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Higgins
03-17-2009, 11:32 PM
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7948670.stm

Sea Monster. Very Big. You go first. or we need a bigger time machine.

2old2pb
03-23-2009, 06:13 AM
Amazing. I never dreamed something like that was possible. Imagine that thing chomping on your wooden scooner.

GeorgeK
03-25-2009, 10:02 PM
They've reconstructed from only a partial skull, not only an entire creature but also its habitat?

Higgins
03-25-2009, 10:36 PM
They've reconstructed from only a partial skull, not only an entire creature but also its habitat?

I guess in comparison to other pliosaurs?

It is thought to belong to a new species of pliosaur - a group of large, short-necked reptiles that lived at the time of the dinosaurs.

Lhun
03-26-2009, 07:40 PM
I guess in comparison to other pliosaurs?
Yeah, the usual method is to use the nearest known relative and compare the differences from there. Finding a part of a skull can be quite informative enough. If you have a full skeleton of a cat and find part of a tiger, you can extrapolate from the similarity that the whole tiger looks quite like the cat, just bigger.

GeorgeK
04-02-2009, 08:36 AM
except that more often than not, what they find are bone shards, squashed and smashed. Most of the reconstruction is extrapolation and guesses couched on the reconstructions from nearby fragments which itself was mostly conjecture.

Higgins
04-02-2009, 06:46 PM
except that more often than not, what they find are bone shards, squashed and smashed. Most of the reconstruction is extrapolation and guesses couched on the reconstructions from nearby fragments which itself was mostly conjecture.

The better the preservation and the more numerous and complete the knowledge of the taxon is, the better the chance of having a useful reconstruction.

Some taxons, such as Brachiopods, are very well known for some periods and more obscure in others:

http://www.palaeos.com/Invertebrates/Lophotrochozoa/Brachiopoda/E0A0E0Brachiopoda.htm


BUT:

http://www.palaeos.com/Invertebrates/Lophotrochozoa/Brachiopoda/Linguliformea/Paterinida.html