Episode 453: Who destroyed the Central Park Dinosaurs?


Episode 453: Who destroyed the Central Park Dinosaurs? Boss Tweed has lengthy been blamed for vandalizing New York Metropolis’s model of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs, nevertheless it seems another person was guilty.


  • There’s a brand new neornithischian dinosaur, Minimocursor supply

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  • Should you educate elementary, center, or highschool college students we now have free dinosaur lesson plans for you

The dinosaur of the day: Anchiceratops

  • Anchiceratops, request from Victrix by way of patreon/discord
  • Chasmosaurine ceratopsid that lived within the Late Cretaceous in what’s now Alberta, Canada
  • Appeared much like Triceratops
  • Had two lengthy forehead horns and a brief nasal horn
  • Frill was lengthy and rectangular, with triangular projections alongside the sides
  • Stout and muscular, walked on all fours, had a brief tail, and a beak (which is what makes it a ceratopsian)
  • Medium-sized
  • Estimated to be as much as 14 ft (4.3 m) lengthy
  • Estimated to weigh 1.2 tonnes
  • Fossils first present in 1912 by Barnum Brown, alongside the Crimson Deer River (discovered three partial skulls)
  • Described in 1914 by Barnum Brown
  • Holotype contains the again half of the cranium, and the lengthy frill
  • Brown in 1914 wrote: “In addition to exhibiting a singular kind of crest this genus provides another hyperlink within the morphological chain by which the ceratopsian crest has been developed”
  • Additionally made a forged of the mind, “that in accuracy of element has hardly ever been equaled in fossil crania”
  • Sort and solely species is Anchiceratops ornatus
  • Genus title means “close to horned face” or “close to Ceratops”
  • Brown thought Anchiceratops was a transitional dinosaur carefully associated (and in between) Monoclonius and Triceratops
  • Species title refers back to the ornamentation on its frill
  • Charles M. Sternberg discovered a whole, extra slender cranium in 1924, which he described in 1929 because the second species Anchiceratops longirostris (however now Anchiceratops longirostris is taken into account to be a junior synonym of Anchiceratops ornatus)
  • Most fossils discovered within the Horsehoe Canyon Formation, some discovered within the Oldman and Dinosaur Park Formations (could also be early Anchiceratops ornatus or a second species), and a few discovered on the St. Mary River Formation, however too fragmentary to discuss with a species
  • Fossils additionally probably discovered within the Almond Formation in Wyoming, U.S.
  • One or two doable bonebeds present in Alberta, however hasn’t been described
  • Ten skulls discovered
  • Skulls present particular person variation, although up to now paleontologists thought the variations have been as a result of sexual dimorphism (the bigger skulls with longer horns have been males)
  • Variation within the skulls (measurement of horns and frill) could possibly be as a result of ontogeny (modified because it grew up)
  • One specimen had 30 tail vertebrae (most chasmosaurs have 46 tail vertebrae), a protracted pelvis, and lengthy neck. Nevertheless, this specimen (NMC 8547) may very well be Arrhinoceratops. If that’s the case, there hasn’t actually been any Anchiceratops skeletons described (solely skulls)
  • Mallon in 2010 mentioned the skeleton Sternberg collected in 1925 was full and articulated and Sternberg attributed it to Anchiceratops, “though he didn’t give a motive for his identification”
  • Lived in a subtropical local weather
  • Different dinosaurs that lived across the similar time and place included maniraptorans equivalent to Epichirostenotes, ornithomimids equivalent to Ornithomimus, pachycephalosaurids equivalent to Sphaerotholus, hadrosaurs equivalent to Edmontosaurus, ceratopsians equivalent to Pachyrhinosaurus, and tyrannosaurs equivalent to Albertosaurus
  • Anchiceratops fossils present in marine sediments, so could have lived in estuaries (the place rivers meet ocean or bigger our bodies of water)
  • In 1959 Wann Langston Jr. prompt Anchiceratops was semi-aquatic, with its lengthy snout serving to it to stroll by way of deeper swamps and its frill to assist it counterbalance and level its beak upwards so it might take breaths, and that its brief tail, massive physique, and stocky limbs made it sluggish and it will have “loved relative seclusion and safety of a swampy surroundings”
  • Most paleontologists didn’t agree, however Jordan Mallon prompt NMC 8547 was like a contemporary hippo, and that’s why it was so sturdy and muscular (although the small tail didn’t assist). Its physique kind could have helped it transfer by way of muddy, lowland swamps
  • Mallon wrote: “It’s doable that different ceratopsids have been additionally tailored to semi-aquatic life, because the clade shares a number of options in frequent with the hippo. It is very important restrict hypothesis by way of reference to circumstantial sedimentology, nonetheless, as a number of ceratopsids are identified from well-drained alluvial settings”
  • Anchiceratops ornatus species lasted about 1.5 to 2 million years
  • Different ceratopsid species lasted a very long time (Triceratops horridus for 1.5 million years and Pentaceratops sternbergi for two.5 million years) however within the Dinosaur Park Formation the place Anchiceratops was discovered, most species lasted about 700,000 years
  • Species lived for a very long time, probably as a result of there wasn’t as a lot dinosaur range within the Horseshoe Canyon Formation, and there wasn’t as a lot competitors for meals. Or could possibly be as a result of the Western Inside Seaway was shrinking, so there wasn’t as a lot habitat fragmentation so Anchiceratops appears to have lasted longer. Or it could possibly be Anchiceratops was good at coping with environmental modifications

Enjoyable Reality:

Boss Tweed wasn’t the offender behind the smashing of the Central Park dinosaurs.

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