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WWD - Yixian Formation by randomdinos WWD - Yixian Formation by randomdinos
Early Cretaceous, Liaoning. Yes, here's another new episode - because, according to :iconcaptainjimmbob:, the Yixian is necessary (I disagreed. :P)
I do not own the references used for any of the animals; they belong to GAT (Yutyrannus, Dongbeititan), Pteros (Moganopterus), Ville Sikkonen (Sinocalliopteryx), Matt Martyniuk (Confuciusornis), Victoria Arbour (Lianoningosaurus; based on Aletopelta) and Scott Hartman (everything else).

Left to right:
Yixianosaurus longimanus: This 1.2 meter long maniraptoran is a tiny carnivore that uses its long hands to assist in catching prey. Usually scurries along the forest floor, but is capable of climbing if it needs to. Feeds on eggs, young Repenomamus and juveniles of other animals.
Jinzhousaurus yangi: At 4.8 meters, this hadrosaurid is the largest herbivore that lives on the region all year-round. With a heavy build, it lives in herds and is safe from almost every predator, but unfortunately for one individual, it's also a favorite prey item for the feathered tyrants.
Sinornithosaurus millenii: Another 1.2 meter maniraptoran, Sinornithosaurus is a relatively large microraptorian that glides from tree to tree (possibly even with use of short burts of powered flight) in search of birds, mammals, lizards and other small animals. There is no real evidence of microraptorians not being fit for moving on the ground, so it won't be portrayed as such; still, they have good reasons to stay in the trees.
Confuciusornis sanctus: This 50cm long avialan is apparently the only bird featured in my entire WWD series.... oh well. Feeds on insects and smaller vertebrates, and is generally a background animal.
Repenomamus giganticus: A rather impressive mammal for Mesozoic standards, this meter-long generalistic  feeds on baby dinosaurs, carrion, and basically everything else that fits into its mouth. With its bulk, one scares an unwary Yixianosaurus away from its kill, while another attempts to raid a Psittacosaurus nest only to be crippled by the mother's beak, eventually being picked off by a juvenile Yutyrannus.
Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis: This 2-meter long taco is everything you'd expect of a little ceratopsian, omnivorous, bad-tempered and with a powerful beak, as an unfortunate Repenomamus finds out. It's still prey for juvenile Yutyrannus and Sinocalliopteryx, however.
Yutyrannus huali: The top predator of the Yixian by multiple orders of magnitude, even juveniles of this 7.8 meter tyrannosaur have very little to fear besides adults of their own species. Most species are prey for the juveniles, with Jinzhousaurus being the only real target a fully grown adult would bother losing energy with. The mature animals actually only appear twice in the episode; in scarce times, the largest and boldest of adults band together to hunt bigger, more dangerous game.
Dongbeititan dongi: Interestingly, the Yixian isn't just made of minuscule fauna and Yutyrannus. The largest animal in the area, adults of this 15-meter somphospondylian are generally safe from attack, as long as they're healthy. In the occasion there's no other suitable prey around, however, a mob of Yutyrannus manages to separate an individual from the herd, and after a long battle, eventually bring it down.
Sinocalliopteryx gigas: The largest compsognathid, a relatively complete specimen measures 2.3 meters or so and may have gotten larger. Despite its small size, it's actually one of the more feared predators of this setting, and eats anything smaller or similar in size to itself, though it will also tackle larger prey. One individual ambushes and eats a Sinornithosaurus.
Liaoningosaurus paradoxus: A small ankylosaur made famous by the discovery of fish remains in its stomach cavity (that, however, does not stop growing at the juvenile stage and is not strictly piscivorous), Liaoningosaurus (speculative adult size at 2 meters long) will nonetheless be portrayed enjoying a swim, like a miniature armored hippopotamus. Its osteoderms protect an adult individual from Sinocalliopteryx attacks, but not from a young Yutyrannus.
Protopsephurus liui: This 80cm paddlefish introduces the next episode's creatures. A generation of Protopsephurus swim up the river systems to spawn, providing the region's predators with an extra source of food. Even an adult Yutyrannus manages to snag one from the water to feed itself.
Moganopterus zhuiana: With a wingspan over 4 meters, this boreopterid feeds on small fish, birds, and baby dinosaurs. One individual is ambushed by a Sinocalliopteryx, but turns out too big for the compsognathid to tackle, and successfully scares it off.
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 3 days ago
Dude what? lol your saying the Psittacosaurus was DEFINITELY an omnivore. But the little Ankylosaur wasn't? Your not even remotely correct. The only instance of the Psittacosaurus being Omnivorous is a lizard beneath it when it fossilized. The Lianingosaurus had multiple fish in its stomach cavity, PLUS it was aquatic. Thereby making it more of a turtle than a free roaming little ankylosaur. Misinformation doesnt do anybody any good. And I dont get why everyone wants basal Psittacosaurids to be omnivorous. Or even Ceratopsids. They didn't have the capacity for it.   
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Edited 2 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh yes, a hypothetical aquatic lifestyle based on:
- them being found in aquatic deposits (this logic would make most known dinosaurs aquatic);
- that we haven't found an adult (so? There's dozens of other species known only from juveniles, and the authors only used two specimens in their paper, out of a sample size of several) 
makes it more of a turtle than a normal ankylosaur! For someone who's ready to fight against misinformation, you're not doing very good at questioning poorly-supported conclusions (the 'turtle analogy'' paper isn't even peer reviewed). 

