2 Recent Deviations
Prehistoric Beasts - Stupendemys - Massive Turtle,
https://youtu.be/scnPumRur58IntroductionHi, welcome to Enchiridion. I am very happy to share with you these facts on Stupendemys!MassiveStupendemys was a pleurodiran or side-necked turtle. They acquired such a name because their necks are so long that the only way they could fit under the shell was to fold their necks into one side. The preserved length of the largest known Stupendemys carapace, or upper shell is 5.9 feet, or 180 centimeters long, and has been estimated to be as much as 10.8 feet, or 330 centimeters long in the living animal. With the addition of the long neck, Stupendemys would have been even longer than the famously huge Archelon, a huge sea turtle that lived earlier in the late Cretaceous period. The largest freshwater turtle living in the Neotropics today is the Arrau turtle, which is Podocnemis expansa, a pleurodire closely related to Stupendemys, yet the Arrau turtle measures only 30 inches, or 75 centimeters in length.FossilsIts fossils have been found in northern South America, in rocks dating from the Middle Miocene to the very start of the Pliocene, about 13 to 5 million years ago. Size As An Evolutionary AdaptationHowever, unlike Archelon, Stupendemys was a freshwater turtle, and one that inhabited the river systems and lakes of Northern South America around the boundary of the late Miocene and early Pliocene. The huge size of Stupendemys might be a response to the predatory threats living in South America, which included massive crocodiles like the caiman-like Purussaurus, Mourasuchus, and Gryposuchus. EcologyIts weight helped Stupendemys stay under water for extended periods of time, grazing on aquatic plants. On the other hand, it was probably a rather weak swimmer, unable to move its bulk against a quick current, and thus probably avoided smaller streams. Stupendemys geographicus inhabited what is known as the Pebas system, a large wetland system that dominated northern South America during the Miocene. The wetlands seemed to have favored gigantism in other aquatic animals, like the crocodylian Purussaurus and the rodent Phoberomys. Its growth rate is similar to extant turtles, suggesting a lifespan of perhaps 110 years to get to maximum size. Though its diet was previously interpreted as carnivorous, a well-preserved jaw indicates it might have had a more generalist diet, possibly durophagous, feasting on hard-shelled animals or including fruit. Because Stupendemys geographicus fossils have been found in sites which yield a rich fossil fauna, even though little is known with certainty, much can be inferred about the ecology of these animals. Among the aquatic animals that shared the habitat with Stupendemys souzai were fish, including catfish like Phractocephalus and Callichthyidae, characids like Acregoliath rancii and the tambaqui, or Colossoma macroponum, the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa, trahiras like Paleohoplias assisbrasiliensis and freshwater rays and sharks. Crocodilians were diverse and abundant, among them such taxa like Charactosuchus fisheri, Gryposuchus, Mourasuchus, Nettosuchidae and the giant Purussaurus brasiliensis. Other turtles and tortoises found in the same deposits are Chelus columbiana, a prehistoric relative of mata mata, and Chelonoidis. Further aquatic vertebrates included river dolphins and the larger darter “Anhinga” fraileyi. Terrestrial mammals were also abundant, and the fauna included many megaherbivores like the ground sloth Acremylodon campbelli, Toxodontidae like Gyrinodon and Trigodon, Proterotheriidae, and caviomorph rodents, some of them of immense size also like Kiyutherium, Neoepiblema, Phoberomys burmeisteri, Potamarchus murinus, Telicomys amazonensis and Tetrastylus. Smaller mammals living in that time and place were the dateline monkey Stirtonia and the bulldog bat Noctilio lacrimaelunaris. Altogether, this fauna is massively dominated by large herbivores and generally lacks terrestrial carnivores. It can thus be assumed that the habitat was mostly low-lying rainforest that was seasonally flooded, as well as floodplains and swampland. The rivers must have been wide and slow-moving, as the fossil-rich rocks are alluvial, or eroded land deposits and do not show evidence of fast-flowing riverbeds that would have dug into the sediment deeply while depositing little of their own. Spikes For Combat And DisplayAdditional remains of Stupendemys shells now found have revealed that male Stupendemys grew two enlarged spikes from the