Archosaur Musings in ‘non-archosaur related post shock’

Yep, and this time it’s not an archosauromorph (close enough) or reptile (pushing it) but, *gasp* a mammal. But really quite a special one, and since I have photos of it, and as far as I can tell, no-one else does, I thought it worth posting.

Repenomammus

Repenomamus


Yes, this is Repenomamus (pictured) the quite literal ‘dinosaur-eating mammal’. Known for the Early Cretaceous Yixian formation of China (part of the Jehol) it made the headlines a few years ago when it was described. The largest Mesozoic mammal known (up to a metre with the tail), one specimen has the bones of a (presumably) tasty juvenile Psittacosaurus in its stomach (second picture, you can see the small pile of bones). Mmmmmm, yummy. Either way, it’s an impressive beast, and proof that dinosaurs were not the only significant terrestrial predators even if this guy never reached the size of T.rex.
Baby dinos are delicious and nutritious

Baby dinos are delicious and nutritious

The specimens recently went on display at the IVPP and so I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures (which would have been better but for thick, greasy glass and small, but bright spotlights which didn’t help). I have avoided putting up photos on the musings from collections (unless given permission by the institutes) as these are scientific collections, closed to the general public, and typically ownership / images rights are copyrighted. However, those on display can be seen and photographed by anyone and happily put up on Flickr, Facebook and the like, so I don’t see this as anything that anyone else could not do (assuming they came to Beijing!). Still, these are my photos, so as ever, please don’t go round copying, downloading or linking to them.

While we are on the subject of Facebook, please do join my blog network on there if you like my work. This is not just me craving acceptance (please like me!) but a practical issue. Thanks to the Great Firewall of China, I can only access this at certains times of day and while this won’t change anything, with enough readers, I can get a blog feed direct on Facebook that I *can* access all hours and at least lets me know if people are commenting etc. Oh, and perhaps unsurprisingly, there are Ask A Biologist, and DinoBase groups too for those who like their sci comms.

6 Responses to “Archosaur Musings in ‘non-archosaur related post shock’”


  1. 1 DunkTheBiscuit 29/07/2008 at 10:51 pm

    ‘I have avoided putting up photos on the musings from collections (unless given permission by the institutes) as these are scientific collections, closed to the general public, and typically ownership / images rights are copyrighted.’

    As a member of the general public, hungry for knowledge, that makes me very sad, even though I understand the reasoning behind it…

    And just to tell you you have a new and completely fascinated lay-person reader. I had no idea of the information to be found on-line about extinct animals – knowledge has come on enormously since my childhood interest in dinosaurs and their ilk.

    Thankyou.

  2. 2 David Hone 29/07/2008 at 11:05 pm

    Sorry, it is hardly the best situation. However the truth of the matter is that many museums have lost large amounts of money bacuse of this issue. Often opening up their collections to TV crews or for photographers for books was done for free. Of course this cost time and money for the institutes to do this, and in return would get very little, when of course the production companies were making money from this.

    One can therefore understand when cash is always short, that they would seek to try and get a little back from their work. How many times have you seen a photo of the Berlin Archaopteryx, in books, on TV, on websites etc.? And yet until about 2 years ago, I don’t think the Humboldt took a cent from this, yet they are the ones who had to look after the specimen, pay the curators, the staff, everything for it and got nothing in return. It is an unfortunate situation and it would be far better if everything was freely available to everyone (and for many collections this is true) and for thigs like education it is also normal for these issues to be waived so it is not all bad.

    Thanks for your comments and I am glad you like the site.

  3. 3 Nathan Myers 30/07/2008 at 10:10 am

    One might suppose the psittacosaurus “tasted like parrot”.

    Incidentally, the oldest preserved written expression of “tastes like chicken” is found in Cristobal Colon’s 1492 log, in reference to iguana.

  4. 4 chris y 02/08/2008 at 8:37 pm

    Incidentally, the oldest preserved written expression of “tastes like chicken” is found in Cristobal Colon’s 1492 log, in reference to iguana.

    Oh god, I hope that’s true!


  1. 1 Spiny-ness in mammals and rampant convergence « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 15/11/2009 at 11:38 am
  2. 2 Ornithischians for dinner « Dave Hone’s Archosaur Musings Trackback on 23/12/2009 at 8:46 am

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