The Triassic Reptile With "Two Faces"

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  • Published on:  12/22/2020
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    Figuring out what this creature’s face actually looked like would take paleontologists years. But understanding this weird animal can help us shine a light on at least one way for ecosystems to bounce back from even the worst mass extinction.

    Thanks to Ceri Thomas (https://nixillustration.com) for the many excellent Triassic reptile illustrations (both Atopodentatus and Henodus) featured in this episode!

    And thanks to Xiao-Chun Wu, Nick Fraser, and Shixue Hu for providing photos for this video!

    Finally, thanks to Joschua Knüppe (https://www.deviantart.com/hyrotrioskjan) (the thumbnail illustration!), Julio Lacerda (https://twitter.com/JulioTheArtist), Jaime Headden (https://www.deviantart.com/qilong), and Dmitry Bogdanov for their wonderful paleoart as well.

    Both Atopodentatus papers discussed in this video:
    Cheng, L., Chen, X., Shang, Q. et al. 2014. A new marine reptile from the Triassic of China, with a highly specialized feeding adaptation. Naturwissenschaften 101, 251–259 DO1: 10.1007/s00114-014-1148-4

    Chun, L., Rieppel, O., Long, C. & Fraser, N.C. 2016. The earliest herbivorous marine reptile and its remarkable jaw apparatus. Science Advances 2(5): e1501659 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501659

    And on the paper on the Luoping biota:
    Hu, S., Zhang, Q., Chen, Z.Q., Zhou, C., Lu, T. Xie, T., Wen, W., Huang, J. & Benton, M.J. 2010. The Luoping biota: exceptional preservation, and new evidence on the Triassic recovery from end-Permian mass extinction. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 278: 2274-2282 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2010.2235

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    References: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1nynR8SMHgniIUPmpV_-q30egg71WztMrpPDPpoadCP4/edit?usp=sharing
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