front of the shell that pointed forwards alongside each side of the neck. These spikes have wear patterns or deep grooves on them and suggest that they were covered by a keratinous sheath and used in combat between rival males. The larger the spikes grew, the more advantage they would have in combat, and may have also served a display function for impressing females. Widespread Massive Pleurodiran TurtlesLarge pleurodiran turtles appear to have been very common in the river systems of South America during the Cenozoic, with another example being Carbonemys, a pleurodiran with a shell 5.6 feet, or 172 centimeters long that lived in South America not long after the dinosaurs went extinct. NamingStupendemys means “astonishing turtle.”Named ByIt was named by R. C. Wood in 1970. Scientific ClassificationIt belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, the Phylum Chordata, the Class Reptilia, the Order Testudines, the Suborder Pleurodira, the Family Podocnemididae, the Genus Stupendemys, and the Type Species Stupendemys geographicus. TaxonomyTwo species have been described to date. Stupendemys geographicus was more robust; its remains have been found in the Urumaco Formation of Venezuela and in the Villavieja Formation of Colombia. Stupendemys souzai, marginally more slender and smaller, was recovered from the Solimoes Formation in Acre State, Brazil. Nonetheless, these are currently considered part of Stupendemys geographicus, alongside remains described as Caninemys tridentata from Brazil and Podocnemis bassleri from Peru. SpeciesSpecies include the type, Stupendemys geographicus, and other species like Stupendemys souzai. DietIt was probably an omnivore, possibly eating plants, animals, and almost anything organic that would fit in its mouth. SizeThe preserved length of the carapace of the largest individual specimen was 5.9 feet, or 1.8 meters, though its estimated length was 10.8 feet, or 3.3 meters. Known LocationsIt has been discovered in the Urumaco Formation of Venezuela and the Solimoes Formation of Brazil, both in South America. It lived in fluvial-deltaic environments. Time PeriodIt lived during the Messinian of the Miocene to Zanclean of the Pliocene, between 13 and 5 million years ago. Fossil RepresentationFossil representation includes remains of two species, including the carapace. OutroAnd with that, thank you for watching! I find prehistoric turtle-like creatures so impressive. I still have the idea of making 3D models and re-building prehistory to go back in time and experience these creatures. These videos serve as the guides to learning more about paleontology, paleobiology, and ecology of these creatures. I see it as something natural and the future work platform. Deinocheirus video incoming soon! It will be an extensive Dinosaurs Unearthed episode! Thank you for requesting videos, I’m always open to suggestions and happy to help. As always, thank you for watching! This is Enchiridion, see you next time. #Enchiridion #PrehistoricBeasts #StupendemysTable of Contents:0:00 - Introduction0:06 - Massive1:00 - Fossils1:10 - Size As An Evolutionary Adaptation1:34 - Ecology4:37 - Spikes For Combat And Display5:04 - Widespread Massive Pleurodiran Turtles5:22 - Naming5:26 - Named By 5:31 - Scientific Classification5:46 - Taxonomy 6:16 - Species6:24 - Diet6:32 - Size6:44 - Known Locations6:55 - Time Period7:02 - Fossil Representation7:08 - Outro_____Sources:Www.prehistoric-wildlife.com, D. (n.d.). Stupendemys. Retrieved March 26, 2021, from http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/s/stupendemys.htmlStupendemys. (2021, March 01). Retrieved March 26, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StupendemysCadena, E., Scheyer, T., Carrillo-Briceño, J., Sánchez, R., Aguilera-Socorro, O., Vanegas, A., . . . Sánchez-Villagra, M. (2020, February 01). The anatomy, paleobiology, and evolutionary relationships of the largest extinct side-necked turtle. Retrieved March 26, 2021, from https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/7/eaay4593Car-sized turtle fossils unearthed. (2020, February 13). Retrieved March 26, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-51485011Stupendemys. (n.d.). Retrieved March 26, 2021, from http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=37607
Facts: Scaphognathus - Tub Jaw Pterosaur,
