Dinosauria: The Complete Volume I

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The parapophyseal articular facets are proportionally larger than in anterior dorsal vertebrae of Mendozasaurus pers. The neural canal is large and subcircular in anterior view, slightly wider than tall. It is bordered dorsally by the intraprezygapophyseal lamina. The prezygapophyses are strongly developed, extending far anteriorly.

Their facets are ovoid in dorsal contour, more than two times wider mediolaterally than long anteroposteriorly, and flat dorsally. They face dorsomedially, and their lateral ends slightly dorsally surpass the level of the diapophyses, as in the first dorsal vertebra of Rapetosaurus The diapophyses extend laterally well beyond the lateral margins of the prezygapophyses. The neural spine is slightly incomplete dorsally but was almost certainly low and subtriangular in anterior view.

Several neural arch laminae and fossae are evident. The parapophysis is linked to the diapophysis by the anteroposteriorly thin paradiapophyseal lamina. The laterally concave prezygoparapophyseal lamina comprises the anteromedial margin of a deep, teardrop-shaped fossa here regarded as the parapophyseal centrodiapophyseal fossa following Wilson et al.

Dinosauria: The Complete Volume I

The prezygapophyses are connected to the lateral margins of the diapophyses by the robust prezygodiapophyseal laminae, and to each other by the much lower, boomerang-shaped intraprezygapophyseal lamina. At least the ventral part of the anterior face of the neural spine is bisected by the thick, rugose prespinal lamina, whereas the lateral margins of the spine are comprised by the spinodiapophyseal laminae. UNCUYO-LD also includes an anterior caudal vertebra Figs 2c-e and 3a,c,e,g , probably the third or fourth in the series based on comparisons with titanosaurs with complete, well-preserved anterior caudal sequences e.

The posterior face of its anteroposteriorly short, strongly procoelous centrum is as tall as wide, whereas the anterior face is slightly wider than tall. The subcircular anterior cotyle is substantially larger than the subquadrangular posterior condyle Supplementary Table S1 , suggesting that, in Notocolossus , the anterior-most caudal centra rapidly decreased in diameter posteriorly.

There is no evidence of pneumatic fossae on either lateral surface of the centrum, but these surfaces are anteroposteriorly concave and pierced by several vascular foramina, as in many other sauropods. The ventral surface is anteroposteriorly narrow and gently concave. There are no ventrolateral ridges extending between the haemal arch facets, nor is there an associated midline sulcus.

The transverse processes are powerfully developed and curve ventrally and posterolaterally; the complete, club-shaped right process sweeps far posteriorly, with its end approaching the anteroposterior plane of the posterior margin of the centrum. The lateral extent of the transverse process is approximately 60 percent the posterior width of the centrum. A low, rugose ridge—possibly for attachment of the M. The prezygapophyses have large, subcircular, dorsomedially-directed articular facets, but they are comparatively anteroposteriorly shorter than in many other titanosaurs.

The postzygapophyses are correspondingly elongate, with their articular facets connected to spinopostzygapophyseal laminae that extend posteriorly beyond the remainder of the neural arch. The postzygapophyseal facets are dorsoventrally elongate, slightly concave, ventrolaterally oriented, and connected by a robust intrapostzygapophyseal lamina located dorsal to the neural canal. The neural spine is vertically oriented and low relative to the size of the centrum. In lateral view, the spine is rectangular and gently concave anteriorly approaching its anterodorsal corner.

Short, low spinoprezygapophyseal laminae appear to connect the bases of the prezygapophyses to that of the neural spine. There is no clear evidence of a prespinal lamina. The posterior surface of the spine is framed by two prominent, posteriorly-projected spinopostzygapophyseal laminae that rapidly diverge from one another dorsally, becoming well separated at the approximate dorsoventral midline of the spine.

A sagittally-positioned postspinal lamina spans much of the length of the posterior surface of the neural spine. Though damaged, it appears to expand markedly in transverse dimension dorsally, and seemingly does not reach the base of the spine. Furthermore, no other sauropod humerus has the anatomical proportions of that of Notocolossus. The Proximal Humeral Robusticity, proposed herein as the ratio of proximal to midshaft mediolateral width, is nearly 2.

