Dinosaurs are not like children in that you don’t have to say you love all of them equally. For the longest time, whichever ones I was writing about at the moment were the ones I loved the best. Over time, however, I’ve come to see that my favorite is the Parasaurolophus. They had hollow horns and could blow air through them. I like to think they called to one another or possibly to their young.
Ornithomimuses-so called ostrich mimics–are also pretty neat with their long necks and gawky legs.
As a story-teller, I’m also partial to Deinonychuses, which were the real Velociraptors. With their sickle-shaped claws, they are great for moving the story forward. They are, however, kind of hard on the human characters.
These photos were taken at the Royal Museum of Ottawa in Toronto. I heartily recommend it. There are lots of other neat critters and excellent explanations of what makes them interesting.
I’m celebrating Cinco de Mayo (a little late) and National Dinosaur Day (hey, that’s today) by looking at fossils of a “new” Mexican dinosaur akin to Parasaurolophus. That’s my buddy above, the one with the incredible hollow tubular crest that produced sound when air passed through its chambers.
The newcomer on the scene is Tlatolophus galorum. Angel Ramírez Velasco and Ricardo Servín Pichardo recently published all the marvelous deets about this creature after years of painstaking work. They found an extremely well-preserved skull (80% complete) that provides a great sense of proportion. So often, bones are shattered, bent, or crushed, making it quite difficult to ascertain what an animal actually looked like.
Seventy two million years ago, did these great beasts use their impressive crests to vocalize? I’d love to think so. Maybe one day, paleontologists will have an answer. For now, I’m envisioning them calling to their mates, or prospective mates. Perhaps they issued warning calls when predators lurked. Then again, they might have given a shout to their gang when they found some tasty food.
You don’t want to miss Louis Rey’s colorful depiction. Oh, and it’s great to see that when paleontologists had studied the fossils and determined they constitute a new genus and species, they created its unique name using the indigenous Nahuatl language, with a nod to local people who assisted in the work.