasn't a problem.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 28, 2001

from FRANCESCA L., age 8, HOUMA, LA, USA; April 28, 2001

I am working on a dinosaur project research paper that has to be 7 pages long plus a model. I have found very helpful and anyone who chooses to not use this site should think it over again. Oh, by the way, I type Allosaurus and the computer says that something is wrong with the word. Does anyone know what it could be? Thankyou.
from Amanda B., age 13, Aston, Pennsylvania, North America; April 28, 2001

You know I don't seem to get the picture,I mean ankylosaurids and nodosaurids are wide not like scetellasaurus.Now how could Placodus defended itself against eoraptor?Perhaps the tail would make a swatter now the teeth were for eating shell fish but so very rare for defense structure.I wonder if the placodus could develope tastes for plants.Chandler its on to you.
from DONOVAN R., age 10, ?, SINGAPORE, ?; April 28, 2001

T-rex doesn't kill unessary it is eating.T-rex has to to do when hungry.Meaning T-rex has to eat but needs to kill.Sometimes T-rex killed one another.
from DONOVAN R., age 10, ?, SINGAPORE, ?; April 28, 2001

Guessing Dino weights is a tricky matter. Making a small mistake at the beginning will mean a big mistake later at your final answer. Thus weight estimates for dinosaurs range greatly. I liked the 15 ton estimate for T.Rex though...what was the person who came up with that figure thinking?
from Honkie Tong, age 16, ?, ?, ?; April 26, 2001

so what are we talking about? sauropods and their tails? oh and they weren't dragging their tails around all the time! some people think they could swim but actually they weren't swamp dwelling. though Brachiosaurus could swim but only cause his teeth got too weak. or am i talking about hadrosaurs here? oh wait hadrosaurs had 90 rows of teeth. no offense but it's impossible to build a time machine and go back in time. no one's ever even went back in time with one of those things...they never were able to build them! what a coincidence cause no one has! ok let me end that with a simple good bye cause i gotta wake up early so i don't miss the last part of our Terra nova.
from {***}, age 8, i'm not telling, i'm not telling, i'm not telling; April 26, 2001

Wow, Brad, I didn't know you put that list on a webpage! Cool. Do you have a whole site, or just that page?
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 26, 2001

Cool Sinornithosaurus article...but is it confirmed that Sinornithosaurus was a dromaeosaurid? I thought it was a deinonychosauria incertae sedis, or a "basal" deinonychosaur.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 26, 2001

The Dinosauricon sites Tyrannosaurus' maxiumum at 7 tons. Probably in light of the recent "T. imperator" phenomenon, and other things.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 26, 2001

The tail has a very distinct bend to it, it's hard to explain without a picture...but it was definitely different from Diplodocus's more straight tail. "The dachsund of diplocids" hehe...
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 26, 2001

Say, I was thinking of the no-arms fall down go boom theory that is supposed to limit the speed of larger small-forelimbed dinosaurs like Allosaurus and T.Rex. I'm not sure if it's revelant or really matters. Doing a little parallel thinking, lets look at ostriches. If they fell at their top speed, which was about 40mph/70kph, the result will be akin to a man weighing 155 kilos falling headfirst out of a car going at that speed. I wonder why we havent seen alot of lame or brain damaged ostriches around (disregarding the fact that they are pretty dumb themselves)...

I think the answer is simple, they rarely fell! Ostriches avoid the unplesant effects of slamming themselves into the ground at 40mph/70kph by avoiding falling all together. Doing a little parallel thinking, and given information that most weaked-forelimbed large dinosaurs had a long, counterbalancing tail and probabbly spend less time at their top speed, I conclude that the risk of falling at deadly speeds are too low for the theory to recieve that much aclaim.
from Honkie Tong, age 16, ?, ?, ?; April 25, 2001

you can go to zoom dinosaurs and look on the red list and go to dino info pages and it will have almost every dino!
from jessica, age 8, morton grove, illinois, u.s.; April 25, 2001

And I think that Seismosaurus had really short legs, someone called it the dachshund of diplodocids, or something like that. It was long, but low. I think there would be a noticable difference in proportions between Diplodocus and Seismosaurus. How is the tail different?

Hypsilophon is on my JP list ( What about it?

