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Hello and welcome to a. I know I'm Garrett and I'm Sabriel, and today in our three hundred and twenty sixth episode, we have a bunch of news, including something that is hot off the presses just came out of embargo today. In fact, we delayed the release of the episode just so we could cover it, because if we released it at our usual five a.m. Pacific, we'd be too early for the press release.
Well, what a treat. Yeah, it's a we saw it from Asia. Nice. Which is a first sauropods. Yeah.
We also have a comparison of fossil scanning techniques and plans for new museums in Africa.
So all good news. And we've got our Dinosaur of the Day, Taruta phoniest.
So I'm talking all about sauropods. And you're talking about a theropod. Yes. The old switcheroo kind it.
Well, a real switcheroo would be if I'm talking about an Kylah. That's true. Yeah.
And in addition to that, we want to thank some of our patrons this week. We want to thank Pipper Serotypes Tayah, Velociraptor, Saurian, Brandee Roon, Dinamo Graham, Trent Carbajal, Morgenweck Love and the Georgas family. And also, I want to point out, we're about ten new patrons away from doing a Q&A live stream who we're starting to get the hang of live streams.
Do we are we did our first Q&A live stream with Tara and Terry from Follow the Bones, which went really well.
I was actually surprised how well it went because it's the first time we've tried to live stream something while I conferencing in somebody else. Yeah, but it worked without a hitch.
I believed it would go well and it did a good job. Good. Thanks. And also thank you to everyone who came in and ask questions is really great. Yes.
So the one that we do in another ten patrons will be just the two of us asking everybody's questions about Dyno or about us and dinosaurs or whatever questions people have. So little more open ended than the one we just did. So if you want to help us get to that and also just join our growing really fun community of dinosaur enthusiasts, then go to our Patriot and Patriot Dotcom's. I know Dinu. And also, Sabrina just quit her day job, so now we're both doing this full time so you can help us, you know, buy food and things like that, but I to go, period.
So we really appreciate everybody who does.
We do. So jumping into the news first, as promised, is the first or abacas or at Sauropod Dinosaur from Asia, what's actually the title of the paper?
Pretty succinct. It was written by Alexander, a variant of an Hans-Peter Soos and published in PLoS One. The new sauropod is from the bisecting formation at Jarah, Kuruc, Uzbekistan, and pretty sure it's pronounced Jaroch, Hajduk. It's spelled DSH to start and I think that makes it basically sound. Um, I'm not positive about that because I don't speak Uzbek and I couldn't find any pronunciation guide for that specific romanization. But I think that translates to the sort of Delta character and Cyrillic and then in Russian at least that's pronounced like.
But I'm not sure about Uzbek. I did my best that it took like an hour to piece together. But I really am trying to get these dinosaur names pronounced properly because for a lot of people, this is the only time they're going to hear somebody say it.
So I feel like I should try harder anyway. Jaroch stuck to terracotta Uzbekistan.
So that also gives you a guess at what the dinosaur name might be because of where it's from. Yes, exactly. It's actually named Jaara Titanosaurs, and it's only the second sauropod known from Jaroch Kuruc. The other one is an unidentified titanosaur. And this one was originally lumped in with the unidentified titanosaur, which might be why they named it Jarah Titanosaurs. But Jira Titanosaurs is not a titanosaur, which is annoying. And I like it when dinosaurs get the wrong suffix like that.
I was just thinking, yeah, because it's a Rybka. A sword. Yeah, exactly. So I don't know why titanosaur at the end they didn't explain it. They just said they used Titan as a quote, pre Olympian God in ancient Greek mythology. Maybe it's large. Yeah. But I mean so are a lot of other sauropods.
They don't put titanosaurs at the end of them. I don't know. It's like when people put a raptor at the end of things that aren't Tamayo's or it's seems unnecessarily confusing, which is supposed to be the main thing you try to avoid when naming a dinosaur.
But in any event, Randt over a year down from the soapbox.
So the the formation that Titanosaur is from is better known for the ankylosing or a sector. Palta There's also the small Tyrannosaurus Reed Timmer, Linguere, and then there's also some other smaller dinosaur finds and fish and crocodilians, mammals and amphibians. So it's a pretty well known area in general. We just didn't know anything about the sauropods other than unidentified titanosaur. And now they've pulled out one of those bones and used that bone to name Charra Titanic's. Interestingly, Charra titanosaurs is a feminine genus.
The authors emphasize that in the paper. So it's like ending in Saura rather than saurus. I guess Charra is the feminine part.
Yeah, anytime that happens, there's always an emphasis in the paper, I think, because it's pretty rare. Yeah.
And in English, if they if all the papers were written in like French or Spanish, you could tell because in Spanish you would say L for something that's masculine and laugh or something that's feminine, but says in English everything is just the you can't tell if it's supposed to be masculine and feminine for other languages, which means they could have named it Jarra Saura, which I think sounds nice. Mm. And it would be less confusing because you don't like the titanosaur part.
Yes. And for the record, all of the cusswords in the paper either end in Saurus or Saura. There's no tightness in the mix. I guess we weren't off the soapbox yet.
We're not still have one foot on it. And the full name is Jared Titanosaur.
Kingi and Kingi is quote in memory of our colleague and friend, Dr. Christopher King. Nineteen forty three to twenty fifteen who did much work on the geology of Cretaceous strata in Central Asia.
Oh, that's nice. Yeah, I thought it was a nice little tribute. Yeah. So as we mentioned, it's a rocky sword. If you're not familiar with that group, it's in diplomatic koide. So not in the macronutrients and the other group. And you know, a lot of these have the long tails like Diplodocus, where swords include the last known and diplomatic coins lasting well into the Cretaceous, actually into the late Cretaceous even. Good for them.
So they coexisted with titanosaurs sauropods for the win, I guess Titanosaurs one, I think General. But Robock Swords did pretty well to. Bourbaki swords include the really cool dinosaurs, Niger stories and Lava Carter stories, which have all of their teeth in that flat line in front and apparently the to throw in the front is actually wider than the rest of the skull.
So they have like a big bulging mouth. But it's also very flat. They're just fascinating looking.
