Saskatchewan Province, CanadaThe Judith River Formation65 million years agoA cold wind whipped down from the snowcapped mountains that loomed over Judith River. The sudden gust caught the feathery Atrociraptor locals by surprise- their winter down had all but molted away, leaving them only with a thin coat of spotted, earthy summer fluff that offered no protection from the chill.The whole pack took notice. The wind hadn’t come on its own- it carried the scent of mega-herbivores. Namely, Blunt’s herd of ornery Triceratops, and their duck-billed Edmontosaur companions.To their surprise, Blunt’s rank stench wasn’t present amidst the potpourri of stenches produced by his herd. His had always been the strongest. The Atrociraptors managed to discern, by scent alone, how close the massive, beaked temper tantrums were, ballparked it and skeedaddled once they realized that it didn’t matter- any distance was too close when Triceratops were on the move.In fact, they were still quite close. Their huge, meaty hooves slammed into the ground, their stubby elephant toes nearly stiff with cold. It had taken them over a week to find their way out of the whipping winds of the frozen mountain peaks, and as they arrived, their numbed extremities woke back up with pins and needles. Worse yet, they’d worked up an appetite. No being that valued its life would have been crazy enough to block their paths, lest they become an ingredient in the world’s first shish kebabs.The prehistoric bulldozers plowed forward with little regard for anything else, led by the herd’s new matriarch, Edith, whose horns were the reason why Blunt had been… shall we say, let go.It was the first time the herd had felt any emotion remotely close to “overjoyed” in a long time. The frozen cliffs were behind them, thanks in no small part to a mix of Edith’s superior tracking and the keen snoots of their Edmontosaur traveling companions. Let’s hear it for the buddy system!They found themselves in a genuine Canadian shield- a pristine boreal forest grown over solid shale terra firma that may have been old as life itself. The massive conifers wrapped around a glistening lake that shimmered like diamonds in the afternoon sun. Healthy green patches of ferns covered the forest floor, taunting their growling stomachs as they lumbered towards them. Their beaks hung open and they salivated like St. Bernards.Blunt would have driven them through the woods without stopping until they got back to Hell Creek, but nowadays, the only show he was running was the frozen foods section back in the peaks. Edith, on the other hoof, had this thing called a soul, and was in no hurry to return. Herds marched on their stomachs, and the herd was in desperate need of a rest stop.There was so much greenery. Never once had Blunt given them a chance to stop and enjoy it. Their parrotlike beaks chopped through the ferns like hedge clippers. Mothers regurgitated plant matter for their cubs before tending to themselves. Edith looked upon them with pride in her eyes. Her friends. Her babies. All safe. No more strife.The warm, solid shale under her toes warmed them from the bitter cold. She uprooted a beakful of fern and shrub and gazed at the sky as she chewed. A flock of migrating pterosaurs soared overhead, their broad, majestic wings fluttering slightly to maintain altitude. She could see their cheese-wedge shaped stork bills sticking out from their long, skinny necks. They were probably ahzdarchids, heading north to Alaska to catch the salmon run.She sighed and lied down on the solid rock heating pad under her, warmed from the afternoon sun. Trike cubs and fledgling Edmontosaurs gallivanted and splashed about the lake with each other, now thick as thieves after their ordeal in the mountains. The scent of local carnivores (Atrociraptors, northern Troodon, and a Saskatchewanian breed of T. rex) was mixed with a scent of fear, or uncertainty. They were there, hiding in the forests and keeping their heads low- still thrown by the triceratops’ late arrival and their refusal to leave.Forget the migration. After three decades of being pushed ahead by their mutually despised dictator, Edith had an unshakable urge to stick around and relax. Hell Creek wasn’t going anywhere.
Evidently, killing Blunt and ending his reign wasn’t enough for Edith. Ever the revolutionary, she had just invented vacations.But as they basked in the sun on their well-deserved hiatus, things began to unravel in Hell Creek. The Triceratops couldn’t possibly understand just how pivotal a cog they were in the ecological machine back home. For in their absence, it wasn’t long before the carnivores realized that there were no horns or shields to keep them away from the weaker prey species that they had salivated over for years.The name Hell Creek was soon to become much more literal.
