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May 25, 2012 6:11 PM   Subscribe

Excavations in Argentina have unearthed a new dinosaur with a short skull and tiny forearms: Eoabelisaurus mefi.

Officially announced in the journal Proceedings of The Royal Society, the dinosaur is a South American (Patagonian) version of Tyrannosaurus rex, whose range was restricted to the Northern Hemisphere (Laurasia).

E. mefi is getting press mainly because of its short forearms — shorter even than T. rex, already the butt of many cartoons.

Brian Switek's excellent Dinosaur Tracking blog gives more details.

[The dinosaur's genus name, Eoabelisaurus, means "early Abelisaurus", and its species name, mefi, disappointingly honors the MEF, the Museo Paleontológico "Egidio Feruglio" in Patagonia, where its main discoverer, Diego Pol, is active.]
posted by benito.strauss (111 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite

 
Motion to enshrine this magnificent beast as our official mascot.

Second?
posted by elizardbits at 6:14 PM on May 25, 2012 [103 favorites]


Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you elizardbits?
posted by R. Schlock at 6:15 PM on May 25, 2012 [22 favorites]


Oh wow. Coming soon, an Eoabelisaurus MeFi t-shirt!
posted by mathowie at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2012 [92 favorites]


Seconded!

And t-shirt!
posted by carter at 6:18 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


WOO
posted by elizardbits at 6:19 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


All those in favour say 'Aye'!
posted by carter at 6:20 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yabba Dabba Doo.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Aye!
posted by davros42 at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012


Metafilter: Tiny hands. What, you got a problem with that?
posted by fungible at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wwaaauuuuuurggghhhyaaahhhh!!!!111
posted by goethean at 6:21 PM on May 25, 2012


Eoabelisaurus MeFi

elizardbits, you and your vast cartel of soccer gambling gangs fixed this naming, didn't you?

SECONDED
posted by mwhybark at 6:24 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Motion passed!
posted by carter at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2012


i love him this much.
posted by changeling at 6:25 PM on May 25, 2012 [18 favorites]


do we need to spawn in metatalk? should somebody alert the mods? they can be here in seconds on their mirror-bedecked scooters!
posted by mwhybark at 6:27 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I will buy so many t-shirts and mugs. So many.
posted by deanklear at 6:33 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay but do they pronounce it MEE-fie?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:35 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


In!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, t-shirt please!
posted by annsunny at 6:36 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Long or short sleeve shirts?
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:39 PM on May 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


Yes, si, oui, etc.
posted by francesca too at 6:42 PM on May 25, 2012




¡Sí, por supuesto! Da! Aye!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:45 PM on May 25, 2012


40 million years before any relative. Breathtaking.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:46 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coworker forwarded this to me yesterday to show to my reptile-mad toddler daughter. I never noticed the name!

I excitedly showed the kid the picture when I got home, only to frighten her: "I don't like that! Change it!" Which makes the name funny to me, because it's pretty much what her mother does when she goes to read over my shoulder and finds me reading Metafilter.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:46 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


As a former archaeologist I am a big grumpy-pants re dinosaurs. I appear to be vastly outnumbered.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Okay but do they pronounce it MEE-fie?

I have recently begun pronouncing it "meffy" because I know that somewhere, a not insignificant percentage of mefites (meffites) will feel an irritating disturbance in the force when I do so.
posted by elizardbits at 6:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [15 favorites]


with a short skull and tiny forearms

That does sound like me.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:50 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not much of a wide receiver, but beautifully named. Would tee shirt.
posted by rainbaby at 6:51 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


MeFi's own E. mefi, you mean.
posted by penduluum at 6:51 PM on May 25, 2012 [19 favorites]


> Long or short sleeve shirts?

I (almost didn't) see what you did there.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:57 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


Mascot. T-shirt. Yum yum yum.
posted by emmet at 6:58 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a former archaeologist I am a big grumpy-pants re dinosaurs. I appear to be vastly outnumbered.

