Spinosaurus

Mightier than T rex, bigger than Gigantosaurus, originally called Absolutelyfreakinmassivosaurus, but then everyone realised that that was silly and couldn’t think of what to call it if they ever found a bigger one. Meet Spinosaurus

... gah...

It was huge… the size and weight of a London bus, just not as red, without wheels, not full of people though it probably would be given half the chance… erm altogether more bitey… perhaps one should have ended this metaphor a while back… the biggest predatory dinosaur that ever lived.

That said there is some controversy about whether Spinosaurus was the biggest dinosaur predator. For a start there were only a few bits and bobs of its skeleton ever found, and most of those that were found were destroyed when the museum was bombed in World War II. The bits that were dug up in the desert sands of Egypt were mainly fragments of skull, and it has been quite rightly pointed out that you can’t extrapolate the size of the body because it has a large skull, it might just have a big noggin, and what’s more it might feel a mite sensitive if you keep on going on about it.

Still we at The Proceedings of the Ever so Strange like to think that this terrible spiny sod was the biggest chomper that ever lived. One thing that made this monster even more monstrous is it had a massive sail on its back. The reason for which could be a number of explanations; it could be to attract the female Spinosaurus… like a peacock’s tail. Or it could be to regulate heat… big animals get rather hot, and have to evolve ways to get rid of heat… sounds a bit odd I know… but think of the elephant’s ear…

... you won't be so bloody wavey and cheery when the rainbow gang catch up with you sunshine...

Now where were we… yes… how did this tremendous ruffian get so gigantic? One theory is that he was water bound, making it easier to support his hulking frame, whiling away his days sloshing around in the wet stuff chomping on fish. It is a fairly compelling theory, one of the few fossils that have been found was found with fish scales in its belly. What’s more if you look at the modern day gharial, a crocodile that is rather well adapted to eating fish, you can see that while not being graced with a face that will grace the cover of Harper’s Bazar it would be good at chomping down on Cretaceous sashimi. Another thought that has been banded around The Proceedings is that Spinosaurus was more of an opportunistic feeder… much like today’s fearsome grizzly bear… though the Spinosaurus was about thirty times bigger and could have gobbled him up like a furry sausage.

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Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 8:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Indricotherium

WE’VE MOVED! COME JOIN US OVER AT THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE EVER SO STRANGE!

Russian legend tells of the legend of the Indrik; the king of all the animals, a gigantic bull with the head of a horse, when he stirs the ground shakes…

Gadzooks

The largest mammal to stomp around the planet wasn’t an elephant, and the tallest warm and furry that ever lived wasn’t a giraffe. Say ‘how do you do’ to Indricotherium the biggest bloody rhino you’ll ever set eyes on. He was the biggest standy mammal that ever lived, and the biggest leggy thing on the planet since the huge sauropod dinosaurs, yes that’s right the ones with the long necks, four legs, big chap… can’t miss them… diplodocus and brontosaurus and whatnot…

It’s no coincidence either that this elephantine-giraffey looking rhino had come to look like a honking great reachy thingy. They ate the leaves at the top of trees, in a word; browsers. They chomped on leaves and twigs, also known as browse. As opposed to grazers who not surprisingly eat grass.

I say!

Millions of years before Indricotherium there were the big sauropod dinosaurs who had honking great necks to pluck at vegetation. After them came the big reachy rhino we are dribbling on about now, and after him came the long necked giraffes and indeed the elephants who gave up on the whole neck thing and grew a honking great honker. All rather distinctive creatures that have evolved into the same shape to get at the same bit of grub. Indeed if you look at the outline of each, they all look much the same. Like different animals made of putty, with different bits squidged out into long bits for getting at those lovely browse. They did have something in common though… they were all beasts that could shake the very earth beneath your feet.

Published in: on May 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm  Comments (2)