Sunday, February 23, 2020

Your Friends The Titanosaurs, part 21.5: Abdarainurus barsboldi

Abdarainurus barsboldi marks the first non-theropod dinosaur described in 2020. More importantly, it also represents an apparent titanosaur from part of the alphabet I've already covered, so I'm looping back to catch it, following the Baalsaurus mansillai precedent. It actually fits in well with last week's discussion of Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii, being another Mongolian sauropod with unusual caudal vertebrae, although in this case caudals (and some chevrons) are all that's there.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Your Friends The Titanosaurs, part 21: Nullotitan, Opisthocoelicaudia, and Overosaurus

It seems like getting two short entries and one long entry is how these are going lately. This time Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii gets the feature spot, with Nullotitan glaciaris and Overosaurus paradasorum as co-stars. N. glaciaris was just published a couple of months ago and is based on fragmentary material, so there isn't a lot to say about it yet. O. paradasorum includes most of a vertebral column, making it an important point of comparison for other titanosaurs.

Sunday, February 2, 2020


I could have titled this "That One Snail", because that's what Phragmolites seems to have become in my circle of acquaintances; for whatever reason, we remember having seen this distinctive fossil but can't remember what it's called. This is where a common name, something like "sculpted ring snail", might come in handy. If you haven't seen them, they could easily be mistaken for a tiny coiled cephalopod, or some kind of worm tube or crinoid columnal if the specimen is not exposed clearly. They range in size from less than a centimeter to about an inch across and are flat-coiled (planispiral), with the outer coils wider than the inner coils and partially covering them, and a distinct but small keel. There are strong markings on the coils that resemble the sutures of a nautiloid or ammonite.

These little fellas.