Also, I'd like to see the paper that proves that ceratopsids were incapable of omnivory.
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Hahahaha oh my goodness, I appreciate the laugh, really. Did you not even read the paper?

Not only was it found in an aquatic environment, but what other Ornithischian has ever been documented as having FISH inside it's stomach cavity? Name even one other. As well, "most Dinosaurs" are not "found in aquatic deposits" They are deposited on large flood plains, and flood plains don't really make a good marine environment. Hence, that's why we don't find fish or other marine life associated with the other dinosaurs. Much less in their stomach cavity.  Even better, the Yixian Formation is a prime example of undisturbed fluvial environments. Look at the articulation of the Psittacosaurus Sp. fossil, very well articulated, preserved with quills, skin color, even different shading. And we find the Liaoningosaurus partially articulated, but with fish in its belly, indicating a deeper marine environment. That evidence alone is substantial.

Then they show that this Ankylosaur had teeth that was quite unlike its larger relatives. They were elongated, and had fork-like serrations. Hmm... sounds perfect for eating fish.

Also, the Liaoningosaurus had claws that were longer and sharper then claws of more derived Ankylosaurs. Again, more turtle like than Ankylosaur.

And lastly, theres even evidence of it having a turtle-like plastron!!! I mean, if it wasn't for sure an Ankylosaur, I'd say it was a Turtle just from those features. The convergence in the evolution is not only striking, its really neat and insightful. And you just hurling your own opinions out there is pretty disappointing.

And then you outright say its a "poorly-supported conclusion" C'mon man.

I fight misinformation because this is science, and science is not your opinion. Science is the evidence.

And actually, upon further investigation I've learned there is no Psittacosaurus fossil with a lizard or any bones in it. It must have been a rumor that spread around but the fossil either doesn't exist, or has been removed from the web and records. Mark Witton's words, not mine.

So I guess there is no evidence at present to confirm any sort of omnivory in Ceratopsids. Or Ceratopsians for that matter. If you want to confuse the argument of the potential omnivory of an extremely basal Ceratopsian Psittacosaurid like Psittacosaurus, with the argument of an actual Ceratopsid... that's a whole different ball game. Besides a rostral bone and pronounced eppijuggals they couldn't be more different. 

I know of at least specimen of Triceratops actually having plant matter preserved inside the stomach cavity, although I'm not sure when it will be published on. Ceratopsids were Herbivore's. Look at the African Black Rhino. Its called the "Hook-Lipped" Rhino and is a complete herbivore. Probably the closest in overall convergence you'll find to Ceratopsid's today. Four limbs, large head, browser, hooked lip, big @$$ horns, you get the idea.

While any animal or dinosaur may be "capable of omnivory", it really doesn't mean they partake in it.  

But when you find multiple little fishies in a little Turtle-like Ankylosaur, with a bunch of turtle like features, in a marine environment...