As in Futalognkosaurus 17 , the proximal end is highly asymmetrical in anterior view, almost straight laterally but markedly proximomedially expanded and rounded medially. In Notocolossus , however, the proximal apex of the humerus is positioned well medial to the medial margin of the humeral midshaft. This greatly enlarged proximomedial expansion is here considered an autapomorphy of the new taxon. By contrast, previous studies 9 have recognized that the proximal ends of other titanosauriform humeri are smoothly rounded as in Ligabuesaurus , straight e.

See Supplementary Table S1 for additional measurements of the Notocolossus humerus. Specimens are listed by decreasing humeral length. The Notocolossus humerus is the longest yet reported for Titanosauria, and also exhibits the greatest Proximal Humeral Robusticity i. Abbreviations: NA, not available i. Institutional abbreviations see Supplementary Information. Proximally, there is a slight proximolateral process—smaller than that present in Epachthosaurus , Opisthocoelicaudia , and Saltasaurus —and a shallow anteromedial fossa, possibly for the insertion of the M.

The deltopectoral crest is prominent, as in titanosaurs such as Epachthosaurus , Futalognkosaurus 17 , and Mendozasaurus , and extends approximately 41 percent of the total length of the bone. In Neuquensaurus 1 , Opisthocoelicaudia 18 , Paralititan 16 , and Saltasaurus 19 , by contrast, the crest occupies 50 percent or more of total length.

The distal end of the deltopectoral crest of Notocolossus is medially deflected and mediolaterally thicker than the proximal end. Distally, at its anterior apex, the crest possesses a strongly developed, subcircular, centrally concave process for the attachment of the abductor musculature i. A strong process on the deltopectoral crest is also present in adult and juvenile specimens of Mendozasaurus pers. The humeral head is prominent posteriorly, as in Futalognkosaurus. Note, however, that the dataset that is the source of this estimate does not include many gigantic titanosaurs, such as Argentinosaurus 5 , Paralititan 16 , and Puertasaurus 11 , since no specimens that preserve an associated humerus and femur are known for these taxa.

It is important to note, however, that subtracting the mean percent prediction error of this equation Furthermore, Bates et al. Unfortunately, however, the incompleteness of the Notocolossus specimens prohibits the construction of a well-supported volumetric model of this taxon, and therefore precludes the application of the Bates et al. The discrepancies in mass estimation produced by the Campione and Evans 20 and Bates et al.

Nevertheless, even if the body mass of the Notocolossus holotype was closer to 40 than 60 metric tons, this, coupled with the linear dimensions of its skeletal elements, would still suggest that it represents one of the largest land animals yet discovered. The radial and ulnar condyles on the distal end of the UNCUYO-LD humerus are similarly developed and undivided, with the radial condyle being more poorly defined anteriorly than in some other titanosaurs e.

The anterior face of this condyle is not divided by a notch. The posterior surface of the distal end of the humerus is badly damaged, but it bears an olecranon fossa that is bounded by supracondylar ridges, as in many other titanosaurs e.

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The astragalus is the only ossified element of the tarsus, as in all other unquestionable titanosaurians in which this skeletal region has been preserved in articulation i. The astragalus is mediolaterally reduced and has a slightly concave lateral face for the articulation of the fibula. The anterior face has a triangular contour, and the anteroposteriorly convex distal surface articulates with the proximal ends of the metatarsals presumably metatarsals I—IV only; Fig.

The low ascending process would have articulated with a depression in the distal end of the tibia. The distal surface is strongly rugose as in other titanosaurians. The tibial face is not strongly inclined as in Aeolosaurus The pes is mediolaterally asymmetrical, though less so than in other neosauropods, and includes five short, robust metatarsals that have highly rugose proximal ends. In contrast to most other titanosauriforms e. Indeed, in all other titanosauriforms for which the lengths of metatarsals I and III have been published, metatarsal III is at least 27 percent longer than metatarsal I; typically, it is approximately 40 percent longer Table 2.