It sounds a little uncomfortable. Well, I mean, it depends what you're trying to eat. Clearly, they were trying to snip off a lot of stuff in like a very flat fashion. I think of them like lawnmower dinosaurs, like putting their mouth on the ground and just trying to get, like, every last little bit of something. And they are usually presented with that sort of head down facial position and they have relatively short necks for a sauropod.
And given that their front legs are shorter than their hind legs, it does give them that sort of downward angle. Mm hmm. And their neck is basically just long enough to reach the ground at sort of a shallow angle.
So it's pretty weird. I don't know what's going on with them. Nobody really has figured out exactly what they were eating. People usually presume it was probably like ferns or something to that effect that grow is really low to the ground because there wasn't grass at the time, but safe to assume they were filling some niche.
Yeah, definitely something different than what a lot of other sauropods were doing with their more rounded snouts and different style teeth, because these also had a dental battery like hadrosaur. So it looked like literally like shearing something off, which is why I always think of lawns, because if you were going to design a dinosaur as a lawn mower, it would probably look like one of these four boxy swords that makes me want to go back and watch some Flintstones episodes to see which dinosaurs they picked for mowing their lawns.
I didn't realize I had lawns on that show. I think so. It could have been some other creature too that they, like, shoved into a box or something. I feel like they did a lot of that on that show.
That's true. A lot of mistreatment of prehistoric life going on, prehistoric animals that didn't actually co-exist together.
Yes. Yeah. And it's a cartoon. I still like it is. All right.
So Jarra Titus was one of the latest known or Boki swords. It was from the middle to late Tyrolean, which puts it at ninety two to ninety million years ago, which again puts it in the late Cretaceous. And before this paper was published, Wikipedia had Ramahi swords lasting from one hundred and fifty to ninety three million years ago, which I assume means that this would stretch it out at least one or three million years. So it is probably the most recent Bourbaki sword, in addition to being the first ever known Ramogi Sword from Asia.
Unfortunately, it's only known from a single tail vertebra, likely the first, Codal. In other words, the very base of the tail. Although it is nearly complete, there's lots of details of the articulation points on the front and the back of the centrum where when connect to other vertebrae, there's also a lot of useful information in the ridges, including what they call a wing like transverse processes processes.
So basically they're, I guess, sort of shaped like a hand if you hold up your hand, sort of making like, what is this like a triangle shape?
You put your hands together.
Yeah. With, like, your thumbs making the shortest side of the triangle in front of you. That's basically what the wing like thing looks like. So that really swept back wings, kind of like a fighter jet wings on the side and those face just like if you hold them out, your hands out in front of you like that. So they are perpendicular to the ground so and perpendicular to where the tail goes. So that's sort of the wing like processes, although technically there's only one on the vertebra because the other one is broken off the actual one.
But since all dinosaurs and all vertebrates are symmetrical, you only need half. And you can guess what the other half looks like.
They also say that the neural arc is a relatively new amitiza or hollow, although I was just reading a pre-print of a paper, I think by Matt Weedle, it was on every page and it was talking about how this new multicity in vertebrae is way more variable than people like to think in sauropods.
And sometimes they had an example of Giraffe Atitlan where like three vertebrae in the row and the first one doesn't have much of any new motivation to speak of, or at least nothing really obvious. The second one is like crazy humanised, and then the third one is back to not much.
So maybe it's not as important as we thought.
Yeah, exactly. There's like tons of individual variation. And then even within an individual like sequential vertebrae can be quite a bit different. So maybe looking at the new motivation is not the best. That's why I listed that as the last of the unique features.
The centrum is about 10 centimeters are four inches long and about 18 centimeters are seven inches tall, and the front of the centrum is slightly taller than it is wide by about one and a half centimeters, whereas the back of the center is the opposite, slightly wider than it is tall by about a centimeter. So it sort of morphs in shape as it goes through the centrum. I'm not sure if it was squished during fossilization. In other words, it's a half anomic thing or if it was like that while the animal was alive, they didn't really mention much about it.
I'm not sure if this is really common or what, but just kind of interesting to me. In papers, they almost always talk about the size of the centrum. I think that makes for a better comparison between dinosaurs, because that's the part that actually articulates and maybe gives you the best idea for comparing individuals, because when you include these crazy things sticking off the vertebrate, it can really inflate the numbers on some dinosaurs, whereas others have less processes ticking off of them.
So the centrum is central to comparing? I think so, yeah. But I like to use the neural spine and the other processes because that's how big it actually looks when you look at it as a layperson. And if you include that it's about forty four centimeters or 17 inches tall and about twenty seven centimeters or 11 inches wide, pretty sizable vertebrae like dinner plate size, I guess bigger than a dinner plate, actually 70 inches.
It's pretty big serving plates says. Yeah, serving tray maybe. But like I said, is missing one of those wings. So with it, it would have been probably more like thirty three centimeters or 13 inches wide. They didn't say anything about the age in the paper, but they did say the neural arch, transverse process and centrum are fused.
So I assume it's an adult because everything's nice and stuck together.
Yes, that's what it means to be an adult getting stuck. Things are sticking together.
The neural spines on the vertebrae looks similar to European robotic swords, especially the wing like projections from the vertebra, which could mean that Jayanti Tannis derived from European relatives in general. You might guess that because it's the most recent and the only one from Asia. So where would it come from? Probably Europe. And, you know, it had to come from somewhere since it's the most recent one, phyla genetically. It came out in a subset group with four other Iraqi swords, including Niger Saurus and Robosaurus.
Oh, so they're closely related. Yes. And it might show that it had that weird flat mouth, too, that I like so much, too, was a lawnmower.
Might have been her fern mower, maybe. Right.
And again, it might show with that Rebecca Sordi didn't make it to Asia until they said ninety to one hundred and thirty million years ago. Not sure why they picked that time range. That's a good chunk of Bourbaki Saud's existence, period, but they think it was likely after they were established in Europe. And since Europe and Asia were isolated from much of the Cretaceous, it's not too surprising that it would have taken a while for them to migrate. I imagine it'd be pretty risky going for a swim across the sea as a sauropod.
It's tempting meat, but maybe they were strong swimmers and not a strong of a swimmer is like a moses' or true or even something like a sarcosuchus. One of those big crocodilians or something go for a snack on a sauropod. It's one of those things like a storm happened and some newly hatched dinosaurs ended up on a log that floated.
