Dinovember 26 - Irritator by LeccathuFurvicael

Dinovember 26 - Irritator


28 November 2015 at 20:15:30 MST

This spinosaur is certainly 'irritating' that lungfish it just plucked out of the hardened mud! XD

"Irritator was first scientifically described in 1996 by paleontologists Martill, Cruikshank, Frey, Small and Clarke.[3] Its only known fossil, an 80 cm skull discovered in eastern Brazil, was badly obscured by plaster which was added by the commercial fossil-collecting fossil-poachers who illegally sold it (the trade of fossils is prohibited by law in Brazil), in hopes of making the fossil look more complete and valuable. For example, "the posterior portion of the saggital [sic] crest... [was] fabricated by fossil dealers."[3] The buyers were not aware of the modifications to the illegally collected specimen, and it required them a great deal of work to reconstruct the original features — hence the name.

Martill et al. (1996) wrote that the generic name Irritator came "from irritation, the feeling the authors felt (understated here) when discovering that the snout had been artificially elongated."[3]

The exact discovery site of the Irritator fossil skull is unknown; the fossil was collected by illegal fossil dealers. The skull and the matrix have been assigned to a rock of the Romualdo Member of the Santana formation due to lithological characteristics; this classification was confirmed by microfossils of the ostracod Pattersoncypris. A questioning of the local fossil dealers resulted in the identification of the discovery site near the village of Buxexé close Santana Do Cariri at the flank of the Chapada do Araripe, at a height of approximately 650 meters. Since rock from the Romualdo Member is indeed exposed there, this discovery site is regarded as very probable for the fossil.

A tooth belonging to Irritator still inserted into a fossil neck vertebral column of a pterosaur, indicates that Irritator ate pterosaurs as well[citation needed], although it is not known if it actively hunted these animals, or simply scavenged the remains.

The nostrils of Irritator were shifted far to the rear of the skull, and the secondary palate make respiration possible even if the majority of the jaw was under water or held prey. In particular, the sagittal crest of Irritator is an indication for a pronounced neck musculature, which would have been necessary in order to pull the jaw closed quickly against water resistance and withdraw the head fast. Sues et al. (2002) point out, however, that there would be no reason to assume that the Spinosauridae specialized completely in fishing.[15] They stress rather that this head morphology indicates a generalistic feeding, particularly on small prey animals. In fact, portions of a young Iguanodon, a terrestrial herbivore, were found inside the fossil skeleton of one Baryonyx. Naish et al. (2004) support the theory that Irritator hunted both aquatic and terrestrial animals as a generalist within the coastal area and in addition probably also searched for carrion.[16]" - Wikipedia

Art © 2015 Stephanie Dziezyk. Do not use for monetary or personal gain.

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