Thursday, September 9, 2010

Paleo News: Concavenator & Balaur + Bonus FAIL

(AP image by Raul Martin)

Concavenator corcavatus, hump-backed theropod
The fossil skeleton of Corcovenator is well preserved. And in addition to the small bumps that may have once hosted quills, it has a more showy claim to fame: its eleventh and twelfth vertebrae jut about twice as far from the animal's body as the rest. Unlike dinosaurs such as Spinosaurus, which had continuous fins or sails on their backs, Corcovenator seems to have had more of a short crest.

I can't figure out why they keep calling it a 'hump' when it seems to be more of an ornamental crest... well, whatever. Possibly even more notable than the crest, considering that it is not a dromaeosaur but related to 'carnosaurs' (not a very scientific term, but it works for our purposes) like Allosaurus, is the fact that it may have had feathers on its arms.

Holotype at
It's beautiful

Oh hi, super-quick feathered-Concavenator art!


From last week: Balaur bondoc, relative of Velociraptor. Advertised as having 'double' sickle-claws, I've read evidence that the first digit may not have been used in the same fashion as the famous rapier-bearing second toe (in most other dinosaurs of this type, digit 1 has been reduced to a hallux claw and no longer supported the animal's weight.) Unfortunately, the missing skull is a problem when it comes to accurately classifying it just yet.


If you're interested, there is MUCH more speculation about Balaur on Andrea Cau's blog, in multiple posts.

Note: the name Balaur comes from a Romanian mythological creature similar to a dragon. Now you've learned something about paleontology, theropod phylogeny specifically, AND Romanian folktales.


While looking up articles on Concavenator, I found this hilariously sad state of affairs on the Huffington Post site

What does any of this mean? Why do I need to know it? And what on earth is it doing on the same page as actual science? Oh Morrissey, how the mighty have fallen... T_T

Growth Is Not Sustainable
Go here, instead of reading about Paris Hilton's privates. And start complaining really loudly if you find a good way. I haven't found one yet, I think I need help.

Humanity: failing at life since the advent of organized religion!


  1. I'm intrigued by the feathers on its arms...

    From an aestethic standpoint, I still prefer the spinosaurus over the concavenator...

  2. Me too, I'm looking forward to reading more about it... and hope they find the skull of Balaur when they go back, too...

    Really? Strangely I've never been a huge Spinosaurus fan. I'm reserving judgment, but I really like the way that 'dustdevil' interpreted it, with ornamental plumes on the head and crest. it looks pretty weird, but cool.

    I guess with Spinosaurus it depends on how it's depicted, sometimes people go over the top or something. I can't really explain but it bothers me on some weird aesthetic level :P

  3. PS: uh, didn't you get anything in the mail? Did I mess up? It says delivered on the tracking thingie...