https://youtu.be/h12CObcvDIEIntroductionHi, welcome to Enchiridion. I am very excited to share with you these facts on Scaphognathus. Scaphognathus was a pterosaur that lived around Germany during the Late Jurassic. It had a wingspan of 3 feet, or 0.9 meters. Mainly due to its robust snout construction, Scaphognathus acquired the unglamorous name of ‘Tub jaw’. Nonetheless, when first described, Scaphognathus was included into the pterodactyloidea due to the lack of a tail. In fact, the missing tail confused the original examiner which in reality didn’t fossilize with the rest of the specimen. A second individual specimen of Scaphognathus had the tail preserved and this discovery led to the revelation that Scaphognathus instead belonged with the basal rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs.DescriptionIts skull is the key element that makes it identifiable, and across the top of the skull is a bony growth. Despite the fact that so far no crest has been found with any of the specimens, this bone may have been the support for a head crest in life. This doesn’t necessarily mean there was no crest in life, as had there been one it would probably have been made from soft tissue like keratin, which typically does not preserve well if at all. Apart from a few differences in the skull, Scaphognathus was morphologically similar to Rhamphorhynchus and Harpactognathus, particularly with a potential crest similarity to Harpactognathus. Scaphognathus is known from three specimens, all of which can be traced to the Kimmeridgian-age Solnhofen Limestone. Physically, it was very similar to Rhamphorhynchus, albeit with notable cranial differences. For one, Scaphognathus had a proportionally-shorter skull that was 4.5 inches, or 11.4 centimeters long, with a blunter tip and a larger antorbital fenestra. The teeth of Scaphognathus are arranged vertically and widely spaced. The traditional count of them held that eighteen (18) teeth were in the upper jaws and (10) ten in the lower. S. Christopher Bennett, studying a new third specimen, SMNS 59395, in 2004 determined there were only sixteen (16) teeth in the upper jaws, the higher previous number having been caused by incorrectly adding replacement teeth. LifestyleScaphognathus would easily have lived as an insectivore, yet other prey items aren’t discarded either. Comparisons between the scleral rings of Scaphognathus and modern birds and reptiles suggest that it may have been diurnal. This may also suggest niche partitioning with contemporary pterosaurs inferred to be nocturnal, like Rhamphorhynchus and Ctenochasma. NamingThe first known Scaphognathus specimen was described in 1831 by August Goldfuss who, as we mentioned earlier, mistook the tailless specimen for a new Pterodactylus species: Pterodactylus crassirostris. This specimen was an incomplete adult with a 3-foot, or 0.9-meter long wingspan recovered from the Solnhofen strata near Eichstätt, Germany. In 1858, Johann Wagner referred the species to Rhamphorhynchus. After distinguishing the specimen due to the different snout shape, Wagner, after prior failed attempts by Christoph Gottfried Andreas Giebel and Leopold Fitzinger, who used preoccupied names, in 1861 named a distinct genus: Scaphognathus. Scaphognathus means “tub jaw”. It is derived from Greek skaphe, meaning “boat” or “tub”, and gnathos, meaning “jaw”, in reference to the blunt shape of the lower jaws. In the early twentieth century, the “rhamphorhynchoid” nature of Scaphognathus crassirostris was recognized following the discovery of the second specimen in Mühlheiim, whose long tail was preserved. The second Scaphognathus specimen was more complete than its predecessor, but only half the size, with a twenty-inch wingspan, or almost 2 feet, or 50 centimeters. It also had partially ossified bones. These characters suggest that the second specimen was a juvenile. Named ByIt was named by Johann Wagner in 1861. Scientific ClassificationScaphognathus belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, the Phylum Chordata, the Order Pterosauria, the Family Rhamphorhynchidae, the Subfamily Scaphognathinae, and the Genus Scaphognathus. The cladogram, or family tree of rhamphorhynchids below is the result of a huge phylogenetic analysis published by Andres & Myers in 2013. SpeciesSynonyms are numerous, and they are listed here: Brachytrachelus crassirostris, Pachyramphus crassirostris, Pterodactylus crassirostris, Ornithocephalus crassirostris, Rhamphorhynchus crassirostris.Species include the type: Scaphognathus crassirostris. The specific name means “fat snout” in Latin. DietIt was probably an insectivore. SizeIt had an almost 3-foot-long, or 35-inch, or 90 centimeter wingspan. Known LocationsIt was discovered in the Solnhofen Limestone in