Uncommon Dinosaurs
Rock&Gem Magazine|December 2020
Southern Continents Reveal Uncommon Giants
STEEV VOYNICK
Uncommon Dinosaurs
After 150 years of excavating dinosaur fossils and describing and naming more than 1,200 dinosaur genera, it might seem that paleontologists have learned most of what there is to know about dinosaurs. But that’s not the case at all. Instead, new dinosaur genera are being discovered faster than ever before. Most are in the southern continents of Africa and South America, and they include some of the biggest and strangest dinosaurs known.

Often quite different from their more familiar North American counterparts and adorned with bizarre frills, bumps, dorsal sails, and crests, these new southern “terrible lizards” are changing many of our perceptions about dinosaurs. As an example, consider the now-diminished status of the iconic Tyrannosaurus rex, the fiercest North American predator. The most widely recognized of all dinosaurs, T. rex had long been considered the biggest, baddest carnivore ever to walk the Earth. But now it seems that T. rex, whose name loosely means “king of the tyrant lizards,” is not really the king after all. It has recently been surpassed in both size and probable ferocity by Giganotosaurus from South America and Spinosaurus from Africa. This discussion about southern dinosaurs was inspired by my opportunity to view the spectacular traveling exhibition, Ultimate Dinosaurs. In the presentation, seventeen of these strange southern dinosaurs are displayed. The collection was created and produced by the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada, and presented by the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibition explains the southern dinosaurs as products of continental drift and subsequent evolutionary isolation through spectacular skeletal mounts and outstanding interpretive displays.

DYNAMIC DINOSAUR DISCOVERIES

This story is from the December 2020 edition of Rock&Gem Magazine.

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This story is from the December 2020 edition of Rock&Gem Magazine.

Start your 7-day Magzter GOLD free trial to access thousands of curated premium stories, and 8,500+ magazines and newspapers.

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