It could be there were periods of time where the sea level was a little bit lower and there were landbridge connections between Asia and Europe. So that's what they guessed was when it got over there. But, yeah, you're right. We don't know. And while we're talking about sauropods, another sauropod paper, because why not? Yeah, good.
So it's by Dennis Kent and Lars Clemmensen and it's published in PNAS, which unfortunately is paywall. But there's enough information in the abstract and even bother going past paywall. So they point out that the earliest dinosaurs we know are from Gondwana, specifically Argentina and southern Brazil. We talk about that a lot as like two hundred and thirty to two hundred forty million years ago. They put it on the conservative side of it and saying about two hundred thirty million years ago.
And by that time there were both sauropods morphs like Saturnalia and just lots of theropods. So I'm going to bother to name them. There's a lot of them that were rolling around. However, the sort Pottermore didn't show up in the Northern Hemisphere until about two hundred and fifteen million years ago, which doesn't sound like that big of a difference. Two hundred thirty to two hundred fifteen. But it is 15 million years is a very long time for them to not move a couple thousand miles.
Must have been a nice habitat. Yes, I think it was. And then in addition to that, there might have been and not so nice habitat in between them and the Northern Hemisphere, because again, back then there was Pangaea. The authors put it as Pangaea was, quote, traversable in principle and quote, because it's all connected.
So that's what we all learned in school. Everything's connected so the animals can go wherever.
Right. But we don't know what the terrain was like. We know a little bit and we think there was a large desert belt around the equator, which obviously makes traversing not so practical. And it seems like that desert prevented dinosaurs from making it to the north, although maybe more so, so polymorphs than anything else, because the authors point out that theropods showed up in the Northern Hemisphere earlier, although I was trying to figure out which theropods they were talking about.
And it doesn't seem like there were that many theropods in the Northern Hemisphere either before or two hundred and fifteen million years ago. I'm guessing maybe seal off visus might have been a few million years before this or polymorphs, but you get different accounts on the age of sea ice OIDs in places like Ghost Ranch. Some places say two hundred and eight million years, some other places say two hundred twenty five. I'm not sure if the stratigraphy is that deep.
I kind of doubt it, but in any event. So it might have beat. So we're polymorphs by a couple of million years, but I think they were still probably limited by this desert, at least to some extent. Also back in the middle or beginning of the late Triassic when these dinosaurs were living, dinosaurs were not the dominant terrestrial fauna. There was a lot of stuff bigger than them that would be happy to eat them. Right.
So it's even riskier making these moves. Exactly. Yeah.
It might have been really difficult for them to spread out and they might not have been even in a position to occupy any space in some of the niches they might have. The places might have just been fully occupied by other animals and they couldn't successfully migrate there and get enough food and get established. The paper is really focusing on Greenland. They've got a new date for an East Greenland formation, and just like back then, Greenland was similarly on the northeast of Canada.
I think that's worth mentioning because a lot of other countries are in very different places than they were back then. But Greenland really hasn't moved much and might have moved the least of any of the places really.
I guess Eurasia, everything kind of shifted north. So it shifted north, too, but it hasn't moved all that much.
This area had previously been dated around maybe up to two hundred and thirty million years ago. But now they have a much more precise date and they put it at about two hundred and fourteen million years ago. And that's important because that's where the source remains have been found. And that is basically one of the first or polymorphs of the first sort Podmore known in the Northern Hemisphere. So it's important to know when it showed up, because if it's one of the first ones that I'll tell you, when I saw Polymorphs made it across the desert potentially, and it turns out about 15 million years after they were already established in South America.
And probably Africa, I should say, down in South Africa and the Sutta and Zimbabwe, although I should point out that we could find more fossils narrowing that time period. It's possible we just haven't found us or Pottermore that is around the same age as theropods. And maybe this isn't a sauropod, a more specific problem. For example, Shilly Timir, one of my favorite dinosaur, Dave's Yepp, is not precisely dated, and they give the range of something like two hundred and twenty two million years ago to two hundred eight million years ago.
So it was on the earlier end of things. It could push this date earlier. Still wouldn't be as old as the South American finds, would have to find a new dinosaur somewhere else to get to that sort of record, although I think it's likely that dinosaurs were limited by this desert because we think that early dinosaurs had soft shelled eggs. And we've talked in the past about how if you have soft tissue, all the eggs, it limits your dispersal quite a bit because you need either a moist area or somewhere with compost where you can bury an egg or a beach or something, where you can keep your egg from drying out.
And a desert would be a really big problem for animals with soft shelled eggs unless they stuck to the coasts. But sticking to the coast might not have been the best option for a small dinosaur, especially when there were these contemporary crocodile amorphous that liked being on coasts that were much bigger and things like Posta Soukous, which were basically the largest terrestrial carnivores of the time. And then there's the additional difficulty of a sort, Ponomarev, because they're slow and herbivorous, which makes crossing a desert problematic compared to something like maybe a small carnivore could find enough food to cross without as much problem.
Yes, but yeah, being a big, slow herbivore, that needs to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of plants. Yeah, and crossing a desert don't seem like a great combination.
Although, I mean, back then, the sauropods, more of us were smaller and potentially faster, some of the earliest ones like Saturnalia, were bipedal. And I think we weren't even necessarily herbivorous. It could have been omnivorous.
So, yeah, just take what you can get. Yeah. The authors think they have an explanation of how the sauropod morphs. Eventually did make it across the desert. Basically two hundred and fifteen to two hundred, twelve million years ago there was a big drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide and that might have reduced the size and or intensity of the desert barriers allowing the sauropods morphs to make it through.
Sort of a connection to today, how carbon dioxide affects temperatures and a prettification, things like that. It's interesting to think how all these animals are so intrepid and they're just waiting for the right opportunity and then they go for it. Well, everything goes for it.
Not everything succeeds. And think about how well, I mean, humans obviously spread out everywhere we possibly can. But when we had North America and South America connect and there was a big thing, it's called the Panamerican Interchange, everything from South America that could went north and everything from North America that could went south. And it turned out that a lot of the stuff in South America actually kind of like this, they were used to a more humid and warm environment and they had a tougher time going to the north than animals in the north and going to the south.
