A is for Antorbital Fenestra

Albuquerque museum, photo by kajmeister.

Dinosaurs had an extra hole in their head.

As we start this journey of 26 posts all about dinosaurs, you may have noticed that A does not start with a kind of dinosaur. This is not going to be about 26 different dinosaurs, although I promise I will throw in a few. So A is not for Apatosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Albertosaurus, or even Archosaur. This A is about how dinosaurs were grouped and identified as dinosaurs.

So one thing to know, even before I say more about what the ant-orbit-a-whatchamacallit, is that these posts are going to wrestle with questions about dinosaurs, such as:

  • What made a dinosaur a dinosaur?
  • Where did the dinosaurs come from? And where did they go?
  • What did they look like?
  • How did they behave?
  • And, most of all, how do we know?

In other words, I’m going to talk about the things that dinosaurs did. Their habits. Their loves and losses.. well, maybe not that. But the dinosaur ouvre, so to speak (i.e. their “body of work.” Body get it?) Since they lived 200 million years ago, it gets a little tricky trying to guess. But you would be surprised at what those clever scientists who study bones can figure out, just from the bones.

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