Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ahoy, Paleo Pirates!

As some of ye' may know, today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day.  For buccaneers, privateers, proletarian outlaws, an' Pastafarians alike, today is a day of celbratin' for any an' all who call themselves pirate.  So if ye' haven't yet done your duty, avast! Get yerself a tankard of rum, put on yer finest hat, an' hoist the colors!

The jolly roger of the original Paleo Pirates, a work in progress for far too long. If you can deduce the five animals depicted here (in spite of my crude representations), perhaps you have what it takes to join the crew.


  1. Archaopteryx, a member of Testudines, Allosaurus, Utahraptor, and Plesiacanthoceras?

  2. I'm guessing the cephalopod is Cooperoceras (what else?) and the testudine is the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin).

  3. Excellent work, both Raven and Albertonykus! So far, four of five have been identified. It is an Allosaurus skull, an Archaeopteryx feather, the shell of Cooperoceras, and the carapace of Malaclemys. As for the remaining pair of unidentified remains, these were the ones I thought would throw people off the most, but are also the ones that are the most ambiguous in terms of my representation. I'll give you a clue as to the identity of their owner: it is not a deinonychosaur, nor a dinosaur at all. Not very helpful, but at least you'll know to look outside of that clade for the answer.

  4. Not from a felid (nor any other synapsid), Mike, and not claws. Again, a bad representation on my part might account for all the guessing, but I'm hoping that when someone does get it, it will be a bit clearer. Here's another clue: these crossed remains(from left to right)are shown in right and left lateral views, and are rotated about 130° CW and CCW, respectively.

  5. They're the main lateral spikes of Desmatosuchus spurensis!

  6. Correct, Susan! Of course you would remember this "forgotten archosaur".

    Now, everyone, start thinking of cool pirate names so you're ready to join up the next time we set sail!