Saturday, December 17, 2011

Dinosaur of the Month- December Macroplata

The Macroplata name means "giant plate". This dinosaur has two major species groups which are M. tenuiceps and M. longirostris.What is unique about this organism is the fact that it a marine reptile from the jurassic period. General trails include having a short neck ,an elongated head , long and powerful jaws carried many sharp, conical teeth which aid in a carnivore diet. Pliosaurs range from 4 to 15 meters in length. Their prey may have included fish, ichthyosaurs and other plesiosaurs.

Also other unique traits of this dinosaur is its shoulder bones which are fairly large which in turn aid in providing a powerful forward stroke for fast swimming. Evidence of a progresive change towars limbs that are paddle like are found in the archaeological record.The hind limbs showed more dervied traits indicating a possible difference in the use of the limbs.

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