H-How can anyone be grumpy-pants re: dinosaurs?! Assuming one isn't actively trying to eat you at that particular moment, anyway.
posted by curious nu at 6:59 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


I have recently begun pronouncing it "meffy" because I know that somewhere, a not insignificant percentage of

ME FI MORE FUN!
posted by hal9k at 6:59 PM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


This fossil means that divergence of these creatures took place after the first flowering of the dinosaur dynasty. A further radiation of relatively modern dinosaurs in the Jurassic would have these monsters of Gondwanaland lording it over the rest of the reptilian fauna.

That does sound like us.
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:00 PM on May 25, 2012 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: That does sound like us.
posted by tzikeh at 7:02 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


> A further radiation of relatively modern dinosaurs in the Jurassic would have these monsters of Gondwanaland lording it over the rest of the reptilian fauna.

Sigh. I was hoping we would be able to discuss this issue without someone Godwanning it.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:09 PM on May 25, 2012 [33 favorites]


I just brayed with such obnoxious donkeylike laughter that a dog outside started barking angrily.
posted by elizardbits at 7:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


I just brayed with such obnoxious donkeylike laughter that a dog outside started barking angrily.

The cry of Eoabelisaurus mefi!
posted by Celsius1414 at 7:13 PM on May 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


I have no idea how these people got their eoabelisaurids wedged into their scanners, or why!
posted by chinston at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


it was like a goose and a donkey fighting over a bundt cake
posted by elizardbits at 7:19 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Older member joke; you kids, hush up.

Tiny hands.

Wee paws for this station identification.
posted by SPrintF at 7:34 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


AYE
posted by jimmythefish at 7:39 PM on May 25, 2012


I have recently begun pronouncing it "meffy" because I know that somewhere

Yeah I'll bet you'd say that it's a South 'Merican version of uh Tie-Rhinocerous Rex.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:43 PM on May 25, 2012


*waves stubby arms at SPrintF in dismay*
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:44 PM on May 25, 2012


Oh, don't mind 'im, 'e's 'armless.
posted by cmyk at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [8 favorites]


Are we sure E. MeFi didn't fake it's own death?

... too soon?
posted by Mad_Carew at 7:49 PM on May 25, 2012 [7 favorites]


yeah, if i had tiny hands like those, i'd bet them, too
posted by pyramid termite at 7:54 PM on May 25, 2012


oh, i forgot - i vote for this mascot, too
posted by pyramid termite at 7:58 PM on May 25, 2012


...

One more vote, for our new mascot.

I will so buy the t-shirt.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 8:09 PM on May 25, 2012


This dinosaur, is it something I'd have to have a paleontology degree to understand?
posted by Bonzai at 8:10 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


E. Mefi: mostly 'armless.
posted by SPrintF at 8:19 PM on May 25, 2012 [37 favorites]


We need a second act twist: I vote nay!
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:23 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone have any theories about what kind of evolutionary pressures would cause the arms to shrink like that?

Supposedly two-legged running is more efficient then four legged running, so maybe they didn't use the legs for running, and they gradually became vestigial, I wonder if they actually became totally internal, like a human tailbone, or a whale's legs.

Like, if paleontologists a million years ago found a blue whale skeleton, would they think it had tiny legs?
This dinosaur, is it something I'd have to have a paleontology degree to understand?
I... don't think so. I mean it depends on what you mean by 'understand', just skimming the articles it sounds like this was a dinosaur that was closely related to T-Rex, but this fossil is millions of years older then most T-Rex skeletons, and it's in south America, rather then North America, like the T-Rex.

Also, Gondwanaland was a continent that split into Antarctica, south America, Africa and Australia 180 million years ago.
posted by delmoi at 8:24 PM on May 25, 2012


IANAP.
posted by maryr at 8:27 PM on May 25, 2012


Guys

You do not know

How long it takes

To write this

With

Short Arms
posted by Eoabelisaurus mefi at 8:34 PM on May 25, 2012 [106 favorites]


1) Can one of the mods fix this comment by adding the link to user.

