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July 30, 2015

Nineteenth century non-avian dinosaur discoveries

Filed under: nature,science — ckrao @ 11:05 am

Below is an attempted chronological list of non-avian dinosaur discoveries of the 19th century that today are considered valid genera. There may still be some where there are only scant remains of the fossil (e.g. a tooth or single bone remain). The list came from [1] with some help from [2] and Wikipedia to filter out doubtful names. Many of the best known dinosaurs are listed here and it looks like most of the major groups are covered. Good histories of dinosaur paleontology are in [3] and [4].


Genus Discoverer Year Dinosaur type
Megalosaurus Buckland 1824 tetanuran (stiff-tailed) theropod
Iguanodon Mantell 1825 beaked ornithopod
Streptospondylus von Meyer 1830 megalosaurid
Hylaeosaurus Mantell 1833 armoured
Thecodontosaurus Riley & Stutchbury 1836 prosauropod
Plateosaurus von Meyer 1837 prosauropod
Poekilopleuron Eudes-Deslongchamps 1838 megalosaurid
Cardiodon Owen 1841 sauropod
Cetiosaurus Owen 1841 sauropod
Pelorosaurus Mantell 1850 brachiosaur
Aepisaurus Gervais 1852 sauropod
Oplosaurus Gervais 1852 sauropod
Massospondylus Owen 1854 prosauropod
Nuthetes Owen 1854 maniraptoran
Troodon Leidy 1856 raptor
Stenopelix von Meyer 1857 pachycephalosaur
Astrodon Johnston 1858 sauropod
Hadrosaurus Leidy 1858 duckbilled ornithopod
Compsognathus J. A. Wagner 1859 coelurosaur (fuzzy theropod)
Scelidosaurus Owen 1859 armoured
Echinodon Owen 1861 heterodontosaurid (early bird-hipped dinosaur)
Polacanthus Owen vide [Anonymous] 1865 armoured
Calamospondylus Fox 1866 oviraptorosaur
Euskelosaurus Huxley 1866 prosauropod
Acanthopholis Huxley 1867 armoured
Hypselosaurus Matheron 1869 sauropod
Hypsilophodon Huxley 1869 beaked ornithopod
Rhabdodon Matheron 1869 beaked ornithopod
Ornithopsis Seeley 1870 sauropod
Struthiosaurus Bunzel 1870 armoured
Craterosaurus Seeley 1874 stegosaurian
Chondrosteosaurus Owen 1876 sauropod
Macrurosaurus Seeley 1876 sauropod
Allosaurus Marsh 1877 carnosaur
Apatosaurus Marsh 1877 sauropod
Camarasaurus Cope 1877 sauropod
Dryptosaurus Marsh 1877 tyrannosaur
Dystrophaeus Cope 1877 sauropod
Nanosaurus Marsh 1877 early bird-hipped dinosaur
Stegosaurus Marsh 1877 plated dinosaur
Diplodocus Marsh 1878 sauropod
Brontosaurus Marsh 1879 sauropod
Anoplosaurus Seeley 1879 armoured
Coelurus Marsh 1879 coelurosaur (fuzzy theropod)
Mochlodon Seeley 1881 beaked ornithopod
Craspedodon Dollo 1883 horned dinosaur
Ceratosaurus Marsh 1884 theropod
Anchisaurus Marsh 1885 prosauropod
Camptosaurus Marsh 1885 beaked ornithopod
Aristosuchus Seeley 1887 coelurosaur (fuzzy theropod)
Ornithodesmus Seeley 1887 raptor
Cumnoria Seeley 1888 beaked ornithopod
Priconodon Marsh 1888 armoured
Coelophysis Cope 1889 early theropod
Nodosaurus Marsh 1889 armoured
Triceratops Marsh 1889 horned dinosaur
Barosaurus Marsh 1890 sauropod
Claosaurus Marsh 1890 duckbilled ornithopod
Ornithomimus Marsh 1890 ostrich dinosaur
Ammosaurus Marsh 1891 prosauropod
Torosaurus Marsh 1891 horned dinosaur
Argyrosaurus Lydekker 1893 sauropod
Sarcolestes Lydekker 1893 armoured
Dryosaurus Marsh 1894 beaked ornithopod