The metatarsus of Notocolossus exhibits other distinctive features as well. In Notocolossus , metatarsal V is also relatively long: it is 90 percent the length of metatarsal IV, and, as in all other titanosaurs except Opisthocoelicaudia and Rapetosaurus , it is longer than metatarsal I.

Only the even larger pes of? Alamosaurus has a proportionally longer metatarsal V Table 2.

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See Supplementary Table S3 for additional measurements of the Notocolossus metatarsus. Specimens are listed by increasing metatarsal III to metatarsal I length ratio. Metatarsals I and II are twisted about their long axes such that they are dorsoventrally i. We regard these proportions as autapomorphic of Notocolossus.

The medial margin of metatarsal I is convex, whereas the lateral margin is slightly concave for articulation with metatarsal II. Thus, the proximal contour of the articulated metatarsals I and II is subcircular.

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The proximal ends of metatarsals III and IV are subquadrangular in shape, whereas that of metatarsal V is slightly semilunar, with the most acute end pointing dorsolaterally. The shafts of all metatarsals are constricted both dorsoventrally and mediolaterally. Their distal ends are mediolaterally broad, and range in distal profile from quadrangular in metatarsal I to elliptical in metatarsal V. The latter is proportionally more distally expanded than in most other titanosauriforms e.

The pedal phalangeal formula is , as in Mendozasaurus pers. Other titanosauriforms, by contrast, differ in the number of phalanges on digits III—V. Furthermore, Opisthocoelicaudia is reported to possess only a single phalanx on digit IV 18 , whereas Gobititan apparently retains two phalanges on digit V Phalanx I-1 of Notocolossus is considerably proximodistally shorter than the other proximal phalanges, but it remains large and well-developed, unlike in the Invernada titanosaur, where this phalanx is apomorphically reduced All proximal phalanges are much mediolaterally wider than dorsoventrally deep, with their widths exceeding half the lengths of their corresponding metatarsals Supplementary Table S3.

Those of digits II—IV are robust, proximodistally elongate, and quadrangular in dorsal view. The distal articular surfaces of phalanges II-1 and III-1 are bevelled such that they angle sharply proximolaterally in dorsal view, and the medial faces of these phalanges are considerably longer than the lateral. Specimens are listed by decreasing total number of phalanges. Higher taxonomic assignment follows Fig.

Note overall decrease in total phalangeal number through sauropod evolution, and apparently progressive loss of phalanges on digits III and IV within Titanosauria. Abbreviations: I—V, digit number. Their proximal extremes closely resemble those of the pedal unguals of other titanosaurs e.

Alamosaurus , the Padrillo and Invernada forms in being dorsoventrally elongate and elliptical in proximal view; this is especially true for ungual II. Nevertheless, each ungual terminates in a blunt, extremely rugose and irregular distal end. The fossil record of titanosaurian pedes is sparse. Only five titanosaurs are currently known from complete, articulated hind feet: Epachthosaurus , Notocolossus , Opisthocoelicaudia , and the unnamed Agua del Padrillo and La Invernada taxa. The holotype of the Brazilian titanosaur Tapuiasaurus is reported to include a nearly complete left pes 8 , but this has not been described.

Many other titanosaur specimens—including some that pertain to very large-bodied individuals—include pedal elements, although none of these preserve the pes in its entirety. Alamosaurus represents a titanosaur with an estimated femoral length of 1. Similarly, pedal elements are known for the giant titanosaur Dreadnoughtus , but as these consist of only metatarsals I and II and the ungual of digit I, knowledge of the hind foot anatomy of this taxon is limited 4. As noted above, the humerus of the Notocolossus holotype UNCUYO-LD is longer than that of any other titanosaur for which this element is known Table 1 ; moreover, the anterior dorsal vertebra of this specimen exceeds those of Argentinosaurus and approaches that of Puertasaurus in transverse width.