It's a pretty safe bet that it ate fish.
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner 2 days ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
''And we find the Liaoningosaurus partially articulated, but with fish in its belly, indicating a deeper marine environment''

The Yixian, a marine environment, wat?

''And lastly, theres even evidence of it having a turtle-like plastron!!! I mean, if it wasn't for sure an Ankylosaur, I'd say it was a Turtle just from those features. ''

A turtle-like plastron is an older less supported interpretation of the underside of the body in one specimen, most scientists believe it to be epidermal scales as in other dinosaurs, see Arbour et al.
www.researchgate.net/publicati…
Not'' my own opinion'', the opinion of actual paleontologists who have studied the specimens themselves, at least one of which is specialized in ankylosaurs. 

''Look at the African Black Rhino. Its called the "Hook-Lipped" Rhino and is a complete herbivore. Probably the closest in overall convergence you'll find to Ceratopsid's today. Four limbs, large head, browser, hooked lip, big @$$ horns, you get the idea.''

I have yet to hear about any rhino that has a bony beak covered in rough keratin, in fact the only animals I know of that fit that description are psittacids, some fish and some reptiles, which coincidentally happen to be omnivores or in some cases even carnivores (I know, ceratopsians are not carnivores, since we have plenty of evidence of them eating plants). Rhinos are pretty unusual among modern herbivores if it is true that their digestive system literally cannot handle meat, for most herbivores that's not true, typically herbivorous animals have been known to eat meat to complement their diets when available.

But yes, I agree there is good evidence in that at some point in the Early Cretaceous a small ankylosaur ate some fish, I'll edit the description.
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
No, not the entire Yixian formation is marine, I meant where the Liaoningosaurus was found. I don't see whats hard to understand there? Do you find fish in a terrestrial environment? 

There is a lot you could chalk up to interpretation I guess, but it would make sense for it to have a plastron. But again, the Lianingosaurus does have other features that are more suited for a marine environment that are confirmed. 

Well again, your opinions were there strongly before you edited your descriptions. So, thank you for trying to be scientifically accurate... I would expect that of all paleo artists really. Unless stating so otherwise for whatever reason. I enjoy things like spec evolution as much as the next guy.

And what makes you think that any Ceratopsian had a beak covered in Keratin? I have yet to read that anywhere. We don't even know if they're horn structures were covered in keratin. Most horns we know of now have keratin sheaths and cannot change morphologically over developmental stages. Rhino horn doesn't even have a core, its just a keratin mass. If Ceratopsid horns could be only convergent to something in our modern era, it'd be to Buffalo horns, that are a bony mass. Keratin doesn't fossilize as far as I know.   

Its been stated before that even though the rostral bone of Ceratopsians looks like a Psittacids, it is indeed different and only found in Ceratopsians, with variance the more derived the clade gets over time.  There is enough evidence to suggest that they ate tough fibrous plants like cycads and tough roots. The only comparatively niched herbivore that does this today is the black rhino, Which unlike any other horned, gregarious megafauna herbivore I know has a specialized lip that acts like a beak. Most other herbivores that could be compared to a Ceratopsian like Bison, Buffalo, certain cattle breeds, or even White Rhino's don't fit the bill when it comes to their diet. They are all grazers.

And if Rhino's are actually physically incapable of digesting meat, I'd wager that Ceratopsians were no different. Of course that is speculation, but makes sense when the argument is made that megafauna herbivores need protein supplements to be effective, or habitually takes part in as your saying. 

And even herbivores that have been known to scavenge meat or bone is often not common place. Horses, cattle, and deer are the only known instances I've heard of. And the first two being livestock, animals in captivity preform differently than their wild counterparts. 

You said Rhino's are unique in how they are unable to eat meat. Whats more unique than a Ceratopsid jaw structure in herbivores? They are unlike any Ornithiscian's jaw structure except some convergences with Hadrosaurs. They have blunt, short teeth that would be not very well suited to omnivory. 
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner 1 day ago  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No, what I meant is that you said marine environment, marine refers to saltwater, while the Yixian is made of terrestrial and freshwater (rivers/lakes) deposits as far as I know. 

