Field of Science

New Ginormous Carnosaur from the Triassic of North America

It is absolutely amazing what has been arriving in my inbox lately, this one caught me by complete surprise.

Howard, M., Howard, S., Fine, L., Howard, C., and J. DeRita. 2010. Chinleraptor dockumensis a megacooldudinid carnosaur (Family Dromaeosauridae) from the Late Triassic (Ungualia biozone) of Texas, the largest (and thus coolest) raptor ever. Upublishyerself 1:1-2.
Abstract - Herein we describe a new taxon of carnivorous dinosaur, Chinleraptor dockumensis, known solely from a gigantic pedal ungual from the Upper Triassic of the southwestern United States. This taxon can be diagnosed by the claw-like shape of its unguals and by its extremely large size. Comparisons with another large claw-bearing dromaeosaur from the southwest U.S., Utahraptor, demonstrates an extreme size difference between the two. Hence we proclaim C. documensis to have the biggest claws of them all. This is further supported by the fact that despite the lack of associated field notes the mudstone matrix suggests that the specimen is from Texas and it is common knowledge that everything is big in Texas. Moreover we reject the recent cladotaxonomic hypotheses of theropod dinosaur relationships and assign C. dockamensis to the Infraorder Carnosauria because of its large size; however, it also has even larger claws than any known carnosaur group and therefore we assign this taxon to a new dromaeosaurid subfamily, which we name Megacooldudinae. A bivariate plot of the size of known specimens of Chinleoraptor versus cumulative sample size percentage demonstrates that all known specimens of C. dockumenses were all equally huge. Therefore we interpret these data to determine that all died at the exact age of 2 years, 3 months, and 27 days, demonstrating the superiority of utilizing size to calculate the precise age at time of death instead of more subjective and thus unreliable techniques such as bone histology. Therefore, despite its enormous size C. decumensis clearly did not live to reproductive age and we predict that no more specimens of its kind exist. Finally, the large claw shaped hole resulting from the collection of this fossil clearly was made by the depression of a pedal element into substrate and therefore represents a new ichnotaxon we name and describe here as Ungualia impressisorium. The co-occurrence of Unguaallia and Chinlerattor in the Dockum is a clear indicator of a Late Triassic age for that highly misunderstood (by others) unit.


Pedal unguals of Utahraptor ostrommaysorum and Chinloraptor dockumi at same scale. Large scale bar equals 10 cm.

Graph showing that all known specimens of Chinlearaptor are "freakin ginormous" at 849 days old.


P.S. Any similarities in this post to real events or published, dearly loved, yet clearly erroneous hypotheses are purely coincidental.

P.P.S. apologies to M. C.

7 comments:

  1. Is it a trend now to create hilarious mocking abstracts? (There was another one lately at Archosaur Musings.) My first impression of the title was Wait, what?

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  2. Yes, this does appear to be potentially synonymous with Nomen dubium, as recently described elsewhere...

    http://archosaurmusings.wordpress.com/2010/03/29/taxonomy-of-the-kind-i-still-see-too-much-of/

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  3. Well, it is a trend on 4/1 for sure.

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  4. You should have seen the one that got away...

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  5. @Albertonykus - I'm glad you found it hilarious.

    There is a lot in there (based on actual published papers) that will mean different things to different people, kind of my commentary on things I've seen in the "literature" recently.

    Anyhow, just having a little fun for April Fools Day, just like last years feathered aetosaur. :)

    BTW...that specimen is actual size and not scaled up for the photo....

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  6. I still find Fig. 2 very satisfying.

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