Germany. Time PeriodIt lived during the Kimmeridgian of the Late Jurassic, 150.8 to 145.5 million years ago. Fossil RepresentationFossil representation includes three specimens. OutroAnd with that, thank you for watching! I’m currently making a human rights film for a video contest so I’ll be releasing a lot more shorts than usual. Sarcosuchus video is in the works! As always, this is Enchiridion, see you next time. #Enchiridion #PrehistoricBeasts #ScaphognathusTable of Contents:0:00 - Introduction0:47 - Description2:15 - Lifestyle2:38 - Naming4:03 - Named By4:08 - Scientific Classification4:32 - Species4:48 - Diet4:51 - Size4:57 - Known Locations5:02 - Time Period5:09 - Fossil Representation_____Audio Source:Walking with Dinosaurs OST, 11 - Jurassic ForestSources:Scaphognathus. (2021, March 14). Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ScaphognathusWww.prehistoric-wildlife.com, D. (n.d.). Scaphognathus. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/s/scaphognathus.htmlZhou, C. (n.d.). Cranial morphology of a Scaphognathus-Like Pterosaur, Jianchangnathus robustus, based on a new fossil from THE Tiaojishan formation of Western Liaoning, china. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://bioone.org/journals/journal-of-vertebrate-paleontology/volume-34/issue-3/02724634.2013.812100/Cranial-Morphology-of-a-Scaphognathus-Like-Pterosaur-Jianchangnathus-robustus-Based/10.1080/02724634.2013.812100.shortA new specimen of the pterosaur scaphognathus crassirostris, with comments on constraint of cervical vertebrae number in pterosaurs. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://www.schweizerbart.de/papers/njgpa/detail/271/81979/A_new_specimen_of_the_pterosaur_Scaphognathus_cras?af=crossrefScaphognathus crassirostris. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2021, from http://fossilworks.org/?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=164694
Facts: Tupuxuara - Familiar Spirit,
https://youtu.be/DBMDkFnf-qwIntroductionHi, welcome to Enchiridion. I am very excited to share with you these facts on Tupuxuara!Tupuxuara was a diurnal pterosaur that lived close to the sea, and is considered to have hunted for fish, and thus having a piscivorous diet. It was a large, crested, and toothless pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Albian stage of the Early Cretaceous period of what is now the Romualdo Formation of the Santana Group, Brazil, roughly 112 million years ago. Tupuxuara is closely related to Thalassodromeus, and both form a group that is called Thalassodromidae, if placed within the clade Neoazhdarchia or Thalassodrominae, if placed within the family Tapejaridae.DiscoveryThe genus was named and described by Alexander Kellner and Diógenes de Almeida Campos in 1998.The holotype, MN 6591-V, was discovered in the Early Cretaceous Albian Stage of what at the time was known as the Santana Formation, currently known as the Romualdo Formation of Brazil. It consists of a snout and some partial wing bones.Mature individuals of Tupuxuara longicristatus had a back-swept crest arising from the snout. Later, more fossil material was discovered, each unique and showing considerable variation in morphology. On the one hand, some researchers assume there are different species present while others explain this as intra-specific variability, the source being a difference in age or sex.In 1994, Kellner named a second species: Tupuxuara leonardii. The specific name honors Giuseppe Leonardi. The holotype is MN 6592-V, a fragmentary skull with a rounded crest. Other similar material has been referred to Tupuxuara leonardii. The largest skulls have a length of 4.3 feet, or 130 centimeters, suggesting a wingspan of 18 feet, or 5.5 meters.In 2009, a third species was named, this time by renowned paleontologist Mark Witton: Tupuxuara deliradamus. The holotype is SMNK PAL 6410, a skull. Another skull is the paratype: KPMNH DL 84. The specific name is derived from latin delirus, meaning “crazy” or “insane”, and adamas, meaning “invincible”, but also the word from which “diamond” is derived. The species has low eye sockets and a distinctive diamond-shaped skull opening. The name is a tribute to the song “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” by Pink Floyd, one of Witton’s favorite bands.DescriptionThe elaborate crest indicates the presence of an extensive network of blood vessels. Despite possibly being used for thermoregulation, it is more probable that Tupuxuara flushed blood into the crest to produce a striking and vivid color display. Like