Geol 104 Dinosaurs: a natural History

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GEOL 104 Dinosaurs: A Natural History

Test II Review

Life on Land before the Dinosaurs:

What factors do terrestrial animals have to deal with that aquatic ones don’t?

How do tetrapods deal with these factors?

What are the relationships within (and main adaptations of):

Tetrapoda Synapsida Therapsida Reptilia Diapsida Archosauria
Know the Amniote Radiations:

5th Cenozoic Era Mammals

4th latest Triassic-end of Cretaceous Dinosaurs

3rd Middle and Late Triassic Pseudosuchian Archosaurs

2nd Late Permian – Early Triassic Therapsids

1st Early Permian Basal Synapsids

Dinosaur Origins

Where do dinosaurs fit among the amniotes?

What is the definition of Dinosauria? (the most recent common ancestor of Iguanodon and Megalosaurus and all of its descendants)

Significance of Eoraptor, Pisanosaurus, Scutellosaurus, Saturnalia, Herrerasaurus

Dinosaur Phylogeny

Be familiar with the relationships and some of the main adaptations (I’ve listed some) and habits (diet, postulated behavior, distribution in time and space, etc.) of the major dinosaur clades listed below:

Dinosauria: Perforated acetabulum; asymmetrical hand; semi-opposable manual digit I

Saurischia: Elongated neck; digit II longest in hand; big thumb claw

Sauropodomorpha: Leaf-shaped teeth, very elongated neck


Sauropoda: Enormous size; tooth occlusion; obligate quadrupedality; short snouts

Neosauropoda: Dorsally-placed nares

Diplodocoidea: Forelimbs much shorter than hindlimb; long snout; pencil-shaped teeth; whip-like tail

Macronaria: Greatly enlarged nares

Brachiosauridae: Forelimbs as long or longer than hindlimbs

Titanosauria: Armor in some

Theropoda: Intramandibular joint

Eutheropoda: Promaxillary foramen; loss of manual digit V; functionally three-toed pes; furcula

Coelophysoidea: Subnarial gap


Tetanurae: Enlarged hands; stiffened tail

Spinosauridae: Elongate narrow snouts; conical teeth

Avetheropoda: Maxillary foramen; complex chambers in vertebrae; loss of manual digit IV

Carnosauria: Enlarged naris; extra openings in antorbital region

Coelurosauria: Simply downy feathers; enlarged brain; narrow hand

Tyrannosauroidea: Enlarged skull; incisor-like premaxillary teeth; elongate tibia and metatarsus

Tyrannosauridae: Thickened teeth; loss of manual digit III; arctometatarsus

Ornithomimosauria: Small beaky skull; elongate neck; all three metacarpals the same length

Ornithomimidae: Toothless skull; elongate tibia and metatarsus; arctometatarsus

Maniraptora: Elongate forelimb; enlarged ossified sternum; semilunate carpal; backwards-pointing pubis; broad feathers on arms and tail

Oviraptorosauria: Leaf-shaped teeth or toothless; boxy skull

Therizinosauroidea: Small skull; leaf-shaped teeth; long neck; backwards-pointing pubis; short metatarsi

Eumaniraptora: VERY long arms, tail very mobile near base; retractable second pedal digit with sickle-shaped claw


Dromaeosauridae: Stiffened rods in tail

Troodontidae: Semi-leaf-shaped teeth; arctometatarsus in advanced forms

Avialae: Flight; reduced number of caudals (and shorter tail)

Aves: Toothless beak

Ornithischia: Predentary bone; leaf –shaped teeth; backwards-pointing pubis (except for Pisanosaurus)

Thyreophora: Scutes

Stegosauria: Plates and spikes; thagomizer

Ankylosauria: Osteoderms fused to skull; rings of body armor on neck

Ankylosauridae: Tail club

Ornithopoda: Predentary margin ventral to maxillary margin; jaw joint ventral to dentary tooth row

Iguanodontia: Facultative bipeds; toothless premaxilla

Hadrosauriformes: Hinged upper jaw; “Swiss Army Hand” (spike thumb; hoof-like digits II-IV; opposable digit V)

Hadrosauridae: Enlarged snout; dental battery; loss of thumb

Hadrosaurinae: Very large nares; broad snout

Lambeosaurinae: Hollow narial crest

Marginocephalia: Ridge on back of skull; pointed jugals

Pachycephalosauria: Thickened skull roof (sometimes domed)

Ceratopsia: Rostral bone

Neoceratopsia: Enlarged skull; frill; obligate quadrupedality

Ceratopsidae: Horns; shearing dental battery

Centrosaurinae: Short deep snout; nose horn longer than brow horns

Ceratopsinae: Long shallow snout; brow horns longer than nose horn

Bird Origins

Main synapomorphies of birds among living tetrapods

Synsacrum, Pygostyle, Carpometacarpus, Tarsometatarsus

Archaeopteryx lithographica

Features of modern birds that evolved AFTER Archaeopteryx

Models of flight origin, esp. Wing-Assisted Incline Running

Origins of feathers VS. Origins of flight VS. Origin of Aves

Dinosaur History

Plate Tectonics: how does plate tectonics affect the surface the Earth, dinosaur history, and the preservation of dinosaur faunas?
Know the major dinosaur-bearing formations of western North America, the dinosaur communities they represent, and some of their equivalents (from the Dinosaur History handout)
The Triassic-Jurassic Extinction and its effect on dinosaur history

Birth of the Atlantic in Early J (Newark Supergroup)

Origin and significance of Angiospermae (flowering & fruiting plants) in Early K

Global high temperatures in mid-K

Asiamerica vs. Gondwana in the Late K

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