But some of them did like terror birds. I think we're from South America went up to the north, but the big cats that were in North America wiped them out and went south into South America and wipe them out, too. So, yeah, it's anyone's guess who's going to win when these things combine. And I guess dinosaurs ended up winning and wiping out whatever kind of other dinosaur morphs and orcas and things that were dominant, maybe giant amphibians dominating in other parts of the world before they made it there.
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Yes. All lower case and that'll get you an entire month of unlimited access for free. And last but not least, I've got a paper about some different techniques for digitizing fossils, which is something that I think is super important.
Yeah. Makes it easier to access around the world. More people can study it. More people can find new things.
And for my data hoarding perspective, I like that if the bone itself gets destroyed, you still have a very good record of it for future use, for comparisons and things, it's always better to have the actual bone. But some of these scanning technologies are really amazing and much better than just trying to work from a picture or something. Mm hmm. This paper was written by Veronica Diaz, Diaz and others and published in the Palaeontological Association. They went through seven techniques, but that's a little bit misleading because five of them are photogrammetry using two different camera systems.
Basically, they had a Canon five DSR, which is a 50 megapixel full frame sensor camera with a fancy lens and a fancy ring flash, which I'm guessing cost between three and four thousand dollars, maybe a little bit more when the camera was brand new. But cameras declined rapidly in price. And I think this one's a couple of years old, so you can get a cheaper than you used to be able to. The other one they used, apparently, this was a canon person who was working on it because they had a Canon seven dead as well, that's a 20 megapixel camera.
It's a smaller Apsey sensor, if you're familiar with it, which makes it cheaper. And it had a cheaper lens and a ring of light rather than a ring flash, which would have made it so. But one thousand dollars. So a more accessible camera and the kind of camera that a lot of amateur photographers have. So something people might just have lying around in their house, you don't have to buy a specialized tool for the photogrammetry. So that's only two techniques worth.
But to get five, that did a combination of walking around the fossil, they did that only with the cheap camera. And then they did two different versions of using the turntable with 10 versus 30 degree increments. And that's how you get your five different methods for photogrammetry. Then the two other techniques were both using structured light scanners, those are really cool, you've probably seen them in like a sci fi movie where someone standing in front of a light or a scanner and it projects a grid on them.
Hmm. I don't know if you've ever seen that. It's sort of it comes up in sci fi stuff. I can picture it. It is really cool. I like it a lot with these.
I don't think you see the structured light itself. Maybe you can, but I don't know if you would notice it flashes. It doesn't stay fully on all the time. And they're rated one of them. The Arctic Erva is rated at 100 micrometers of precision. So those lines are very close together. That one costs about twenty thousand dollars. The other one's called the Arctic Space Spider, which is rated at five hundred micrometers, although the website says 50 micrometers.
So I'm not sure if they had to change the setting for a larger specimen or what's going on there, but that one costs about thirty thousand dollars. So these are much more expensive, obviously, than the even the expensive photogrammetry camera setup. But they look really cool to compare the systems they use to different fossils. They used more relevant to us a sauropod tail vertebra. Yeah, you really did talk about all sauropods this week. Yeah.
And I was just talking about a sauropod tail vertebrate, too. This one was full of pneumatic cavities, so it's one of the more pneumatic varieties and it had big processors sticking off it like you usually get. And of course, there's that canal running through the middle of the vertebra. So it's a pretty difficult thing to scan. It's got all sorts of bumps and holes and it's really big.
Yeah, so. So it's good for testing. Exactly. Because they obviously could have picked anything. Also, there's convex and concave surfaces on the front and back and sides of the vertebra, which are really important to you need that detail for comparing to other dinosaurs. It's a lot of challenges. Yeah, exactly. So it's a really good one for comparison.
I think the only thing that might be more complicated to scan is probably a skull, but maybe not the individual bones, because skulls, again, especially in dinosaurs, aren't necessarily all fused. So scanning just a maxilla or something is probably easier than scanning this big crazy vertebra. They also tested it on a turtle in a flat slab of rock, which appears to be crushed, just said it's interesting.
How does this come up so often? It always ends up being a sauropod versus a turtle.
I don't get it that literally they pick two fossils out of all of paleontology and they picked a sauropod vertebra and what looks like a crushed turtle.
OK, these two have no connection.
Well, we don't know that it might be a reason that might be sending us a message subtly through this article, knowing that we would be interested in digitizing fossils.
The turtle did something to the SÄPO gesture. I doubt they were even from the same time period.
But yeah. Yeah. And they they mentioned that that's a useful one because a lot of times we do look at fossils that are still like slightly embedded in rock.
And they mentioned that it's a useful way to digitize fossils because if you're doing preparation work, you can take scans during the preparation like they're doing with the awesome Utahraptor block because there's so much information and they're worried about losing some detail about how a bone was situated or maybe, I guess, in a worst case scenario might prepare something away accidentally or damage something. So you scan it all the time and then it's the ultimate in data hoarding. It's an infinite number of scans.
You could do different times.
Is it hoarding if it's useful? Yeah, OK. Because to a data hoarder, every piece of data is useful. Like I have like ten different versions of all of our podcasts saved. They all could be useful. I don't know.
But anyway, the real purpose of the paper was to compare the seven techniques and which one made the best models of the vertebra and the turtle, but I was also looking at the vertebra because that's what's important. And to do that, what they did was they digitally compared the models for accuracy and basically the individual measurements and how close they were to each other. So how much variability there was, say, in the model shape and the different points on the model.
Like, if there were big bumps that got captured in some but didn't get captured in others and stuff like that, but they did it all statistically. So they compared all of the points on all of the models. Wow. So that you could get an actual answer of this one is the most precise digital model. Amazingly, basically, all seven of them created what they called accurate 3D models. Right. Right. Yeah. So you've got options.
You do. And most of the measurements were within one millimeter of each other. Wow. Again, the vertebra is 290 millimeters or a foot tall and has all sorts of different shapes and bulges and holes in it. So the fact that almost every point on it was within a millimeter on all of the models is pretty amazing. But they did say photogrammetry was the best. I'm not that surprised why it's so much cheaper.