other crested pterosaurs, study of diverse specimens suggests that the crest got larger as the individual grew as a signal of reproductive maturity.NamingTupuxuara means “Familiar spirit”. The generic name Tupuxuara refers to a familiar spirit from the mythology of the Tupi, a group indigenous to Brazil.Named ByIt was named by Kellner & Campos in 1998.Scientific ClassificationIt belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, the Phylum Chordata, the Order Pterosauria, the Suborder Pterodactyloidea, the Clade Azhdarchoidea, the Genus Tupuxuara, and the Type Species Tupuxuara longicristatus.Tupuxuara is a member of the group Azhdarchoidea. Kellner assigned it to the Tapejaridae within Azhdarchoidea. According to some analyses however, Tupuxuara is closer to the Azhdarchidae than to Tapejara and its relatives. Azhdarchidae is a group that includes the giant Texan form Quetzalcoatlus.The cladogram below follows the 2011 analysis of Felipe Pinheiro and colleagues.Below is a cladogram showing the phylogenetic placement of Tupuxuara within Neoazhdarchia from Andres and Myers of 2013.PaleobiologyWhile it was once suggested that Tupuxuara was a piscivore, or fish-eater, at the coasts of South America, other hypotheses include the possibility that it was a frugivore, or fruit-eater. Nonetheless, based on its azhdarchoid affinities, it was most probably a terrestrial carnivore or omnivore. The closely related Thalassodromeus was specialized for larger prey, while both Tupuxuara species lacked such specializations.A subadult described by David Martill and Darren Naish from the University of Portsmouth in 2006 had not yet fully developed its crest, supporting the suggestion that the crest was a marker for sexual maturity.Comparisons between the scleral rings of Tupuxuara and modern birds and reptiles suggest that it was possibly diurnal; active during the day and resting at night.SpeciesSpecies include the type species: Tupuxuara longicristatus, and other species like Tupuxuara leonardii and Tupuxuara deliradamus. The specific name, longicristatus means “long-crested” in Latin.DietIt was a terrestrial carnivore or omnivore, though some suggest piscivorous or frugivorous specialization.SizeIt had a wingspan of 18 feet, or 5.5 meters.Known LocationsIt has been discovered in the Santana Formation in Brazil.Time PeriodIt lived during the Albian of the Cretaceous, 112.6 to 109.0 million years ago.Fossil RepresentationFossil representation includes several specimens, together revealing the complete morphology.OutroAnd with that, thank you for watching! Sarcosuchus video out soon and possibly the next video may be about Why Did Animals Begin to Live on Land? I’m planning to learn 3D modeling and Adobe Illustrator to provide more high-quality graphics and media for use in my videos. I’m still very excited about what’s to come of this channel, and I’m slowly paving the way for branching out to other topics, even to folklore, theology, and religion, with a video on Arsgang, a swedish folk tradition which I experienced in the videogame Year Walk, one of my favorite video games and one that I definitely recommend. I might also make a video on The Making of Fallout 4, simply because that game is legendary! I haven’t forgotten about the other ideas but I’m also coming up with new ideas and trying different things. We are halfway through the race to 1,000 subscribers so that’s great! As always, this is Enchiridion, see you next time.#Enchiridion #PrehistoricBeasts #TupuxuaraTable of Contents:0:00 - Introduction0:41 - Discovery2:33 - Description2:57 - Naming3:08 - Named By3:13 - Scientific Classification4:13 - Paleobiology5:03 - Species5:16 - Diet5:24 - Size5:29 - Known Locations5:33 - Time Period5:40 - Fossil Representation5:46 - Outro_____Image and Video Sources:Icons from Flat IconAudio Source:Walking with Dinosaurs OST, 11 - Jurassic ForestSources:Tupuxuara. (2021, March 19). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TupuxuaraTupuxuara. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20, 2021, from http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=95396Www.prehistoric-wildlife.com, D. (n.d.). Tupuxuara. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/t/tupuxuara.htmlWitton, M. (2009, July 21). A new species of Tupuxuara (THALASSODROMIDAE, AZHDARCHOIDEA) from the Lower CRETACEOUS Santana formation of Brazil, with a note on the nomenclature OF Thalassodromidae. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195667109000809
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