[1] Dinosaur Genera List –

[2] Genus List for Holtz (2007) Dinosaurs

[3] Benton, M. J. 2000. A brief history of dinosaur paleontology. Pp. 10-44, in Paul, G. S. (ed.), The Scientific American book of dinosaurs. St Martin’s Press, New York. –

[4] Equatorial Minnesota The generic history of dinosaur paleontology 1699 to 1869 –

December 15, 2014

Types of -saurs that are not dinosaurs

Filed under: nature — ckrao @ 12:06 pm

Below is a reference for myself of types of (mostly) prehistoric animals that are not dinosaurs but have names ending in -saur (sauria means lizard but most of these are not that closely related to lizards).

Group Prefix meaning When it lived Brief description
Aetosaur eagle late Triassic heavily armoured
Anteosaur Antaeus (son of Poseidon and Gaia) 272-260 Ma large Dinocephalians (therapsid)
Cotylosaur cup late Carboniferous-Permian basal reptile (also known as Captorhinids)
Ichthyosaur fish 245-90 Ma dolphin-like marine reptile
Ictidosaur ferret late Triassic – mid Jurassic mammal-like cynodonts, also known as tritheledontids
Mesosaur middle 299-280 Ma like a small aligator
Mosasaur Meuse River late Cretaceous marine reptile similar to monitor lizards
Nothosaur false/hybrid Triassic slender marine reptile
Pachypleurosaur thick-ribbed Triassic like an aquatic lizard
Pareiasaur shield 270-250 Ma large anapsid
Pelycosaur axe or bowl 320-251 Ma non-therapsid synapsids (e.g. Dimetrodon)
Phytosaur plant 228-200 Ma long-snouted archosauriforms
Plesiosaur close to/near 210-65 Ma marine reptile with broad flat body and short tail
Pliosaur closely 200-89 Ma short-necked plesiosaur
Poposaur discovered on Popo Agie River (ref) late Triassic carnivorous paracrocodylomorphs
Protorosaur early Permian-Triassic long-necked archosauromorphs
Pterosaur winged 228-65 Ma closest relatives to dinosauromorphs
Rhynchosaur beaked Triassic beaked archosauromorphs
Teleosaur end/last early Jurassic – early Cretaceous marine crocodyliforms
Thalattosaur ocean Triassic marine reptile with long flat tail
Trilophosaur three ridged late Triassic lizard-like archosauromorphs
Xenosaur strange present (Cenozoic) knob-scaled lizards

February 23, 2014

Australian marsupial genera

Filed under: nature — ckrao @ 2:09 am

Native Australian mammals (those that predate human times) include monotremes (platypus and echidna), marsupials, bats, rodents (all mouse-like) and sea mammals (seals, whales and dolphins, dugongs). The marsupials of Australia extend far beyond the kangaroo/possum/koala/wombat (diprotodont) variety to the marsupial moles, carnivorous marsupials such as quolls, dunnarts, numbat and Tasmanian devil, and the omnivorous bandicoots and bilbies. (The remaining marsupial orders are confined to the Americas and comprise of the opossums, shrew opossums and Monito del Monte.) Here is a list of extant marsupial genera from those orders that are native to Australia, made simply to learn more about their diversity.

