To accompany “An ancient hippo-sized reptile may have been a speedy beast”
1. Not all large and fearsome, ancient reptiles were dinosaurs. Name several that weren’t.
2. What traits might point you to large reptiles that were predators? What traits might point to large reptiles they were mostly prey animals?
1. Why had scientists assumed Anteosaurus magnificus was sluggish?
2. How had they assumed this animal got its prey?
3. Ashley Kruger’s team analyzed a fossil skull. Where did it come from and what did they conclude about its age?
4. What this team learn from CT analyses of the skull that suggested this animals might not have been a sluggish hunter after all?
5. When the researchers compared this anteosaur’s skull to that of a Moschognathus whaitsi, what did they conclude?
6. Why does Z. Jack Tseng argue that Kruger’s team still has no “smoking gun?”
1. The researchers were only working with an anteosaur’s skull. What about its features suggested this was a meat-eater?
2. If Kruger’s team had a whole Anteosaurus magnificus skeleton, what other aspects of its hunting behaviors might they be able to figure out? (Hint: What might you conclude from the relative size of different body parts, the way they connected, the thickness of the bones and the wear patterns seen in those bones?)