Mystery Killer, Part IV
Mike Keesey  

Dead Trio

January 31st, 2006 by Mike Keesey :: 7 Comments

Three new guys in this one!

Victim 1: Puertasaurus reuili Novas et al. 2005 This is the only one of the three that actually lived in the same general time and places as Carnotaurus sastrei. It’s a new sauropod, and apparently a whopper. (The character shown is juvenile.)

Victim 2: Hagryphus giganteus Zanno and Sampson 2005 Another large one—for what it is, anyway. This one’s a North American caenagnathid oviraptorosaur about 30–40% larger than Chirostenotes. Named for Ha, the Egyptian God of Laughter. (Okay, not really—he’s the God of the Western Desert.)

Victim 3: Effigia okeeffeae Nesbitt and Norell 2005 Despite appearances, this is not a dinosaur at all! Instead, it is a toothless, bipedal, long-necked … crurotarsan! (That’s “crocodylian relative” to the rest of you.) Apparently dinosaurs weren’t the first ones to come up with this general body plan. The generic name means “ghost”, and refers to how this fossil remained hidden in the American Museum of Natural History’s storage for nearly 60 years. The trivial epithet honors the painter Georgia O’Keeffe, who lived in the area where it was found.

Killer: Not so fast!

(And before anyone attempts to correct me, the phrase really is spelled “just deserts”, even though it is pronounced identically to “just desserts”. “Desert” in this case is an older word meaning something deserved, not an arid biome.)


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