Order Suborder/Family Subfamily/Tribe Genus Genus meaning # Australian species # world species notes
Notoryctemorphia (Marsupial moles) Notoryctidae Notoryctes southern digger 2 2 marsupial moles
Dasyuromorphia   (marsupial carnivores) Dasyuridae Dasyurinae – Dasyurini Dasycercus hairy tail 2 2 mulgaras
Dasykaluta hairy kaluta 1 1 little red kaluta
Dasyuroides resembling Dasyurus 1 1 Kowari
Dasyurus hairy tail 4 6 quolls
Myoictis mouse weasel 0 4 dasyures – New Guinea
Neophascogale new Phascogale 0 1 Speckled dasyure  – New   Guinea
Parantechinus near Antechinus 1 1 Dibbler
Phascolosorex pouched shrew 0 2 Marsupial shrews – New Guinea
Pseudantechinus false Antechinus 6 6 False antechinuses
Sarcophilus flesh lover 1 1 Tasmanian devil
Dasyurinae –   Phascogalini Antechinus hedgehog equivalent 10 10
Micromurexia small Murexia 0 1 Habbema dasyure – rocky areas of New Guinea
Murexechinus hedgehog mouse 0 1 Black-tailed dasyure – tropical dry forests of New Guinea
Murexia marsupial mouse (significance unknown) 0 1 Short-furred dasyure – New Guinea
Paramurexia near Murexia 0 1 Broad-striped dasyure – South east Papua New Guinea
Phascomurexia pouched Murexia 0 1 Long-nosed dasyure – tropical dry forests of New Guinea
Phascogale pouched weasel 2 2
Sminthopsinae –   Sminthopsini Antechinomys antechinus-mouse 1 1 Kultarr
Ningaui Aboriginal mythical creature 3 3
Sminthopsis mouse appearance 21 21 dunnarts
Sminthopsinae – Planigalini Planigale flat weasel 4 5
Myrmecobiidae Myrmecobius ant-living 1 1 numbat
Peramelemorphia   (Bilbies and bandicoots) Peramelidae Echymiperinae Echymipera pouched hedgehog 1 1 long-nosed spiny bandicoot
Microperoryctes small Peroryctes 0 5 striped bandicoots – New Guinea
Rhynchomeles beaked badger 0 1 Seram bandicoot – existence only recorded in 1920
Peramelinae Isoodon equal tooth 3 3 short-nosed bandicoots
Perameles pouched badger 3 3 long-nosed bandicoots
Peroryctidae Peroryctes pouched digger 0 2 New Guinean long-nosed bandicoots
Thylacomyidae Macrotis big-ear 1 1 bilby
Diprotodontia   (“two front teeth” – kangaroos and relatives) Vombatiformes – Phascolarctidae Phascolarctos pouched bear 1 1 koala
Vombatiformes –   Vombatidae Vombatus wombat 1 1
Lasiorhinus hairy-nose 2 2
Phalangeriformes   (possums and gliders) – Phalangeridae Ailurops cat-like 0 2 bear cuscuses – NE Indonesia inc Sulawesi
Phalanger notable digits 1 13 cuscus
Spilocuscus spotted cuscus 1 5
Strigocuscus thin cuscus 0 2
Trichosurus hairy tail 5 5 bushtail possums
Wyulda brush-tail possum (mistakenly assigned) 1 1 scaly-tailed possum
Phalangeriformes –   Burramyidae (pygmy possums) Burramys stony-place mouse 1 1 Mountain Pygmy Possum
Cercartetus possibly tail-in-air 4 4
Phalangeriformes – Tarsipedidae Tarsipes tarsier-foot 1 1 Honey possum
Phalangeriformes –   Petauridae Dactylopsila naked finger 1 4 striped possums
Gymnobelideus naked Belideus 1 1 Leadbeater’s possum
Petaurus rope dancer 4 6 gliders
Phalangeriformes –   Pseudocheiridae (ringtailed possums and relatives) Hemibelideus half Belideus (fluffy-tailed glider) 1 1 Lemur-like ringtail possum
Petauroides Petaurus-like 1 1 Greater Glider
Petropseudes rock-Pseudocheirus 1 1 Rock-haunting ringtail possum
Pseudocheirus false hand 2 1 Common ringtail possum
Pseudochirops Pseudocheirus-like 1 5
Pseudochirulus little Pseudocheirus 2 8
Phalangeriformes –   Acrobatidae Acrobates acrobat 1 1 Feathertail glider
Distoechurus tail in two rows 0 1 Feather-tailed possum – New Guinea
Macropodiformes –   Macropodidae Lagostrophus turning hare 1 1 Banded hare-wallaby
Dendrolagus tree hare 2 13 tree-kangaroos
Lagorchestes dancing hare 2 2
Macropus long foot 13 13 kangaroos and wallaroos
Onychogalea nailed weasel 2 2 nail-tail wallabies
Petrogale rock weasel 16 16 rock-wallabies
Setonix bristle-claw 1 1 Quokka
Thylogale pouched weasel 3 7 pademelons
Wallabia wallaby 1 1 Swamp wallaby
Macropodiformes –   Potoroidae Aepyprymnus high rump 1 1 Rufous rat-kangaroo
Bettongia bettong 4 4
Potorous potoroo (Aboriginal) 3 3
Macropodiformes – Hypsiprymnodontidae Hypsiprymnodon high rump tooth 1 1 Musky rat-kangaroo
Totals 151 224


Dictionary of Australian and New Guinean Mammals, edited by Ronald Strahan & Pamela Conder, CSIRO Publishing, 2007.

