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yo pavle thx

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Finally a post from me and this is a special one! :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mes7Ba0GpYU

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My detailed profile on Deltadromeus agilis' morphology, classification and lifestyle:
Deltadromeus agilis is a species of a large Theropod dinosaur from what today is northern Africa. It measured ca. 8m in  axial length and ca. 3m in pelvis height.
 
~Musculoskeletal morphology~
 
Thought D. agilis was a pretty decently sized animal, it is known for a very lightly built and gracile body morph, perfectly adapted for reaching high speeds. Its femur was proportionally smaller than most of the leg bones, most notably tibia and fibula, what is a morphological feature characterizing specifically very quick animals. However, its femur had a pretty large diameter in comparison with most of the other bones in the body. Though tibia had a smaller diameter than femora, its diameter was considerably bigger than that seen in fibula. Fibula was especially thick in the anterior section, but became thinner at the midline. Posterior section was thicker than the midline, although thinner than the anterior section.
D. agilis’ humerus was very thin, however, it was a bit thicker than radius and ulna. Radius and ulna were almost fused together, as there was almost no space between them. Carpals were very reduced and metacarpals were much larger than carpals in both length and width.
It possessed relatively long neural spines/spinous processes. The neural spines in anterior caudal and dorsal were fairly bigger and taller than those located in the cervical section. Size of the neural spines in the caudal starts to reduce after the 11th caudal vertebra. It also possessed a very enlarged coracoid.
 
~Known remains~
 
D. agilis is primarily known from a pretty well-preserved holotype specimen, found by Sereno and his team in Kem Kem oasis in modern-day Morocco. The specimens scapula was originally misidentified as a S. aegyptiacus’ neural spine.
However, there has been a number of specimens found by Ernest Stromer in Baharya oasis, in Egypt, most notably a coracoid, a pubis and some hindlimb materieal, which were originally identified as Bahariasaurus remains, but, based on 1996 study by Sereno, they actually belong to Deltadromeus . However, this has caused some controversy recently, due to Stromer’s specimens possessing multiple morphological characteristics that obviously differ from D. agilis holotype, and due to them being found on different localities in Baharya.
Also, Stromer’s material supposedly comes from a larger animal. Holotype D. agilis’ femur measures 0.74m in length, while femur found by Stromer measures 1.22m in length. This indicates that individual whose remains were found by Stromer measured ca. 11-12m in axial length, what is the size of B. ingens .
This all sparked a debate among paleontologists whether those remains actually did belong to B. ingens as claimed by Stromer, or was D. agilis just a juvenile of B. ingens .
As the matter of fact, the answer to this question can never be known, considering that the Bahariasaurus ingens holotype specimen was destroyed during the WW2, so we don’t have any specimens that definitely belong to B. ingens to compare with D. agilis . Anyways, if it does turn out that D. agilis is just a subadult individual of B. ingens , the name “ Deltadromeus “ will not be used as a valid term in paleontology anymore.
(That’s real pity, tbh, considering that Deltadromeus sounds A LOT cooler than Bahariasaurus )
Also, no cranial material of D. agilis has ever been found, however, there was some teeth material attributed to this species. Those teeth are reportedly short and recurved at the tips, and are mostly straight at the base.
 
~Classification~
 
There is a lot of controversy revolving around this animal’s taxonomic position. Sereno originally classified D. agilis as a basal coelurosaur with unusually large body proportions. However, a later study committed by Sereno, Wilson, Srivastava, Bhatt, Khosla and Sahni in 2003 stated that D. agilis was actually a member of Noasauridae, a ceratosaurian clade closely related to more advanced Abelisauridae. However, Carrano and Sampson positioned Deltadromeus in basal Coelurosauria, as a genus closely related to genera like Elaphrosaurus and Limusaurus , in their study from 2008. However, Rahut and Carrano re-positioned Deltadromeus, Elaphrosaurus and Limusaurus all in Noasauridae in their 2016 paper.
However, this month, a new species under the name of Gualicho shinyae was found in Neuqen formation in what today is Patagonia, Argentina, and genus Gualicho was identified as a sister genus to Deltadromeus by Apesteguia, Smith, Valieri and Makovicky, in their original paper describing Gualicho .
In an analysis of Aoniraptor by Novas, Motta, Rolando, Rozadilla,  Agnolin, Chimento, and Egli, a possible senior synonym of Gualicho , Deltadromeus was found along with Aoniraptor/Gualicho and Bahariasaurus to probably form a new family of megaraptoran tyrannosauroids, different from the Megaraptoridae.
 
~Physical abilities~
 
Its gracile and relatively fragile frame is not suited for fighting and it probably lashed out at the prey with its vicious claws and teeth, slashing the hide and flesh like an axe until the prey died from exhaustion, blood loss, shock or a combination of the factors above. As it co-existed with some much larger predators such as T. rex -sized C. iguidensis and B. ingens , it most likely competed with them for prey and territory. Their relationships and positions in ecosystem are comparable with modern-day central Africa, with C. iguidensis and B. ingens being equivalents of lions, and D. agilis being an equivalent of a cheetah.
 