It's like a tenth of the cost. You'd think it maybe it wouldn't be as good.
Maybe it's because I hear about photogrammetry all the time. That's a good point.
Yes. So since everybody's using it and sort of the industry standard, they might know something we don't know. That's true. They described photogrammetry as producing, quote, higher quality measures than current structured like 3D scanners and quote. So I guess there is a potential for 3D light, for structured light scanners to improve because they said current structure, lights, cameras, and they only looked at one brand. They cited some other articles that looked at other brands.
So they think that it's a pretty robust analysis. They did find that the Arctic scanners had less triangle errors, but they did have more holes in what are called sewing errors. So basically, when you take a bunch of pictures in a row, you stitch them together and then when they get stitched improperly in the sewing error.
I see. Which can be difficult to tell.
That's in error when you're looking at a fossil. Exactly. Especially if you're not that familiar with the fossil. Yeah.
So technically, it might look a little bit better when you first scan it, but you might not know what you're missing or what is crazy about it. And some of them had like these really weird triangles because it's they're just made of nothing but triangles, just millions of triangles basically.
And that can be an issue too, especially when it comes to what's the one diagnostic feature of this particular bone.
Yeah, yeah. You want it to be as precise as possible, that's for sure. Most interesting to me was that the best results came from the walk around method with the cheaper camera.
And I'm sure the authors were kicking themselves afterwards for not doing the walk around method with the more expensive camera, because that was the one method that they only use the one camera on. And they ended up choosing the resulting model as their quote unquote cyber type.
Yeah. So like neo type or electro type or holiday polla type. Yeah, yeah.
I think that's what they're going for. I googled cyber type and all I could find was a portmanteau of Internet and stereotype, which is a totally different thing.
I don't think that's what they meant though.
So yeah, I assume it's analogous for a digital haplotype because they propose that a cyber type could be updated with one of equal or higher quality and that previous cyber types should never be deleted so that you have a record of how it changed over time. Good data hoarding practices there. Never delete anything, keep it forever.
Feel like you're using this to justify something like it. Don't need to buy another hard drive, by the way.
So the cyber type being from the cheaper camera, I wonder if they had use the more expensive camera, if they would have come up with a better model and want to keep that instead. But it really shows that you don't need really high end gear in order to produce pretty excellent results. Within a millimeter of accuracy is really pretty small. When you do photogrammetry, you end up with not only the mesh, you like the shape of it, but you also have the texture on top of it because you can put the images on top of it.
So it looks on a computer screen. You know, you can rotate it around and see basically the exact thing that you were taking pictures of. The authors did point out, though, that there are some benefits to the 3D light scanners. They say they might be a better option for inexperienced users because it's so automated. Basically, you just hold this one device that looks sort of like holding an iron, I guess is the best comparison. But if there were lenses on the bottom of the iron and you walk around the thing that you want to take pictures of, they usually use turntables.
I wonder if that's at least they do in their demo videos, on their website. That might be why they decided to use turntables for the photogrammetry option to sort of give a one to one comparison and then you scan all over it. It's pretty quick because it can take I think one of them takes sixteen frames a second or something, almost like video camera speed. The other one was a little slower, like six, but still pretty quick. So it doesn't take too many seconds to go around.
The thing you want to scan, just pointing this device at it and then you're done, although if you want the best model, they recommend doing it six times and then the software compares the six variants of it and tries to automatically eliminate some of the weird errors. So that could be a good option if you're unfamiliar with the process, although I would argue in paleontology especially, it can be hard to come by dollars and twenty thousand dollars for the cheaper scanner.
It might be worth learning the software of photogrammetry. Or you could hire a tech savvy college student for a summer and get. Half of your stuff digitized for the same price as just buying the scanner. That's what I would opt for personally.
And the authors did say they do recommend doing multiple scans in order to get a model that's high enough quality to be a cyber type when you're using the structure like scan or not, when you're doing a photogrammetry scan, at least six, right?
They thought six, you might not necessarily need six, but definitely at least three, I think three or four. The photogrammetry models. Another downside of them is that they require more computer processing time after scanning. But they had a laptop with I think it was Invidia nine sixty five M, which is not at all like the latest and greatest graphics card. I think that's like a hundred dollar graphics card. Basically, if you had any standard gaming computer, either a desktop or a laptop, it would be a lot more powerful and this one was capable of doing everything they needed to do.
So I don't really think in this day and age the computing power isn't that much of a limitation. We just have so much power everywhere and all our devices that I think that's probably fine.
But maybe the biggest benefit to using the photogrammetry method is that it's so much more flexible. So since the walking around method worked so well, that means you don't need a turntable like you might for the structured light scanner. You also don't even need a tripod. And as a result, it's pretty easy to use in the field because you can just take a camera with you. Basically take a picture, a bunch of pictures of the thing from different angles.
And then later on, put it through your computer and end up with a digital model is pretty amazing. It is.
The authors do recommend using a ring flash because they've got better results, they think, with that very accurate scale bars so that the computer can process a better and colorful fabrics for masking, in other words, like a green screen. So if you have a hole through the thing, you can put the green screen behind it and it makes it easier for the computer to know to ignore that rather than trying to figure out what part of the hole is picking up pictures of the background and which part of it is, you know, empty space.
It almost sounds like you're making it tock video. That's just because you're tick tock. That green screen.
Your ring flash. Oh yeah. Camera.
Yeah, but you don't need a tripod for this. So in some ways it might be easier than making a desktop video.
I also think one benefit to photogrammetry, they didn't mention it in the paper, but it seems intuitive that it should scale down better because if you switch to a macro lens, you're going to get a much higher resolution image of a small specimen, whereas the structured like scanners have a predefined scale. You know, they tell you they're accurate at 50 micrometers or five hundred micrometers or something. So if your fossils only a thousand micrometers across, it's not going to be able to give you any Skåne worth anything.
But if you have a really high power macro lens, I'm sure you could. So that's another thing to keep in mind. And the examples on the website, Artex website are all large objects. They're like transmissions of cars and like engine blocks and stuff seems to be the main use of their technology. They talk about reverse engineering, so maybe they're scanning other people's stuff.
