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Ouranosaurus (but we saw a spinosaur?)
Someone once mentioned on the list that spinosaurs may have evolved to
mimic ouranosaurs, in order to facilitate sneaking up on them. I've just
wondered whether the opposite could be true: that ouranosaurs evolved to
mimic spinosaurs in order to discourage predators.
I've created a quick image comparing Ouranosaurus to Suchomimus (both
from the same formation in Niger). It can be seen at:
Look at the similarities in profile. Both had long, low skulls with a
triangular boss along the midline between the eyes. Both had extended
neural spines. When in a reclining position (like the ouranosaur in the
above image), I imagine they'd look quite similar, at least from a
distance. Ouranosaurus has more of a Spinosaurus-like sail, but then
again perhaps there was a degree of sexual dimorphism among suchomimids,
with the dominant sex sporting a larger, more Spinosaurus-like sail.
I imagine fooling predators into thinking you are a spinosaurid would be
advantageous for a nesting ouranosaur. How many predators would risk
disturbing a spinosaur protecting a nest?
On a related note, how would "Ouranosaurus" be pronounced? The original
arabic word for monitor lizard seems to be pronounced "warren" (as in a
rabbit's home), yet is spelled "Ouran". That's where we get "monitor
lizard" from - the German translation of the Arabic word was then
translated into English; from Ouran ("warren"), to a German word
that I believe meant "warning" or something similar, to the English word
So which would be correct: Oo-ran-oh-saw-rus or War-ran-oh-saw-rus?
Dann Pigdon Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/