|Tenontosaurus tilletti pairlife restoration by Christopher DiPiazza. The male's display behavior and skin ornamentation are inspired by modern Green Iguanas.|
Tenontosaurus was one of the few dinosaurs in which medullary bone was discovered. Medullary bone (mentioned this past week in my Valentine's Day post) is a special kind of material inside of a bone that stores calcium for egg production. It's present only in females and is known to be in modern birds but has also been discovered in extinct dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus as well. Unlike Tyrannosaurus and Allosaurus, however, Tenontosaurus is considered an ornithiscian dinosaur and therefore not as closely related to birds as the other two (theropods) making the fact that it could produce the medullary tissue especially interesting. Even more interesting, the Tenontosaurus specimen that was found to have this medullary bone, which is only produced when the animal is laying or about to lay eggs, was not fully grown when it died. This shows that Tenontosaurus was sexually mature before reaching full size.
|Tenontosaurus skeletal mount on display at the American Museum of Natural History.|
That's it for this week! As always if you have a request or just feel like saying how awesome of a job you think I am doing at this feel free to do so on our facebook page.
Forster, C.A. (1984). "The paleoecology of the ornithopod dinosaur Tenontosaurus tilletti from the Cloverly Formation, Big Horn Basin of Wyoming and Montana." The Mosasaur, 2: 151–163.
Lee, Andrew H.; and Werning, Sarah (2008). "Sexual maturity in growing dinosaurs does not fit reptilian growth models". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105 (2): 582–587. Bibcode 2008PNAS..105..582L. doi:10.1073/pnas.0708903105. PMC 2206579. PMID 18195356.
Roach, B. T.; D. L. Brinkman (2007). "A reevaluation of cooperative pack hunting and gregariousness in Deinonychus antirrhopus and other nonavian theropod dinosaurs". Bulletin of the Peabody Museum of Natural History 48 (1): 103–138. doi:10.3374/0079-032X(2007)48[103:AROCPH]2.0.CO;2.