T. rex weighs 7 tons now? I thought recent estimates were closer to 6.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 25, 2001

brad, under dumest donos it had diplodocus! its so funny!
from jessica, age 8, morton grove, illinois, u.s.; April 25, 2001

There is a new, young specimen of Sinornithosaurus. Cute.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 25, 2001

Diplodocus and Seismosaurus are not the same. The tail really different. And if Hypsilophodon on the JP list
from Ben, age ?, ?, ?, Canada; April 25, 2001

Some scientists think that Seismosaurus may be a separate species of Diplocodus, D. hallorum. But I think that it warrants its own genus...the tail is shaped differently, among other things.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 25, 2001

That's why I put my estimate at 6 tons, which is smaller than T. rex's extimated weight. People tend to think "longer" is "bigger" when in fact the reverse sometimes can be true!
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 25, 2001

I heard Seismosaurus was probably just an oversized Diplodocus, & I think Fabrosaurus is really Lesothosaurus! Is this true???
from Mike, age 11, ?, ?, USA; April 25, 2001

Why do you say that, Jessica? I don't think diplodocids were unintelligent.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 25, 2001

How many dinosaurs are there?
from Amanda W, age 9, Skokie, Illinois, U.S.; April 25, 2001

do you know that diplodocus was the dumest dino?
from jessica, age 8, morton grove, illinois, u.s; April 25, 2001

Well, the JP3 Spinosaurus is way off. I heard the offical stats released by the JP3 crew on their new monster put Spinosaurus' weight at 12 tons! That's about a 75-85 percent increase from the largest (and unlikely) estimate of 7 tons. I personally however, feel Spinosaurus weighted from about 5 to 6 tons, prehaps less. He's more of a Diplodocus (featuring length over weight) than a Brachiosaurus (featuring weight over length). Sorry about the vague antalogies though.
from Honkie Tong, age 16, ?, ?, ?; April 24, 2001

Also, perhaps the long necks allowed them to "probe" their mouths to feed in areas where they could not fit inside (such as thickly forested areas with large trees).
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 24, 2001

I understand that the Jurassic Park series is getting tired of the "T. rex and Velociraptors" rehashes, but I wish they would have picked something different than Spinosaurus for their new "villain." Spinosaurus doesn't fit somehow, and they did total injustice to the weirdly cool look of him by underestimating the sail and doing the head shape too robust. Why not Carnotaurus? Any news if he will be in the movie? Last I heard Carnotaurus might make an appearance...
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 24, 2001

Sorry, I never answered your original question. Spinosaurus could be up to 17 meters (55 feet) in length and 6 tons in weight. Note how that is more than T. rex's maximum length of about 14 meters (45 feet) but less than its maximum weight of about 7 tons.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 24, 2001

Spinosaurus is longer than Tyrannosaurus, but MUCH, much more lightly built and much more fragile. Spinosaurus had long, flexible jaws not good for attacking prey much larger than humans (the human-attacking Spinosaurus in JP3 is not too scientifically inaccurate, I guess). Tyrannosaurus had strong jaws that could really take anything from small animals to elephant-sized ceratopsians and lambeosaurines. Since Spinosaurus really wasn't capable of fighting big prey, I doubt it could survive an attack from a T. rex, let alone win the "fight" (Thus, the T. rex-attacking Spinosaurus is scientifically incorrect). Spinosaurus was probably, despite its large size, constantly in hiding from stronger predators like Carcharodontosaurus. How else do you think that two large predators could have evolved in one area--only one of them was a hunter of big prey, and the other was basically just oversized, maybe for its own protection from dinosaurs like Carchar! odontosaurus. I envision Spinosaurus as a small-prey predator: the only large animals it would eat would be already dead. Also, the fact that Spinosaurus took up eating smaller animals would avoid competition from Carcharodontosaurus, which is why Spinosaurus never evolved to become stronger against such competition. That is my rant on Spinosaurus v. T. rex :)
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 24, 2001

Exactly, how large is Spinosaurus because JP3 said that Sinosaurus is larger and can take down a T-rex.Is this true?
from ?, age 10, New Orleans, Lousiana, United States of America; April 24, 2001

Even without raising its neck, a diplodocan could sweep its head around and reach a lot of low-growing vegetation without moving its body at all. Maybe long necks save energy?
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 24, 2001

How smart was elaphrosaurus?
from jessica, age 8, morton grove, illinois, u.s.; April 24, 2001

I'm sorry, I do not understand. I do not see how a Spinosaurus could kill a T.Rex. Firstly, T.Rex was stronger and larger. Spinosaurus was only longer. T.Rex had far more bulk and then Spinosaurus, who is actually quite thin and only looked big because of it's sail. Also, T.Rex had far more muscle in it's body that any carnosaur (well, partially because it did not decend from them and did not share the same body plan) and therefore whould have been faster and stronger than Spinosaurus. Lastly, I'd like to say that T.Rex had a stout strong jaw full of bone cruching teeth that was capable of exerting tremedus force while Spinosaurus has a long snout meant for catching fish, not crushing bone. All in all, T.Rex could bring Spinosaurus down in a bite but Spinosaurus could not, given it's inferior strength and weaponary. It was never a fair match. Heck they had to blow Spinosaurus way out of proportion for JP3 in order for it be a match for T.Rex. Even so, I don't see how their "latest" creation could win. All in all, word of advice: DON'T LET YOUR DINOSAUR IDEAS BE FORMED BY ANY JP MOVIE, THEY ARE MAINLY WRONG!!!!
from Leonard, age 13, ?, ?, ?; April 23, 2001

