[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]


>Pusurusurrussusaurus,  or whatever it's called, does have a complete skull
>a complete fossil skull is known), or, at least that's what a photo published
>in the Brittanica yearbook (1994 I think) shows. Apparently, P. ate giant
>turtles and rodents. Well, big capybara things - OK so maybe they're not

        If the picture of the _Purussaurus_ (two "s"'s) to which you refer
is the same one that was published in _Terra_ a few y

>P. is a classic example of the kind of confusion and conclusion-jumping that
>sketchy press releases can cause (just like my 'dinosaur embryo' example).
>According to the press releases put out prior to P.'s official description (hey
>- can anyone give a ref. for that too?), it would have stood 8" at the
>Initially, we were tumbling over with excited confusion as no-one would
>say what
>age the beast was. The press release just said 'giant carnovorous archosaur,
>bigger than T. rex', and the accompanying illustration depicted a kind of giant
>Saurosuchus-sort-of-thing. Amid suggestions that this was  a (possibly new)
>giant pseudosuchian (sensu... err. the paper in 'Phylogeny of the
>Tetrapods Vol.
>1') - maybe the one from the Chinle that people have been yelping on about for
>ages, there I was thinking "But it must be Cainozoic - no 'rodents' (or guinea-
>pig/capybara clade) then. Giant turtles? Can't think of many Mesozoic
>examples -
> in fact, can't think of any examples.... " My beloved GCSE biology teacher was
>fueling my enthusiasm by speaking of an 8" snapping turtle shell found at the
>P. site and with a P.-sized bite mark in its carapace. And this, of course, was
>at the same time that a new terrestrial crocodile (I'm thinking Quinkana, but
>that was found earlier..) from Oz was being discussed, and  a particularly
>restoration of a giant, TERRESTRIAL croc (with a short body and long legs) from
>the Cretaceous was being posted to our circle members (it turned out to be
>Deinosuchus, but that's another story..). With this new, enigmatic 'giant
>carnivorous archosaur' suddenly taking precedence amongst mega-carnivore
>statistics, people start looking up their sources for size in sperm whales, T.
>rex and, of course (that ol' favourite) the mythical Carcharodon megalodon...
>No thanks to Richard Ellis for sorting out that one. 8 out of 10, Mike Bright.
>Physeter, of course, retains the title as you can't call a plankton-eater
>a true
>After copious amounts of frenetic discussion, an ice-cream and jelly party, a
>general *iss-up (there are kids reading this list you know - err, American
>and a grand-scale earth science library swoop, it is announced that P. is a
>giant alligator. Gee I love confusion...
>Why so very few big crocs in the Mesozoic? My guess is that big theropods could
>have eaten them. So where are the medium-sized ancestors of Deinosuchus?
>And can
>someone please clear up the Phobosuchus-Deinosuchus priority confusion. Please.
>DARREN "Good nutrition's given you some length of bone, but you're no more than
>one generation from poor white trash, are you Clarise?" NAISH

Jerry D. Harris
Denver Museum of Natural History
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO  80205
(303) 370-6403
Internet:  jdharris@teal.csn.net
CompuServe:  73132,3372

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o

Overheard in the Denver Museum's
old Fossil Mammal Hall, from a mother
to her daugher:

"See there?  That's the camel-dinosaur, and
the horse-dinosaur, and the elephant-dinosaur..."

--)::)>   '''''''''''''/O\'''''''''''`  Jpq--   =o}\   w---^/^\^o