Roy's Postcards: 1983/11/05

Inscription:

I went to the National Museum of Natural History tonight today and enjoyed touring the Dinosaur Hall. This was one of the scenes which I saw. There was were also skeletons of protoceratops, and other dinosaurs.

Postcard back:

Most of the earliest dinosaurs were graceful animals such as Coelophysis. These early dinosaurs were of moderate size and habitually walked on their hind legs. A few, such as Plateosaurus, had already reached the size of a modern rhinoceros. Although these larger dinosaurs could still walk on two legs, they had begun to spend much time on all fours.

Dinosaurs did not yet dominate the land animal communities of the Late Triassic (220 million years ago), which were made up mostly of non-dinosaurian reptiles and other animals. For example, flat-headed, bottom-dwelling amphibians such as Buettneria lived in ponds and streams. Non-dinosaurian reptiles, such as the spiny-headed, thick-bodied Hypsognathus, and the lizard-like Trilophosaurus favored higher ground, and were remnants of groups that earlier had been more abundant and varied.

The structure of the jaws and teeth of some of these animals, such as Trilophosaurus and perhaps the dinosaur Plateosaurus, indicates that these animals fed on plants. Plants available for food included gymnosperms related to modern cypresses, redwoods, and gingkos; cycadeoids and other bennetitalians, which are distantly related to the living sago "palm": and other groups such as horsetail rushes, ground pines, and ferns. However, neither during the Triassic, nor during the following Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods, can we be sure which plants were eaten by which plant-eating reptiles.

Leonard's comments:

I won't lie, when this postcard came up my first thought was "Man, I have to type all that?" It's like they wrote the postcard for you!

Looks like my dad was pretty tired when he wrote this inscription. It was dated the 5th and then the 5 was changed to a 6.

See also: dinosaurs dc



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