References:
1. Stromer (1934). "Ergebnisse der Forschungsreisen Prof. E. Stromers in den Wüsten Ägyptens." II. Wirbeltierreste der Baharije-Stufe (unterstes Cenoman). 13. Dinosauria. Abh. Bayer. Akad. Wiss., Math.-Nat. Abt., (n. s.) 22 1-79, 3 pls.
2. Sereno, Dutheil, Iarochene, Larsson, Lyon, Magwene, Sidor, Varricchio and Wilson (1996). "Predatory Dinosaurs from the Sahara and Late Cretaceous Faunal Differentiation." Science, 272(5264): 986-991.
3. Wilson, Sereno, Srivastava, Bhatt, Khosla and Sahni. (2003). "A new abelisaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Lameta Formation (Cretaceous, Maastrichtian) of India." Contr. Mus. Palaeont. Univ. Mich., 31: 1-42.
4. Carrano & Sampson (2008). "The Phylogeny of Ceratosauria (Dinosauria: Theropoda)". JSysPaleo 6: 183-236
5. Sebastián Apesteguía; Nathan D. Smith; Rubén Juárez Valieri; Peter J. Makovicky (2016). "An Unusual New Theropod with a Didactyl Manus from the Upper Cretaceous of Patagonia, Argentina". PLoS ONE 11 (7): e0157793.
6. Matías J. Motta, Alexis M. Aranciaga Rolando, Sebastián Rozadilla, Federico E. Agnolín, Nicolás R. Chimento, Federico Brissón Egli, and Fernando E. Novas (2016). "New theropod fauna from the Upper Cretaceous (Huincul Formation) of northwestern Patagonia, Argentina". New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 71: 231–253.
7. Predatory Dinosaurs from the Sahara and Late Cretaceous Faunal Differentiation. - Science, 272(5264): 986-991. - Paul C. Sereno, Didier B. Dutheil, M. Iarochene, Hans C. E. Larsson, Gabrielle H. Lyon, Paul M. Magwene, Christian A. Sidor, David J. Varricchio, Jeffrey A. Wilson - 1996.
8. https://plus.google.com/u/0/113742335774753274335/posts
9. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deltadromeus
10. http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/d/deltadromeus.html
11. http://dinopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Deltadromeus
12. http://dinosaurs.about.com/od/carnivorousdinosaurs/p/Bahariasaurus.htm
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My detailed species profile of C. sastreii .
~ Carnotaurus sastreii profile~

Carnotaurus sastreii is a species of Carnotaurinae Abelisaurid. It is known only from a single, really well-preserved holotype specimen, measuring ca. 8m in axial length and ca. 3.5m in pelvis height, found in Neuqen formation in what today is Patagonia in Argentina. However, even thought it is known only from a single specimen, it is one of the best researched and best known Abelisauridae, and probably even Theropods as a whole. As you can conclude from these estimates, it was a pretty decently sized Theropod. In fact, alongside with Abelisaurus comahuensis and Majungasaurus creatissimus , it was the largest Abelisauridae known to date. Despite it being known only from a single specimen, it is one of the best known Abelisauridae, considering that the specimen was preserved in a peculiar type of iron ore, preserving not only most of the skeleton itself, but skin impressions as well.
 