Having a keratin cover is pretty much the default condition for beaks in vertebrates (or at least according to Wikipedia it is: 
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beak) so we'd need some pretty substantial evidence to say that ceratopsian beaks didn't. I guess the reason this isn't explained in literature is because nobody has really questioned it before. The horns are a different story though, yeah we don't know for sure if they had it or not, for most species.

Hm yes, black rhino lips do have some features that make them similar to beaks, but an important difference is that they are made of relatively soft and very mobile soft tissues, and rhinos can use them almost like hands, to pick leaves and branches apart. Ceratopsians couldn't do that, what they have is literally a pointy lump of bone that can't really move independant of the rest of the head.

Most herbivorous dinosaurs have a jaw structure that makes it very hard to propose there was any meat in their diets, especially hadrosaurs with their wide flat beaks and tooth batteries, but then again most herbivores don't have a sharp pointed projection in front of their jaws (they can get to be pretty sharp in some specimens, and this isn't accounting for the keratin which makes beaks and claws sharper in birds and mammals), I don't imagine ceratopsians having much trouble with tearing things apart from time to time.
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 11 hours ago
Oh my bad, yes Aquatic would be more apt of a description.

Yes it is, but again Ornithiscians have a lot of features that are unique to not only Dinosaurs but all of Vertebrates. However I agree that all beaks would be MOST LIKELY be covered from a keratin like structure.

While the Black Rhino's prehensile lip is made of soft tissue as pretty much all mammalian lip/mouths are, it is the closest megafaunal herbivore analogy in the present we have to Ceratopsian's rostral bone structure. From structure alone it would be Parrots, obviously. However Parrots are not as active at hunting small prey or scavenging as other birds, like Ducks.
Which bring me to my next point...

Hadrosaurs, and all derived Ornithopods have very similar jaw morphology to a Ducks's. They are literately referred to as 'Duck-Billed Dinosaurs" Before I knew what a Hadrosaur was they were always called Duck Bills by every paleontologist in little kid books, I even read that term in published papers. You saying that Hadrosaurs or Ornithopods had no capacity to eat meat is as accurate as saying Ducks are entirely herbivorous. Hadrosaurs would have just as much, if not more of a chance at being omnivorous, as ducks are more prone to carnivory than parrots. Each being their closest living feeding analogy in existence. From an only beak analogy standpoint that is.

Just because Ceratopsids have a shearing mechanism doesn't exclude the fact that their teeth were designed for eating plant matter. I'd wager Ornithopods and Ceratopsids shared a relatively close environmental niches. And I agree, their bite force would probably be enough to take a leg off, but then again their jaw structure is long and awkward as it is in Hadrosaurs, but they both point to overwhelming herbivore behavior. As stated before, It's doubtful, weather or not they had the actual physical capabilities to eat meat carcasses, any Ornithiscian would be prone to habitually do this. Save for the specimens we have that show adaptations for the sort of thing. 
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Who's to say the fish weren't crushed by its dead body before it fossilized?
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Its possible, however unlikely considering marine environments are usually not low energy environments and tend to have currents. Thereby making it hard for multiple fossils to form on top of each other. So its unlikely MULTIPLE fish would be buried in the exact same place as an Ankylosaur that shows all the features of being similarly niched as a turtle. Its a lot more reasonable to assume that the Ankylosaur ate the fish, especially when you take into account its teeth.
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner 1 day ago
I mean, the fish weren't just "in its stomach". They were also just behind its shoulder blades, in the upper part of its body, and also outside of its skeleton altogether!

So, that fish-eating theory isn't really true.

Also, pretty sure it had flat teeth.
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:iconpacman4202:
pacman4202 Featured By Owner 1 day ago
I don't see what other evidence you need, but nothing is "true" in actual, objective science. Its a theory because we can't see it take place.