Therefore, assuming that the referred specimen UNCUYO-LD pertains to this taxon, Notocolossus is significant in being the largest titanosaur—and possibly the most massive terrestrial animal—for which the pedal skeleton is completely represented. The pes of Notocolossus exhibits several characters that are unique within Titanosauria, or, in some cases, Sauropoda as a whole. It has short, thick metatarsals, all of which are approximately the same length Table 2 ; Supplementary Table S3 ; among these, the relative length and robusticity of metatarsals I and V is remarkable. This morphology results in a pes that is comparatively shorter and more mediolaterally symmetrical than those of other titanosaurs, and indeed, most other sauropods — a foot in which the weight of the animal appears to have been more evenly distributed through the metatarsus.

The Notocolossus pes differs considerably from those of other neosauropods, in which metatarsals I—IV exhibit a significant increase in length and a concomitant decrease in robusticity. In these taxa, metatarsal IV is generally 40—50 percent longer than metatarsal I; furthermore, the proximal phalanges are often proportionally less robust than are those of Notocolossus.

In these neosauropods, the hind foot is strongly entaxonic i. Given the enormous size of Notocolossus , its distinctive, relatively homogeneous pedal morphology may constitute an adaptation for supporting a greatly elevated body mass. The fact that the only other sauropod specimen with a comparably robust and elongate metatarsal V is the even larger titanosaurian pes NMMNH P? Alamosaurus is consistent with this interpretation although the metatarsus of that specimen differs in other respects from that of Notocolossus. A number of pedal morphologies evident in Notocolossus e.

Because the titanosaurian fossil record is highly incomplete, and many taxa do not preserve much or, in some cases, any pedal material, it has yet to be established whether the unusual morphology of the Notocolossus pes is diagnostic of this taxon, or, alternatively, if it characterized a more inclusive titanosaur clade. However, the new taxon indicates that titanosaurian morphological diversity was even greater than previously appreciated, and that members of this group exhibited at least two principal pedal morphotypes: 1 comparatively short, robust, and mediolaterally symmetrical as in Notocolossus , and 2 elongate and strongly entaxonic e.

CAD assessment of the posture and range of motion of Kentrosaurus aethiopicus Henning Swiss Journal of Geosciences , Moody, R. Alan Jack Charig : an overview of his academic accomplishments and role in the world of fossil reptile research. In Moody, R.

Geological Society, London, Special Publications , pp. Naish, D. In Brett-Surman, M. The Natural History Museum, London. Pontzer, H. Biomechanics of running indicates endothermy in bipedal dinosaurs. The views expressed are those of the author s and are not necessarily those of Scientific American. Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK. He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod.

His publications can be downloaded at darrennaish. He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at tetzoo. You have free article s left. Already a subscriber? Sign in. See Subscription Options. Covers of just two of the several editions of Alan Charig's A New Look at the Dinosaurs, in print between and at least there might have been a edition.

Credit: Charig Credit: Bakker , Desmond , Bakker Heinrich Mallison's digital reconstruction of the lateral tail movement possible in the tail of the stegosaur Kentrosaurus. Mark has recently produced an updated version of this illustration where the beasts sport a filamentous covering Scipionyx , the amazing juvenile theropod that even has its intestines preserved you can see them at right. Dinosaurs that took to life at sea are among the most incredible of dinosaurs ever. That's a pretty respectable picture to text ratio right there.

The illustration on the right is by Bob Nicholls.

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Sophie, the NHM's amazing Stegosaurus , features in several places in the book, as does the science published so far on this significant specimen. Credit: Darren Naish. View 1 comment. Aug 02, Beth FebruaryFilly rated it really liked it Shelves: homeschooling , library , studied-didnt-read-every-word , with-rory. I am not a dinosaur person at all but this book is gorgeous and enchanting and engaged even me.

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We have poured over this book for hours and hours this summer. I love the format and the vibrant colors of the artist renderings. The writing style is easy to understand and is very conversational. We especially enjoyed the articles writ I am not a dinosaur person at all but this book is gorgeous and enchanting and engaged even me. My daughter and I also loved the break down presented via the chapters breaking off the genealogy and family groupings. It definitely appealed to our sense of order. The headings made for very relatable categories a modern animal of similar weight , a how-to-say or break down oh that article was an exciting one too!