Hmm. I guess there's a lot of uses for it. I think structure like scanners are amazing. They're really cool. But at this point, at least for paleontology, looks like photogrammetry is probably the way to go. As an aside, because I was thinking a lot about cyber types, the authors don't mention it, but I expect Phyll Genetics might sort of start leaning into these cyber types in the near future and relying less on the huge character matrices that just are lots of qualitative comments, like does it have this bump?
Does it not have that bump? You just plop all of the actual models, right?
Then you can aggregate all the data that's available versus now you kind of choose which characteristics or which matrices to use. Yes.
And it requires some of the matrices do have values like length and width and things like that, but it depends on who's measuring it. A lot of people we've talked to have pointed out that some people measure the length differently. So really, when you're doing one of these big phylogenetic studies, you want to go and see all the bones and measure them yourself if you can, because then you can be more confident that you're doing it the same way and considering the same bumps as different, because sometimes they have like small, medium, large to what is small, medium, large.
But if you can use cyber types, you have to worry about any of that. Yeah. It can just automatically look at all the lengths and be completely consistent.
Yeah, the consistency is the key because a lot of studies, especially phylogenetic studies, they get different answers sometimes based on which datasets they're using.
And a lot of the argument comes down to the matrices. They'll say like, no, that doesn't count as X feature. You know, that's really just individual variation or that's not relevant in this case and things like that. But this should make it a lot more reproducible if we can get everybody to make cyber types of everything, which is kind of a big ask, but it would be awesome.
In other dinosaur news, there were fossilized footprints found in Portugal Mahu. Yeah, they're from one hundred and twenty nine million years ago.
They have tracks from sauropods, theropods or orthopod, and they show they come from, quote, shallow marine environments, lagoons and estuaries. So there's not too many details yet about the tracks, but there is a team studying them, so they'll probably publish more later. Yeah, that makes me think there's probably quite a few tracks if they've got that many different animals.
Mm hmm. In museum news in Niger, there's plans to build two museums to house dinosaur fossils.
Nice. Yeah, it's good. There's local scientists there working with Paul Sereno, who's gone on many expeditions in the area. And these new museums are going to house the fossils that he's found, which are currently in his lab in Chicago.
This project is called Nyjer Heritage Without a Space.
Yes. And things are on hold right now with the pandemic. So they do have 20 tons of fossils that are currently in the middle of the Sahara Desert. That is a lot of fossils here.
They have them in the middle of the Sahara Desert.
Yes. It's just like fossils that they've been excavating, but then things are on hold, so.
Oh, they haven't been excavated yet. I was imagining them being, like, stored in the Sahara Desert, like how they store plains in the Arizona desert. Oh, no, it's not like that. We don't have a place for them. The desert is a you know, it's not going to get moist and ruin the fossils and leave them in the desert.
No, no. It's actually not great to be out there because then the exposure could wear them down.
So sand people might come across them and not leave them. So anyway, in Niger, the first dinosaur fossils were found in the 1960s when they were prospectors from France digging for uranium. And then the paleontologist, Philip Ticket, confirmed it was a dinosaur.
I never knew that was why they found dinosaurs in Nigeria. That's interesting. Yeah, same.
There were no laws in Niger against taking fossils out of the country until the 1980s. So there are no fossils from that country in the U.S., France, Italy, in the U.K. and to get returned the fossils to Niger after he studied them. And those ones are now in wooden crates at the National Museum. The fossils that Sarino and his team found, they found when they were fossil hunting in twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen. And in addition to dinosaurs, they also found mammals and humans obviously spanning different periods of time.
Yeah. And the dinosaur species, they found 11 dinosaur species, but none have been peer reviewed yet.
Oh, wow. Mm hmm. So expect a lot coming out soon. Well, I don't know how soon. Hopefully soon. So they've they've covered their fossils, you know, in the middle of the desert. They're hoping they'll be safe until they can return. And so far, it's been so good, but there's a lot of delays because of the pandemic.
But there still seems to be a lot of enthusiasm for these museums, which is really good. Yeah, that's great. I want a lot more museums in Africa, there are almost none right now. I think there's you can probably count them on one hand, the amount of museums that are capable of housing and displaying dinosaur fossils, Natural History Museum specifically.
Yes. I should say capable and interested in this Plotinus of us.
And then obviously that gives a great place for people like paleontologists from the country and other countries to collaborate and work on the dinosaur fossils and store them and all that stuff. So that is very good news. I wonder if the fossils that are stored in other countries might get repatriated to after they have, especially if they do in two separate museums? Yeah, it's possible.
So I'm looking forward to hearing about the museums being built and also those 11 dinosaur species.
Yes. Another museum news at the Hokkaido Museum in Japan. You can see the Hokkaido Dinosaurs exhibition from now until March 14th. I don't think I can, unfortunately.
OK, if you're in Japan, in Hokkaido, I'm not sure what. Thank you.
This is for people who can do it anyway.
They have fossils from museums throughout Hokkaido and that includes Kamui Saurus and hadrosaurs found in your town. You do have to make reservations in advance online. I know, Gary, you can't do it.
I mean, I could make reservations in advance, but you wouldn't show up. Yeah, yeah. That would be a waste of a reservation. Anybody can take reservations to the keeping reservations.
Yes, that sounds good, although I like a good local dinosaur exhibit.
Well, putting myself in your shoes, it's not local. It is for the people in Hokkaido. Exactly.
And in museum news, that's closer to us, but still a little too far for us to actually go right now, get an update on a Denver Museum of Nature and Science that in addition to their Sue the T. Rex exhibit, they also will have tiny their serotypes, you know, on display.
Apparently, it's a replica of Tiny Nottie Oge Tiny just in case. I mean, I guess Sue is also so. Yes. And what's interesting about Tinie is Tiny's considered to be a Torosaurus moho based on the frail, tiny Torosaurus here.
Dinny was founded twenty seventeen in Dorton. They took up a few weeks to excavate and Tinie got its name from some students nearby at Bradner Elementary.
I'd like to hear what this means for the Torosaurus Triceratops debate. Given that Torosaurus is supposed to be the biggest form of Triceratops, according to some people, if there's a tiny version of Torosaurus that's going to mix things up, holding tiny, actually tiny, it looked small to me in the video.