But again, it has all the features you'd expect in a small turtle mimic pescivore. And therefore has the most evidence for being that way.   
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
What caused the downsize of the paddlefish? First it was over 5m, now it's 80cm....
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The scale bar was messed up, just like with MOR 007 the gigantic tiny Edmontosaurus
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
That must have been a REALLY messed up scalebar:P (Lick) 
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
nah, it was just one thousand percent wrong 
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah
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:iconcaptainjimmbob:
captainjimmbob Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2016
You should finish these.
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:icondinosandangrybirdfan:
dinosandangrybirdfan Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Sp the Liaoningosaurus eating fish theory is debunked?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Not yet, it's the least unlikely thing that was proposed about Liaoningosaurus so far, but still not certainly right.
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2016
What else was proposed about that ankylosaur?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Being aquatic, Stopping growth at early juvenile stage.
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:iconjonagold2000:
JonaGold2000 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
fuck it
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:icongrisador:
grisador Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2016
Yay ! A habitat that a Time Traveler human walk without fear of being eaten ! :D


Wait; Yutyrannus was there too ? Oh; another not-to-go for the Mesozoic Catalogue then 
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:icondontknowwhattodraw94:
Dontknowwhattodraw94 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Nice to see this ecosystem getting charted. I didn't know Repenomamus got so large, I knew it was big but seeing it scaled next to human does show it. 
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Eh, with all the hype it got for eating dinosaurs I honestly expected it to be bigger :P
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:iconinmyarmsinmyarms:
Inmyarmsinmyarms Featured By Owner Dec 25, 2016
Its about as large as a modern wolverine. It's perfectly reasonably sized, considering wolverines, ratels, tasmanian devils and similar mammals can take prey much, much larger than themselves...
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2016
Nah; unlike Beelzebufo, the overrated crapman frog, Repenomamus wasn't really exaggerated by the media.
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Mmmmmmhmmmmmm....
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2016
Wait, is there anything that proves otherwise?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, there was this one time where a Repenomamus killed a ''Raptorex''...

Also, every time you see Repenomamus in anything, it's ''the mammal that ate dinosaurs''.
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2016
OK, this is definitely bad.
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:iconscyther500:
scyther500 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Bruh, Yutyrannus is so OP in this episode XD
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:iconevodolka:
Evodolka Featured By Owner Edited Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
that human is like "i have no idea how these dinosaurs are here" judging by the body language :D
may i ask how tall the guy is so i can compare my own height to these dinosaurs?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
xD

and the guy is 1.8 meters tall, 1.792 to be exact
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:iconevodolka:
Evodolka Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
ok so 5.9 feet so then i have to add 2 inches on and boom that's me :D
thanks
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:icontheterritorialtrike:
TheTerritorialTrike Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016
Would liaoningosaurus still be the smallest ankylosaur?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Idk, I based the adult size on the other smallest ankylosaurs.
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:icontheterritorialtrike:
TheTerritorialTrike Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016
OKay
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:iconmesozoic0906:
Mesozoic0906 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016
Protopsephurus is not a 7 meter giant. It is another case where wiki went wrong horribly. I found oroginal papers on this species and found it to be about... 1 meterish.
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:iconpcawesomeness:
PCAwesomeness Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2016
... why do popular size estimates love to blow everything out of proportion?
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Aha! I knew those fossil plates looked too small to be 7-meter fish!

Well, I've got to shrink this thing quickly. XD
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:iconacepredator:
acepredator Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016
I'm going to guess the 7m estimate came from the closely related Chinese paddlefish (which does/did get that big, and was actually predatory)
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
After reading the papers, looks more like it was a typo (remember MOR V 007 the Edmontosaurus?)
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:iconmesozoic0906:
Mesozoic0906 Featured By Owner Edited Nov 19, 2016
I too first saw the photo of fossil slab and wondered the same.

It's like that famous sergeant Nessie photo where background(size of ripple in case of the nessie photo) gives you the hint that object is tiiiiiiiiny.
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome!
I like the idea about the hippo-ankylosaur, (I actually have a journal explaining why it makes sense).
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:iconrandomdinos:
randomdinos Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!

Also really nice journal, although I believe the hypothesis that ankylosaurs mostly fed on soft items was debunked.
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:iconpaleosir:
paleosir Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks!
I found out too, but forgot to edit it out (Gonna do that now)
But the other evidences still stand.
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:iconsnugglesthedinosaur:
snugglesthedinosaur Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2016  Student Traditional Artist
Aha! You beat me too it! I just don't feel like writing the description right now since I have over 20 animals in mine.
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