How dinos get their names! Dec 04, Wataru rated it it was amazing. A note: I read this in short periods scattered across a couple months. This book is what its title is, though we do have new dinosaur discoveries I'm not going to go into what little I know, which is still quite a bit , it really is written so that everyone understands the basic ideas, then moves on to using the terms and the ideas represented by the terms.

In other words, it's written for 'Dinosa A note: I read this in short periods scattered across a couple months. In other words, it's written for 'Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages'. The order isn't random, and I like that. It's organized by roughly what time each dinosaur group branched off the family tree, and that isn't something I see much.

The chapters give a lot of information about that group, and does a great job explaining the features that distinguish the group from any other animal, detailing the evolution, from the first of them to the most advanced. Jul 15, Rykon rated it really liked it Shelves: dino. Feb 22, Rob rated it liked it. The information-density of the book was very low. The artwork is really good though. Dinosaurs fall into two orders: Saurischia and Ornithischia. The obvious difference is the direction the pubic bone points confusingly, birds are not ornithischian. What is a pubic bone anyway?.. Maybe I should have gone for a book which discussed life-in-general in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous.

The most interesting parts of the book for me mid-twenties, physics PhD student were the cladograms, and seeing the gradual evolution of the dinosaurs into birds. I also liked the wing-assisted incline running WAIR discussion. The discussion of the KT extinction event was also interesting, but not much detail was given on the science here. I also learned a bit of latin, and know what 'micropachycephalosaurus' means! The book could have gone into a lot more detail on many things. For example, the respiratory system of dinosaurs and birds: they're very different to the respiratory system of mammals, and this is important to understanding why dinosaur bones have hollow regions for air-sacs.

A section which was missing was a section on the geography of Earth during these periods. I admire Holtz for starting the book off with the science of palaeontology. Most people accept that dinosaurs existed, but very few people question how palaeontology is done, and how we can be sure we've got our facts right.

For children especially, this should be a point to emphasise.


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May 04, Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it Shelves: trt-posted-reviews , read-personally-by-moi. Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo. I am not, truth be told, even a dinosaur fanatic. What I am is a reader who is always looking to extend my knowledge base on interesting subjects, and this dinosaur encyclopedia fulfills that quest in spades! Everything you could ever want to know about dinosaurs -- all types, all genuses, all sizes and shapes and colors -- is detailed, extensively, within the pages of DINOSAURS. There are wonderful illustrations by Luis V.

Rey, timelines, graphs, rock cycles, detailed drawings of skeletons -- you name it, and this book has it. With an appendix that includes a page Dinosaur Genus List and a Glossary of hundreds of terms, this is pretty much the only encyclopedia on dinosaurs that you're ever going to need.


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I'm sure that some scientifically-minded people will yearn to find something that is missing, and they may even find it. But for the general dinosaur lover, this is definitely the book to add to your collection. Although the reading level is too advanced for younger children, those over the age of eight will find plenty to keep them interested and entertained.

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Nov 13, Conan Tigard rated it it was amazing. When I first got my hands on Dinosaurs and cracked it open, I was blown away by the pictures. They are all absolutely gorgeous. I know that the colors of the skin of the dinosaurs is pure speculation, but that doesn't stop me from loving it. Once I calmed down a little, I was able to start reading and found the way that the book was written makes it easy for a layman like me to understand. After all, who wants to read a book about dinosaurs and not have a clue as to what the author is talking ab When I first got my hands on Dinosaurs and cracked it open, I was blown away by the pictures.

After all, who wants to read a book about dinosaurs and not have a clue as to what the author is talking about? Not me. I thinks both young readers and adults will be blown away by this book. If you are a dinosaur lover, this book is a must have. Dinosaurs are extremely intriguing to me.

After all, they were on Earth a lot longer than humans have been. They ruled the land with brute strength and ferociousness. I sure am glad that humans weren't around when dinosaurs ruled the Earth because we would not have survived long. But when you read this book, you feel like the dinosaurs could leap off the page right into your room.