I think it's called tiny because it's small for a Torosaurus.
Oh, that makes sense. It wasn't just making a joke about Tiny and Torosaurus both starting with t the whole.
OK, I really thought you were. I meant that.
Yeah, it's tiny for a Torosaurus and therefore could be a triceratops according to some people, or could settle potentially the Torosaurus versus Triceratops debate. Yeah. In favor of Torosaurus. Interesting to think about. Well I guess we'll wait and see how that unfolds. In Rockford, Illinois, the reopening of the Bapi Museum has been delayed. It was supposed to open again on February 8th, but now they're hoping to reopen in two days from now, February 26th.
And that's because a pipe burst and did a bunch of damage. It flooded the lobby in the gift shop and the visitor services center and some of the museum collections. Oh, no. Yeah. At first when I saw this, I thought that it was not in Illinois because Illinois regularly gets cold temperatures. But recently in the US, we had freezing temperatures all the way down to Texas. That was causing a lot of burst pipes. And I know that affected some of our listeners, but I think everybody's OK that we know, at least.
So we're happy to hear that. But I guess even the cold temperatures in Illinois caused problems. Yeah, I don't think it was related to the same storm.
Yeah, I think you're right, because you said it affected early February and this was like mid-February.
Luckily for the museum, the fire department and the Berbee staff were able to save a lot from being damaged too badly, which is why they're able to or they're hoping to reopen just a couple of weeks later than they were supposed to. In happier news, there's a four year old who has set two records for naming 71 dinosaurs in under a minute.
Oh, man, that's more than one second. Yeah.
Set the record for the UK World Book of Records and India's Lempicka Book of Records, but not the Irish Book of Records. The famous one, the Guinness Book of World Records.
I can't find what the Guinness Book of Records record is for this.
They might not have won, but there is an article from not that long ago, last October, of a six year old who set four records for identifying dinosaurs and the six year old could identify over a hundred species of dinosaurs and said 41 in one minute or 70 ones, a lot more than forty one dollars.
Depends on what your record is, is that the youngest is at the most. Is that the most and youngest by some sort of wading factor?
Well, I think the six year old might have paved the way for the four year old with these records because the six year old's father is the one who approached the Hlinka book of records. They didn't have a category for kids below 12 years old at the time.
Oh, kids below 12, because I was thinking I could beat that. But I'm not below 12. Oh, dear. Yes. I'm not quite a bit above 12.
If I were these kids, I wonder which I would like to see which dinosaurs they picked because I would go with all monosyllabic ones if I could go through like E and like all those really like short ones. Because if you're trying to say like Paris or. Right.
You're wasting time, I guess once you say fast enough. Yeah.
But it's faster to go through the monosyllabic ones.
So I'm wondering if there will be a Guinness World Record for this at some point and they just haven't established the criteria yet. Yeah, I got to go for it.
If they ever do. I think you have to pay at least with Guinness Book of World Records.
I think you have to pay like a fee in order to get the record. But I don't know about these other record books. Maybe not with kids. Maybe they may waive the fee or something. No idea works.
There's a video of the four year old at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History just pointing to pictures of dinosaurs and naming them, uh, like a flashcard version of it.
Kind of, I don't think. Well, I don't know if that's how he set the record.
But anyway, it's very cute. And then last, I just want to thank one of our listeners who's on our Dischord and Patreon, because they pointed out to us that Massachusetts does not yet officially have a state dinosaur, which is what we said in a previous episode. So the legislation has been introduced but hasn't been voted on yet. So it's not official, official.
So the vote that was for which state dinosaur, which dinosaur should be the state dinosaur, that was for which one should be on the bill. Yeah. Gotcha.
That was what the popular vote was for. And that's what we talked about. And that's where people voted for Ponoka source catcha, so we'll update when it becomes actually official.
Yeah, that's a good choice, unlike the Washington State dinosaur. Here we go again.
And now on to our Dinosaur of the day, Taruta phoniest, which was a request from Fran via our patron and discord. So thanks. Terry Tiffani's was a tyrannosaurs that lived in the late Cretaceous and what is now Eutaw in the US, it was carnivorous. It looks like this typical ferocious theropod tyrannosaur type.
You know, it's got the sharp teeth and proportionally short arms, the D shaped teeth, as they say, the hallah type of terror to phoniest was originally estimated to be about 20 feet or six metres long and weigh one thousand four hundred and seventy pounds or six hundred and sixty seven kilograms. And then in 2016, Molina Perez and Laura Mundy estimated it to be twenty one feet or six point four meters long, and then Gregory Paul estimated it to be twenty six feet or eight meters long.
It's been growing. Yeah.
So tear it to phoniest. Looks different from more northern tyrannosaurs. It's possible there was a barrier, maybe a sea barrier that kept dinosaurs separate in the north and the south and they evolved in different ways.
We've talked about these barriers actually earlier in this episode.
Yeah. There's like the layer media barrier that kept it on the western side of the interior seaway. But then different people argue whether or not there was actually a barrier or not within layer. Midia, we've seen that go both ways quite a few times recently. So yeah, that's that's still a little controversial, but it might have happened.
So compared to Elberta saurus tear, Tiffany has had a deeper skull and it was shorter proportionally between the tip of the snout and the front of the eye socket, specifically the lacrimal bone of the orbital finestra.
And that could mean that it had stronger jaw muscles and that would have meant it had a strong bite force. The type and only species is Taruta phoniest korei, the genus name means monstrous murderer. Wow.
Yeah, it's quite a name that is ferocious. And the species name you might be able to guess is in honor of paleontologist Phil Currey. It was named in Twenty Eleven by Thomas Carr and others, and they found an incomplete skull and post cranial skeleton that was found in the Horowitz formation. The halal type is BYU eight one two zero, and there are two other specimens that have been referred to terror to phoniest, the holiday fossils were originally thought to be from four different individuals and then later was thought to be probably from one individual, a subadult.
There was a specimen found in twenty seventeen and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and that one was airlifted to the Natural History Museum of Utah on October 15th of twenty seventeen.
Pretty sure we talked about it at the time. It's always cool to hear about dinosaurs getting airlifted. Yeah, yes.
