Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Denver Gem and Mineral Show Part 2: The Piscivores (Excepting Penguins)

As we started talking about a few weeks ago, my friend Masaki Kleinkopf and I were able to visit the Denver Gem and Mineral Show at the Denver Merchandise Mart.  Last time, we talked about the giant ammonites, the baby eryops that Dr. Robert Bakker was working on, the gliding Indonesian lizards of the genus Draco and the pterosaurs that evolved from creatures purportedly much like this millions of years ago.  Today, we are going to talk about all of the piscivorous animals that we saw there, except for the fossil penguin that I saw there.  Knowing me, that would easily take up one whole post of its own there.  Keep in mind throughout this post that I'm not certain for all of these animals that they actually eat fish, I just know that the large groups that they belong to often eat fish.  Today, we are going to be looking at the mosasaurs, crocodilians, pterosaurs, sea lions, other fish, sharks, and the dreaded piscivorous dinosaur Spinosaurus.  

MESSAGE FROM ZACK FROM THE FUTURE:  Hello, everyone.  This is Zack Neher.  I have travelled to this post from the future.  I wanted to give you a link to the Homebase for these posts.  I am like Rose Tyler, leaving clues in the form of Bad Wolf.  Except this is not quite like that at all really.  Anyways.  The Homebase for the series is HERE.
Myself next to a gigantic mosasaur skull
I am pretty sure that this is the skull of a mosasaur , looks more like a mosasaur skull than the skull of a crocodilian, if you ask me
A mosasaur jaw, from Morocco by the looks of it
A mosasaur skull (Platecarpus, if memory serves, but it is entirely possible that I am wildly off) in front of a fossil ray
Another huge mosasaur skull
We also got to see the teeth of a piscivorous pterosaur.  The teeth of a piscivore are usually different from those of other carnivorous animals due to their conical shape.  The teeth of the fish eaters, like those of crocodilians and dolphins, are usually conical in shape, to prevent prey from struggling out of their grasp.
The teeth of a piscivorous pterosaurs
Below are the skulls of various crocodilians.
The skulls of these dudes seem like they should be out of a cartoon or something, they are so weird and comic looking!
Here are a pair of photos of fossilized sea lion teeth, both from the extinct sea lion Imagotaria sp., from the Miocene to Pliocene in the Atacama region of Chile.
Imagotaria sp., from the Miocene to Pliocene in the Atacama region of Chile
Imagotaria sp., from the Miocene to Pliocene in the Atacama region of Chile
Next, a picture of a pair of fossil jellyfish!
Fossil jellyfish!
Next are the teeth of the gigantic, fifty to sixty foot long carnivorous (or actually, piscivorous) dinosaur: Spinosaurus.  Also in the picture are the teeth of another enormous carnivorous dinosaur that lived in the same area of Northern Africa as Spinosaurus at this time of the Cretaceous Period: Carcharodontosaurus, who was not a piscivore, at least not primarily a piscivore, like a penguin, or as Spinosaurus is purported to
be.  (Did you see that alliteration?  My language arts teacher would be most impressed).  I discuss both Spinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus in two previous posts, which you can look at HERE FOR SPINOSAURUS and HERE FOR SPINOSAURUS AND CARCHARODONTOSAURUS.
The teeth of Spinosaurus.  Actually in this shot, it looks as if most or all of these teeth belong to Spinosaurus.
And now for some pictures of the teeth of Megalodon, the largest shark that is ever known to have lived!  I have talked about Megalodon in the past, click HERE to learn more.


Now for some random ones.
It's a fish eat fish world out there
A pair of shark jaws.  I am not certain as I don't remember at all and they are unlabeled, but I believe them to be jaws of sand tiger sharks.  Again, I could be totally off on this!

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