Picture one: Why not Albertosaurus with wooly feathers? Is like a sheepy, but birb-o-saurus, and eats flesh :V
Picture two: Official feather patterning for Tales from Hell Creek’s male ornithomimus.
Picture three: Another drawing of Marge, the lovely, three-legged Ankylosaur cow who uses her tail club as a replacement limb. She’s a pretty lady and anyone who disagrees is dead to me. :3
Are they saying we should just draw all dinosaurs as walking skeletons?
Apparently? They’d still be pretty awesome and would give us another question to answer: How did they walk around with no muscles?
This graphic is actually subliminal propaganda for shrink-wrapping.
Name: Pisanosaurus mertii
Name Meaning: Merti & Mr. Pisano’s lizard
First Described: 1967
Described By: Casamiquela
Classification: Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Pisanosauridae
My Twelfth Favorite Dinosaur!…
Like actors with one famous character, fossil taxa can become typecast to specific ‘roles’ in palaeontological discussions. One fact of their palaeobiological significance is entrenched so deeply that they are seldom mentioned outside of this context. Examples include Archaeopteryx as the first bird, Mei as the cute sleeping dinosaur, and Darwinopterus as the bridge between major stages of pterosaur evolution. Packaging these animals into simple factoids obscures much of their other interesting palaeobiology, so we rarely hear about their other remarkable features.
Step forth Scleromochlus taylori…
Three iconic dinosaurs minus their iconic features. Traced directly from Scott Hartman’s skeletals, minus certain features of course.
We are still aiming for an October 26th premiere date
Currently, our plans for the channel are as follows:
- One major video a week on Sunday in a CrashCourse style format (if you haven’t watched CrashCourse on YouTube, please do, it’s amazing)
- Vlogs whenever a member of our team wants to talk about something in a more informal format - for example, touring a museum, or talking to an expert in palaeontology
- Once a month Q & A videos and News from the World of News, where we answer YOUR questions and cover some of the major discoveries in paleontology from that month in a more formal format than just vlogs (we will probably talk about everything twice but you know Kulindadromeus deserves to be talked about an infinite number of times, for example)
For now, we are working on scripts and art for the initial episodes. This blog is mainly so we can try to build an initial audience and keep you all updated on paleontology while we work! Please feel free to ask ANY of us questions and get to know us! We will answer literally EVERYTHING (mainly because, we don’t have enough of a following for that to be impossible at the moment.)
The PalaeoVerse Team
hmmmm yeah, tumblr would celebrate Aviation Day, marking barely over a century of human flight when birds had been flying for millions of years before the Wright brothers. never forget.
Fuck that pterosaurs flied and died for our sins. Aviation day should be about them.
Pterygota has a bone to pick with flying vertebrates.
Name: Leptoceratops gracilis
Name Meaning: Slender Little Horned Face
First Described: 1914
Described By: Brown
Classification: Dinosauria, Ornithischia, Genasauria, Neornithischia, Cerapoda, Marginocephalia, Ceratopsia, Neoceratopsia, Leptoceratopsidae
My Ninth Favorite Dinosaur!
Leptoceratops was a tiny little dinosaur, about 2 meters long, and it came from Red Deer Valley in Alberta, Canada, as well as locations in Wyoming, USA. It lived in the Maastrichtian age of the Late Cretaceous, about 66.8 to 66 million years ago, showing how even though it appears to be a more basal ceratopsian, it really was not. It probably ran and stood on its hind legs, and even though they couldn’t pronate their forelimbs, they could walk on four legs as well. It is known from several specimens, some of them complete. It was probably a herbivore, given the wear of its teeth and the depth and shortness of its jaw, which would have allowed it to have a powerful bite and chew very powerfully on tough plant matter. Since it was so short, it would have been a low feeder, eating flowering plants as well as ferns and confers. Its classification is pretty uncertain given both its shape and its late position in the time scale.
Shout out goes to devinhoo!