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Date:11/23/2014 2:25:36 AM
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Hi Miss Ronnie
and Toby, too. Today we will learn a little more about the sauropods, then we'll move on. Some new questions are: How did brontosaurus lose its name? and Where did all these bones come from?
Brontosaurus/apatosaurus is interesting, it was described in the scientific literature twice. Since apatosaurus was the first name given to it, that's the one it kept.
All the Jurassic material comes from the Morrison formation, a huge rock/fossil bed that extends from Canada to New Mexico.
Today, you'll see in my second pic an actual fossil that people can touch! It's 150 million years old, and it's the thigh bone of a diplodocus. It's out because we have so much Jurassic material that we could spare a real fossil for touching. The first picture is an amazing yearling apatosaurus. While most of the Jurassic material is genuine fossil, this little one has only 8 real bones in it, and the rest is a sculpture. When we were going to display the bones, those wonderful guys in Paleolab suggested making a figure based on the adult, but scaled down to fit the baby bones. It's a really cool one, though, and when mom does tours, she is always careful to point out the real fossil bones in the little one.
One or 2 more things: These were really big animals, so how did they get enough to eat? One part of the answer lies with modern mammals who migrate in a big circle over a year (Think Africa, gnus, etc.). They eat in one place until it's gone, then move on, and by the time they get back it's regrown and ready to eat again. The other part of this is that they ate at different levels: some ate high in the canopy, others were more like vacuum cleaners and ate at ground level, with some eating in the middle.
Tomorrow we will move on to more dinos, but there is one more big guy on the apatosaur island we haven't seen yet. He's coming up, so be ready. Thank you for the vote, and here's a hug and vote for you, too. Gizmo
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