August 19, 2011

Biological systems in various animal groups

Filed under: nature — ckrao @ 1:41 pm

I was curious to find out something about the inner workings of animals. For example do invertebrates have blood? (Answer: some, such as earthworms) Which animals have a brain? (Answer coming up.) Below is a list of the biological systems of humans. We shall see the extent to which these are present in other animals.

System Organs/Cell types Function
Circulatory heart, blood, blood vessels circulating blood to and from body and lungs
Digestive tongue, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, small intestine, large intestine, appendix, rectum, anus processing food
Endocrine hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenal glands, Islets of Langerhans (in pancreas) release of hormones to send messages to other parts of body
Integumentary skin, hair, fat, nails protects body from external damage, insulation, detection of pain/pressure/temperature, vitamin D synthesis
Lymphatic (inc. immune) lymph, lymph vessels, lymphoid tissue, lymph nodes, leukocytes, bone marrow, tonsils, adenoids, thymus, spleen removal of interstitial fluid from tissue, transport of white blood cells into bones, absorption of fatty acids from circulatory system
Muscular muscles, tendons, fasciae movement
Nervous brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, nerves, includes sensory systems of ear, eye etc. sensing and processing information
Reproductive ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, placenta, vulva, vagina, mammary glands, testes, prostate, epididymis, vas deferens, seminal vesicles, prostate, penis reproduction
Respiratory nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, diaphragm breathing
Skeletal bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons structural support
Urinary kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra fluid balance, electrolyte balance, excretion

Next are some notes on the presence of these systems in some of the main animal groups. In the following an “open circulatory system” means there is no difference between blood and tissue fluid, while in a closed circulatory system blood (in vessels) is separate from tissue fluid.



(e.g. fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals)


(starfish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers etc.)


(snails, slugs, squid, clams, etc.)


 (arachnids, insects, crustaceans, centipedes etc.)

Circulatory closed system, platelets unique to mammals open circulatory system, no heart blood and coelomic fluid circulate in main body cavity, heart present in cephalapods (squids/octopus etc.) open circulatory system, hexapods have tracheae and no gases in their blood
Digestive simple digestive gut most graze on algae, possess stomach and gut spiders etc. have chelicerae at mouth opening
Integumentary most fish/reptiles have scales, birds have feathers, mammals have hair some have a shell jointed limbs
Lymphatic (inc immune) insects have hemolymph
Muscular muscular foot attached to inside of exoskeleton
Nervous brain and spinal cord simple radial nervous system, no brain some have brains, most have two nerve cords; octopus and squids have eyes, snails have antennae paired ganglia in each segment; sensory organs (e.g. compound eyes)
Reproductive larval stage in bony fish, amphibians; most reptiles, birds, amphibians, birds, monotremes lay eggs while marsupials and placental mammals give birth to live young; in birds and playpuses the right ovary never matures; mammary glands unique to mammals gonads may occupy entire cavity terrestrial species have external fertilisation, metamorphosis in some insects, no larval stage in arachnids
Respiratory gills in most fish, otherwise lungs; gas exchange with water/air also occurs through skin in amphibians; syrinx in birds responsible for singing varying methods of gas exchange most have one pair of gills; snails/slugs have lungs varying, e.g. booklungs in spiders, gills in crustaceans, tracheae in insects
Skeletal sharks, rays etc. have cartilaginous skeleton; otherwise bony skeleton contain spines emerging from endoskeleton calcareous endoskeleton exoskeleton made of cuticle
Urinary waste diffuses, no specialised excretory organs nephridia play role of kidneys, they also have role in reproduction malpighian tubules in insects, green glands in crustaceans


(segmented worms)






(corals, sea anemones, jellyfish, hydra etc.)



