Monday, November 11, 2013

The New Deinocheirus

A pair of sunbathing Deinocheirus. Thanks to Joschua Knuppe for letting me use his artwork for this post.

So, I am going to talk about the new material from Deinocheirus. It has long since been a mystery of what these gigantic arms where attached to, but it's a mystery no more. 

On July 9th, 1965, Polish Paleontologist Professor Zofia Kielan-Jaworowska and her team found a few ribs, some vertebrae, and a massive pair of arms. These arms where over 3 meters long, and they where certainly from a very large theropod. But what kind? Some thought they where from a giant ornithomimosaur, others thought they where from a gigantic flesh eating theropod, that used its massive arms to rip open the stomachs of sauropods. 

What the hell is that?

However, soon a consensus came in. It was thought to be an ornithomimosaur, albeit a very large one. But what the rest of it looked like was only guess work. By studying relatives of it, many came to the conclusion of what it looked like. 

This is what it looked like then. 

Above, you see the picture of the Deinocheirus toy in the CollectA line. It seemed pretty much like a gigantic oversized Gallimimus. Well, it wasn't. 

Finally, after nearly 48 years of mystery, the fog of time has cleared with new fossils. It turns out, Deinocheirus was weirder than anyone could have imagined. It had a sail on its back! And it had a robust look, not normal for the usually gracile smooth backed ornithomimosaurs. The most incredible thing for me is the sail. It is something that I never thought would come out from the ground. A sailed-backed coelurosaur? 

All known sail backed dinosaurs (Spinosaurus, Ouranosaurus, ect.) have all been non-coelurosaurs. This makes Deinocheirus the first known Coelurosaur with a sail on its back. A skull was also found in the new remains, but unluckily, poachers stole the skull. Lets hope that we can either retrieve that stolen skull, or find a new one, and maybe it's skull would fit the new bizarre look of Deinocheirus. 

Overall, this is one of most exciting finds in my so far short lifetime, solving a nearly 50 year-old mystery. However, with the skull still missing, its complete appearance is still a mystery, and so the hunt for the mystery dinosaur, continues. 

I would like to thank Joschua Knuppe again, for letting me use his Deinocheirus restoration for this article. And, for the readers, have a great day!

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