It's often necessary because they can be in some pretty remote spots. Mm hmm. So that airlifted specimen was found in 2015 when Alan Titus was prospecting for fossils. And it turned out to be this articulated, nearly complete skeleton, maybe 80 percent complete. And that includes the skull and most of the body. It's only missing the back part of the tail and a few toes. Wow, that's awesome. What's also unclear about the arms, but yeah, really cool.
So it was found in 2015 and then excavated in twenty seventeen. It sounds like.
OK, so this air lifted specimen was in plaster and then lifted in pieces and the largest piece weighed about one ton. It's a juvenile specimen and it was probably buried in a river channel or in a flooding event and it's estimated to be 17 to 20 feet or five to six meters long. Another juvenile, huh?
Yeah, it took the team and volunteers about two to three thousand hours to excavate this site. And it's probably going to take them at least ten thousand hours to prepare the specimen.
Sounds about right. Yeah, it's a lot of work.
So this juvenile specimen that was airlifted, it's being prepared and studied at the Natural History Museum of Utah. And they're going to look at the growth patterns, how Tiffany is moved, how fast it ran and how it used its jaws.
I hope they have the arms, the arms and the arm size is one of the most interesting parts of Tyrannosaurus, especially because this one, I think, is only about 10 million years before T. Rex.
Hmm. So there's you know, you want to know how T. Rex ish it looks. Yeah. At that point, not necessarily true that this one evolved into T-Rex, but. Right. Right.
It still could be interesting where, you know, it had the deeper skull. Mm hmm. So other animals that lived around the same time and place as Tair Tiffani's included hadrosaur serotypes, Ewan's mammals, turtles, crocodilians like dinosaurs, lizards, insects, snails, clams, fish and amphibians. Must have been near the coast. Yes. And our fun fact of the day is that during part of the late Cretaceous, Asia and Europe were separated by an ocean just like North America with a hill.
I mentioned this a little bit with injera tightness earlier, but I wanted to go into a little more detail.
So sea level has varied quite a bit over the course of even just the Mesozoic. So even saying that the Western Interior Seaway separated North America during the Cretaceous is a huge oversimplification. It only did for part of the Cretaceous and really part of the late Cretaceous, like the middle part of the late Cretaceous mostly was when I was the highest. I think like seventy five million years ago roughly was when it was at the highest. But again, there's still a lot of work being done on this and it's kind of hard to estimate at times.
But I think that's roughly when I was at the highest snow in North America. As a quick reminder, Larra Midia was everything on the west part of North America. And that was basically if you drew a line with Montana in the middle, Mexico City at the southern end, and then the Arctic Ocean to the north of that line. And I think the Northwest Territories, maybe Yukon, because they were situated slightly differently back then, that would be the eastern end of Laramie.
So from that line to the west is Larry Media. So it includes British Columbia, part of Alberta and Yukon and Alaska. And then, you know, the western end of Montana and all the western US states and then part of western Mexico, but not Baja California, because that's too low. That would have been underwater. So that's larger media then basically Texas up through the Dakotas and all of central Canada all the way up to the Arctic Ocean was underwater in the western interior seaway.
Wow. Yeah, pretty wide seaway. Then Appalachia was on the eastern side of North America. That was basically everything to the east of Dakotas, Texas and Manitoba. Hmm. But again, all of the low lying states, especially in the United States, were underwater, like Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, chunk of the Carolinas, probably a bunch of the rest of the coast was underwater. So Appalachia in the east or maybe on the west and then as a side fun fact at sea levels highest, which was again, roughly seventy five million years ago, the area that is mostly Manitoba today turned into what's called the Hudson Seaway, which connected the Hudson Bay to the Western Interior Seaway, and it temporarily separated off most of Nunavut onto his own island, so isolated from the rest of Appalachia for a little while.
So it's really three big chunks. And at this point, I think Greenland had separated from Nunavut because Greenland used to be even closer. I didn't realize how close Greenland is to Canada right now, but is still really close. Mm hmm. Now, on the Asia and Europe side of things, they were separated by what's called the term gay straight, also known as the gay sea, or sometimes the West Siberian Sea, a kind of like West Siberian Sea, because it gives the same sort of feeling as the Western Interior Seaway.
And it tells you where it is. So very roughly, it's the meridian at the Caspian Sea, basically ran north northeast from the Caspian Sea through western Kazakhstan and western Siberia. In other words, I think east of the Ural Mountains, which is the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia. So I think that's kind of interesting, that dinosaurs were more so living in a separated Asia and Europe, whereas now it's just like it's Eurasia and really it's Aphro Eurasia because they're all connected.
And anything that we say about the differences between them is usually more like sociopolitical than it is about actual animals in the areas, whereas back then there was literally an ocean dividing Europe and Asia.
Pretty cool. For the record, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan might have just been considered part of the TT's sea floor because just like Florida and Mississippi and stuff, they were low enough at the time that they were just kind of underwater. They weren't really in a way, they were just kind of sea floor. Also, the Arabian Peninsula was still like a thousand miles away connected to Africa. So they weren't anywhere near Eurasia really at that point. Since the West Siberian Sea ran through western Kazakhstan and Russia, it's probably not a surprise that Turkey is a river in Kazakhstan.
So that's what the turkey is named after, this river valley that's still there today.
And also sometimes the water that separated Europe into islands is also called the Tour de Sea. So depending who you ask, like the Western Siberian Sea might not be as good of a name, because that implies that it's just the part that covers Siberia. But really, it also might be the part that covered Europe, if you want to define it that way. So, yeah, dinosaurs in Europe were very much isolated from those in Asia, at least are part of the Cretaceous right.
And then like we were saying, and one of our dinosaurs, we think there were periodic land bridges and things when sea level dropped and then they could intermix a little bit and diversify. And then as soon as it was possible, they did it. Yep. Then they get isolated again and evolve, you know, wait until their next opportunity to move.
And that wraps up this episode of Daito, thanks for listening. Don't forget to subscribe in your favorite podcast app to us so you don't miss out on any new episodes. And join our community. Patreon, Dotcom's Eino Dinu. Thanks again.
And until next time, Jimmy.