Circulatory closed circulatory system, some with blood vessels along length circulation of gases and nutrients through pseudocoelom fluid. no specialised organs no organs no organs
Digestive full gut from mouth to anus no stomach specialised system no specialised system no specialised system
Integumentary segments covered by cuticle  no symmetry
Lymphatic (inc immune)
Muscular muscular, movement by peristalsis muscular pharynx hydras have muscle no muscle
Nervous bundle of nerves serve as brain four nerves run its length, dense nerve ring serves as brain first forms in which we see brain-like structure no distinct brain no neurons in adults
Reproductive some reproduce asexually, no larval stage in earthworms ovaries and testes present sexual or asexual reproduction sperm cells released into water
Respiratory variable, via skin or through gills no specialised organs, rely on diffusion no specialised organs
Skeletal mesohyl acts as endoskeleton
Urinary waste excreted through body wall primitive, made of flame cells, excretory ducts and excretory pores. no specialised system no specialised system

Edit: I later found just the thing I was looking for here.


Zoology Review –

May 1, 2011

Shrews and Moles

Filed under: nature — ckrao @ 5:54 am

Shrews and moles are both small insectivorous mammals and may look alike, but according to at least one study they diverged on the evolutionary tree at least 80 million years ago. Moles live in underground tunnels, so have enlarged forefeet with long claws and webbing designed for burrowing, while shrews are mostly on the ground in a wide range of habitats, have small feet like mice, and may make tunnels through leaf litter at best. Shrews have hair on their snout while moles do not. Moles are generally larger than shrews too.

There are many life forms with the word shrew or mole in them!

shrew  any of 376 species in the family Soricidae
treeshrew  any of 20 species in the order Scandentia, found in the tropical forests of SE Asia, more closely related to primates than rodents or shrews
elephant shrew  any of 17 insectivorous species in the order Macroscelidea found in Africa, characterised by their long snout
otter shrew  any of 3 species in Afrosoricida (the order also containing tenrecs and golden moles) -> Tenrecidae -> Potamogalinae, found in subsaharan Africa
West Indies shrew  any of 6-12 now-extinct species of the family Nesophontidae
shrew mouse  either another name for shrew, or one of various rodents thought to resemble shrews
shrew opossum  any of 6 marsupial species of the order Paucituberculata living in the Andes mountains
shrew mole  any of 7 species of mole that resemble shrews
mole shrew  any of 6 species of shrew that resemble moles!
shrew gymnure or shrew hedgehog  single species of gymnure found in China, Myanmar and Vietnam
shrew rat  any of several species of rodents found in Sulawesi (Indonesia) and the Philippines
shrew tenrec  any of 22 species of the genus Microgale (including the interestingly named shrew-toothed shrew tenrec!)
shrew-faced squirrel  also known as the long-nosed squirrel, a single species found in SE Asia
shrewish short-tailed opossum  also known as the Southern Red-sided Opossum, a single species of opossum (not shrew opossum!), found in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay
shrewlike rat  any of 4 species of the rat genus Rynchomys, found only on the island of Luzon (Philippines), also known as tweezer-beaked rats
mole  most of the mammals of the family Talpidae (42 out of 44 species), including 7 shrew mole species mentioned above
golden mole  any of 21 species of the family Chrysochloridae, from Southern Africa
marsupial mole  any of 2 species of the order Notoryctemorphia from Western Australia, very similar in appearance to golden moles as an example of convergent evolution
mole-rat  one of various burrowing rodents from several groups
mole crab  also known as sand crabs, any member of Hippoidea, a super-family of crabs
mole cricket  any member of the cricket family Gryllotalpidae
Mexican mole lizard  also known as the five-toed worm lizard or Ajolote lizard, one of four amphisbaenians (worm lizards) to have legs
mole lobster  also known as a furry lobster, any member of the family Synaxidae (3 species)
mole plant  a species of spurge from southern Europe and north Africa through to western China
mole salamander  any of 32 species of North American salamanders of the family Ambystomatidae
mole snake  the single species of snake Pseudaspis cana
mole viper  any of 66 species of snake in the family Atractaspididae

Reference: – Difference Between a Mole and a Shrew

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