Download e-book for iPad: Dinosaurs by L.B. Halstead; Jenny Halstead

By L.B. Halstead; Jenny Halstead

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The head is portrayed as extremely long and there are feathery structures projecting in a plume from the back of the head. The tail is long and thin and rather rat-like and the entire body is covered in feathery scales. There is in fact no evidence whatsoever to support any of these aspects of this restoration even though it is frequently reproduced. COELURIDAE The later advanced coelurosaurs from the Jurassic period are grouped together in the coelurids, which are characterised by having no more than three clawed fingers on each hand.

From about the tenth vertebra of the tail the individual bones were bound together by long thin rods of bone so that the tail acted as a balancing pole, being straight and rigid. However, the vertebrae were capable of a slight degree of movement so that the tail would have had the same kind of flexibility as a bamboo stick. The long rods of bone running along the tail appear at first glance to be ossified tendons and ligaments but when examined more closely they are seen to be elongated extensions of the articulating processes of the vertebrae themselves, the post and scavengers.

The megalosaurs were the least specialised of all the large carnivorous dinosaurs. They possessed powerful sharp blade-like teeth with serrated edges, strong forearms and powerful hind-limbs, again bearing three large claws. The large muscular tail was flattened from side to side and served as a counterbalance for the head and trunk and kept the centre of gravity over the limb girdle and limbs. The neck was short and powerful but nevertheless flexible. The megalosaurs were not capable of running but walked with fairly short strides after their prey.

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