~Overall musculoskeletal morphology~
C. sastrei possesses some of the smallest front limbs in entire dinosauria. This was resulted by ulnae and radia, so absurdly reduced, that they weren’t even visible compared to the humeri of the same animal. This results in a popular misconception among amateur paleontologists, that C. sastrei possessed only humeri, and not radia and ulnae, which is absurd. It’s nearly impossible to lose such dominant morpholgical components during evolution. However, it did completely lack any carpals. Anyways, this also results in C. sastreii’s frontlimbs being just partially mobile. They were able only to swing back and forth under the angle of just ca. 25 degrees. What is absurd about this, is that scapulae in Carnotaurus were absolutely vast, providing enormous strength to such useless and small frontlimbs. Also, as it is a morphological synapomorphy for Ceratosauria, Carnotaurus possessed 4 digits on its frontlimbs as well, but only 2 of them had fingerbones, and were partially manual.
C. sastreii also possessed very long neck, consisting of 10 cervical vertebrae, enabling it to move its head really quickly. Position and form of Carnotaurus’ cervical vertebrae indicated that its neck was not „S-shaped“, as seen in most of the Theropods, but straight, and more-less horizontal, what is very unusual morphological characteristic, even for an Abelisaurid. The top of the cervical spinal column featured a double row of enlarged processes, pointing upwards, called epipophyses, creating a smooth trough on the top of cervical vertebrae. These processes were the highest points of the spine, towering above the unusually low neural spines. These epipophyses most likely provided support for powerful cervical musculature, resulting in very thick and robust neck, especially at the posterior section. Long and powerful necks are often seen in scavengers, such as modern day vultures. This, alongside with small front limbs, led some scientists to believe that C. sastreii was a scavenger itself. This hypothesis has been described by Holtz in National Geographic’s special called „Weird dinosaurs“ from 2007
( Note : Not the documentary. This is an article from NG Magazine that I am talking about, so it’s far more reliable than the documentary)
However, this hypothesis has been rejected with some newer discoveries about Carnotaurus’ caudal vertebrae. The most important factor for speed and agility in Theropod dinosaurs are two muscles situated in the anterior section of the caudal, called musculis caudofemoralis longus and musculus caudofemoralis brevis . Those are the muscles attached both to the top of the animal’s femur, and it’s caudal vertebrae, and provide the “pushing motion”, very important for fast and stable running. The same muscles are also present in modern-day crocodilians, so we can carefully observe and study the process. Usually, the caudal ribs on the caudal vertebrae are positioned facing to the sides, so the caudal vertebra looks similar to a cross or a letter “T” (depending on the proportions of neural spines). However, Carnotaurus’ and other Abelisauridae’s caudal ribs are facing partially upwards, resulting in vertebrae looking somewhat of a “v” shape. That results in much more space for m. caudofemoralis longus and m. caudofemoralis brevis to develop, ultimately resulting in C. sastreii’s ability to reach high speeds. This is “speed theory” is also supported by the recent estimations of Carnotaurus’ leg size, indicating that its legs probably took 2/3 of it’s entire body!
It is very unusual for a scavenger to be so fast, so this, and some more facts that we’ll discuss about in the next section, confirm it was a predator, and not a scavenger.
There were approximately 48 caudal vertebrae in C. sastreii , based on its close relative with more completely preserved caudal, A. garridoi . It also possessed 12 dorsal and 6 fused sacral vertebrae.
 
 
~Cranial musculoskeletal morphology~
C. sastreii has a very peculiar cranium. As it is a morphological synapomorphy for Abelisauridae, it possessed a cranium elongated in vertical direction, and kind of „compressed“ from the front. One of the most notable characteristics of C. sastrei are its orbital horns, measuring approximately 15cm in length. Their certain purpose is unknown, however, it has been hypothesized about them being used as a mating display. It’s almost certain that they were not used for combat, due to their tips being blunt, their proportions being too small for them to inflict some serious damage, and being positioned facing the sides, and not forward. C. sastreii’s cranium was also compressed from the sides, enabling it to move its cranium much more quickly and likely inflict more damage to prey. It’s posterior region of the cranium is very enlarged, and its teeth are very well suited for stabbing and crushing, more than cutting flesh, as seen in most of the carnivorous Theropod taxa, most notably Giganotosaurinae, most of which shared the same ecosystem with C. sastrei . This all indicates on a pretty powerful bite force, but the morphology of the cranium overall is also designed to sustain large amounts of pressure, that can also indicate on so-called „axe“ biting style, often seen in Allosauroids. This hypothesis about
Some notable morphological characteristics are vertically elongated maxillae, smoothly curved premaxilla and very large orbits facing forward, indicating that it had binocular and good sense of vision. It also possessed two joints on the middle of its mandible, between the dentary and surrangular, enabling it to expand the diameter of his mandible, so it can rip off large chunks of flesh from its victim, by the similar principle as modern snakes expand their jaws to catch larger prey.
 
~Dermal anatomy~
As mentioned, due to the C. sastreii holotype being preserved in a very peculiar type of iron ore, its skin impressions were very well preserved as well. Found skin impressions clearly show that the most, if not entire body was covered in structures very similar to squamas seen in modern reptiles. However, closer analysis revealed that these structures more closely resembled reticulae, also known as avian scales, seen in modern birds, predominately on their feet. It was previously believed that reticulae were scales that remaied present on Aviale since the reptilian stadium of their evolution. However, recent analyses point out that those were nothing more than highly evolved plumulaceous feathers. Knowing that common ancestor to all dinosaurs possessed some form of plumage, it’s highly likely that those scale-like structures on Carnotaurus were actually reticulae, or, highly evolved plumic structures. This also sparks the hypothesis that there were small, morphotype A feathers growing between those reticulae.
 
Refereces:
 
http://www.nhm.org/site/sites/default/files/pdf/contrib_science/CS416.pdf
http://www.arca.museus.ul.pt/ArcaSite/obj/gaia/MNHNL-0000782-MG-DOC-web.PDF
http://skeletaldrawing.blogspot.rs/2012/03/carnotaurus-delving-into-self-parody.html
" The Integument and Life Restoration of Carnotaurus " Czerkas, Stephen A.; Czerkas, Sylvia J. (1997)
http://dinopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Carnotaurus
http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/c/carnotaurus.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slcVvR7UMik
Weird Dinosaurs “ John Updike, National Geographic magazine (2007);
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carnotaurus
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2016-07-22
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