Statements like "mean", "bad", "king" actually play very little part in the ecology of the dinosaurus. Rather I choose to define who was "king" by looking at the ecological part the animal played. Was Tyrannosaurus the top predator of it's time? Yes. Did it had any other animals that could compete with it directly, one on one? No. Is there any possibility that previous predators in it's legue that may have been able to replace it or had been more efficent at hunting? No. So my conclusion Tyrannosaurus was the top of the top predators ever for the dinosaurs. It's just that we humans tend to humanize them, saying who is badder, meaner or what. But ecologically, Tyrannosaurus was certainly superior.
from Honkie Tong, age 16, ?, ?, ?; April 23, 2001

Spinosaurus can kill T-Rex. Write me back if you don't understand this. Remember Spinosaurus can kill T-Rex
from Ben C., age 14, Brinson, Ga, USA; April 23, 2001

I guess the purpose of sauropod necks is still under examination and up for discussion...I'm not sure exactly why they would need to evolve vertical necks that long...the "to balance out their tails" theory doesn't make sense since they could have easily balanced without needing such a long neck. And anyways, the long necks came first in the Triassic, then the tails came in the Jurassic.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 23, 2001

I used to think that sauropods had trunks, but there isn't enough blood vessel space in their skulls to nourish that kind of muscle. Anyways, no other archosaurs have complex muscles like that on the skull. They probably did, however, have some sort of fleshy nasal passage or something there.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 23, 2001

I just got info saying Allosaurus was just as bad as Tyrannosaurus. Maybe Rex wasn't the king after all!
from Mike, age 11, ?, ?, USA; April 23, 2001

What were the long necks used for (not the upright ones like Brachiosaurus but the sideways ones like Apatosaurus).
from ??, ??, ???; April 22, 2001

Did sauropods have elephant-like trunks?

(Just trying to start up a new discussion)
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 22, 2001

Why just they clon all the dinosaurs and then they put them in one
of the island's.

from Alejandro M., age 12, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico; April 20, 2001

I'm not sure of exact features that link Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda, but besides herbivory there are no links to Ornithischia, either.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 20, 2001

I didn't say Marginocephalia couldn't fit in Phytodinosauria, I said sauropoda doesn't belong in a taxon with ornithischians.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 20, 2001

The taxon 'Scutellosaurus' is okay, but the concept of genera as part of a binomial ttaxon is seriously flawed. Let's take Horner's famous centrosaur series. Einosaurus procurvicornis was a direct ancestor of Achelousaurus horneri, which was a direct ancestor of Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis. I'm not saying that has to be true, but let's say it is. We'd get:

Einiosaurus procurivcornis
`Achelosaurus horneri
.`Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis

(dot is meaningless, but will probably prevent it from messing up)

_Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis_ is classified within the more inclusive taxon _Einiosaurus procurvicornis_, which is not of equal rank. Only 'end of the line' genus-species names work (Tyrannosaurus rex is saved).

And if genera are flawed, so is our whole way of talking about different kinds of dinosaurs :(

Seen the skull diagram of Emausaurus? Looks like it might be a basal stegosaur, or at least close to being one.

Why can't you put Marginocephalia in Phytodinosauria? Predentata and Ornithischia seem to mean the exact same thing.

I agree that Phytodinosauria may not be valid- the twist-thumb found on theropods, prosauropods, and heterodontosaurs proves that Dinosauria is monophyletic, but nothing else. Low jaw joint = adaptation for herbivory. I'll read Bakker's Dino Heresies later and see if any other features are possibly valid.

What links Sauropodomorpha and Theropoda, though?
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 19, 2001

dinos are neat
from Sean B, age 9, elmhurst, illinois, usa; April 19, 2001

Before when I said "ceratopsians" I meant to say "stegosaurs."
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 19, 2001

Yikes, I don't think Bakker's classification works. Marginocephalians don't have "orbitoscutes" as far as I know. I like the traditional




And then of course we have Thyreophora and Ornithopoda as the other branches of the Ornithischia.
Of course, this doesn't work if you use Bakker's other strange classification system, the "Phytodinosauria." In my opinion the sauropodomorphs just can't be coupled with ornithischians...they're more similar to theropods.

from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 19, 2001

Scelidosaurus and Emausaurus are further "down" the cladogram, closer to the branch of Thyreophora that led eventually to Ankylosauria and Stegosauria. And why do you think putting genera on a cladogram is bad? Some genera don't have a "family" and would be lost if we couldn't put them on the cladogram. For example, Scutellosaurus has no distinct taxon after "Thyreophora," and if we took off generic names it would be lost in the Thyreophora cladogram.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 19, 2001

Is it possible that Spinosaurus could kill T-rex in a fight? If there was one?
from Ben C, age 14, Brinson, GA, USA; April 19, 2001

Fabrosaurus and Lesothosaurs are probably more distant relatives of Scutellosaurus. Echinodon might be a close relative (according to Galton; but Sereno classified it with heterodontosaurs), along with Scelidosaurus, Emausaurus, and other "basal Thyreophora" types.
from Brad, age 14, Fenelon Falls, ON, Canada; April 19, 2001

Scelidosaurus = no diagnosis published. :(

Remember Bakker's Thyreophora?
I think it was this:

`--> Ceratopsia
`--> Pachycephalosauria
`--> Stegosauridae
|`-> Nodosauridae

"Orbitoscuta" is a fancy word for "Shielded eyes"- have armoured eyelids really been identified in Stegosauridae or Pachycephalosauria?
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 18, 2001

Ugh, that cladogram messed up after I submitted it...all it showed was Scutellosaurus was the ancestor of Thyreophoroidea which holds the rest of Thyreophora...
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 18, 2001

I guess Scelidosaurus is a "descendant of the common ancestor of all of Thyreophora," then, which whould make it a "sister group" as you have said.
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 18, 2001

Chandler, you are showing that _Scutellosaurus_ and Thyreophoroidea are sister-taxa. If Scutellosaurus was truly the ancestor of all later Ankylosaurs and Stegosaurs, it would be synonymous with Thyreophora- like this:


Or, you could group the early Thyreophorans together and make this cladogram-

|`|--> Scutellosaurinae
| `--> Scelidosaurinae
|--> Stegosauria
`--> Ankylosauria

The classification is temporary! I haven't actually made a diagnosis for Scutellosaurinae or Scelidosaurinae yet, and I'm not really sure which early thyreophorans go where (or if the whole idea even works at all). Mine agrees more with Linnean classification theroy- not a good thing, but the whole idea of putting 'genera' on a cladogram is a bad one anyway!!!!!

I think a similar thing is happening professionally with 'Protoceratopsidae'- valid group, or a series of basal Ceratopsians?

I think the Scutellosaurus topic was started when Donovan called it the smallest nodosaurid. We've established that it wasn't, now we're working on an alternative. And I like talking about classifications.
from Brad, age 14, Woodville, ON, Canada; April 18, 2001

What dinos were related to Scutellosaurus besides Fabrosaurus and Lesothosaurus?
from Mike, age 11, ?, ?, USA; April 17, 2001

"Basal" how I was referring it to means "at the base of the taxon," or a "primitive member" of the taxon. Scutellosaurus is kinda the direct ancestor of all Thyreophora, its cladogram would look like this:











Of course, who knows if that's actually how it goes? How'd we get on this Scutellosaurus topic anyways? :) hehe

from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 17, 2001

dinos is cool are they mean
from channelwayne, age 16, ocoee, florida, orange; April 17, 2001

Actually, Dan's JP3 page only allows really short signature lines. I'm still looking for a small quote that i like.
from Brad, age 14, Wooville, ON, Canada; April 17, 2001

Does basal mean it was the ancestor of every other animal in the group? I still don't understand some of these terms.

"According to Haubold,the genera most closely related to _Emausaurus_ are _Scutellosaurus_ and _Scelidosaurus_, these representing successive sister-taxa to the common and unknown ancestor of both Stegosauria and Ankylosauria." (Glut 1997)

According to this, nothing we know of is at the base of Thyreophora (as defined by me as Stegosaurus + Anklyosaurus). I have no idea what he meant by "successive sister-taxa".

Here's a suggestion- Scelidosauridae
Sceidosaurus + Emausaurus = Scelidosaurinae
Scutellosaurus + ?Echinodon = Scutellosaurinae

from Brad, age 14, Wooville, ON, Canada; April 17, 2001

Scutellosaurus is just basal Thyreophora. It doesn't have any more specific designations, besides its genus and species, of course. There is no "scutellosauridae."
from Chandler, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 16, 2001

Yes Brad you may.
from firebird, age ?, ?, ?, ?; April 16, 2001

from DONOVAN R., age 10, ?, SINGAPORE, ?; April 16, 2001

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