2) Dear Eoabelisaurus mefi, I know we don't all have pictures on our user profile pages, but I think you look really good in this photo and think you should add it.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:45 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm enjoying the thought that all advice on Askme is really coming from Eoabelisaurus mefi, in Dear Abby style.

Dear Eoabby,....
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:05 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's like this song, but backwards.

(Someone please make that happen, I beg you.)
posted by cmyk at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2012


E. mefi

E. mefi

E. mefi

Gondwanaland is how I feel inside.
posted by cmoj at 9:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Short Arm Inspection in the British military is slang for whapping the old man out for a medical check. Usually occasioned by suspected venereal overshare.

Also, I vote aye. Unless there's a Mefite discovering even cooler species -- extremophiles, nasty pathogens, cute microprimates (in which case I vote aye-aye) or slime molds - who can slap an even cooler moniker on one.

Also also, this thread is filling me with primal Mefi tribal love.
posted by Devonian at 9:15 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Like, if paleontologists a million years ago found a blue whale skeleton, would they think it had tiny legs?

Nah, cuz the vestigial leg bones aren't connected to anything jointwise.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:21 PM on May 25, 2012


Sure, sure, Devonian. A cooler species. Maybe something that's oh, say, 360 million to, I don't know, maybe 410 million years old, as opposed to only 170 million years old. We'll get right on that.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:24 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


> I wonder if they actually became totally internal,

I think the answer is no.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:37 PM on May 25, 2012


Ya hear what I'm saying, Benito.

There can be only one Best Period, and we deserve the best.

(I had to go and check whether Devonian was a period, an epoch, an age or an era. It's a period, but my goodness, it's complicated.)
posted by Devonian at 9:40 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Alright then, all in favor raise your arms. C'mon, raise 'em up! What's that? They are raised?

Oh...
posted by stargell at 9:41 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Imagine that thing's user number!
posted by Danf at 9:45 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm enjoying the thought that all advice on Askme is really coming from Eoabelisaurus mefi, in Dear Abby style.

Devour The Meaty Folivora Already
posted by frimble at 9:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


Imagine that thing's user number!

Note the joined date.
posted by mathowie at 9:47 PM on May 25, 2012 [39 favorites]


Does anyone have any theories about what kind of evolutionary pressures would cause the arms to shrink like that?

Turns out the short arms proved less of a hindrence when attempting to mount the creatures, so the aliens in Atlantis were able to saddle them up more quickly. Certainly came in handy in emergencies, especially that one time Loki decided it would be HI-lar-ious to melt the Ice Giants and ended up flooding the whole place.
posted by misha at 10:07 PM on May 25, 2012


Guys

You do not know

How long it takes

To write this

With

Short Arms


You're pretty sorry you laughted at the kids who took shorthand now, aren't you?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:12 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm enjoying the thought that all advice on Askme is really coming from Eoabelisaurus mefi, in Dear Abby style.

Hey MeFi, I killed a camptosaurus a while back and hung it up in a megafern to get nice and high. I forgot about it about and it's been up there about 160 million years. Do you think it's still safe to eat?
posted by benito.strauss at 10:16 PM on May 25, 2012 [11 favorites]


Dump The Diplodocus Already.
posted by dhartung at 11:02 PM on May 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dump The Mega Fauna Already.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:17 PM on May 25, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eoabelisaurus Mefi: Mostly Armless
posted by Sparx at 11:32 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Are we sure E. MeFi didn't fake it's own death?

Don't cry for me Argentina
The truth is I never left you
All through thy fiber ways
With mod assistance
I used my proxy
Don't keep your distance
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:35 PM on May 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


This comes as no surprise, really. It's not like we've never been accused of being insufferably pampas.
posted by taz at 11:45 PM on May 25, 2012 [6 favorites]


E. mefi would automatically hate Rick, as he/she would be incapable of puttings its hands up.
posted by stannate at 11:51 PM on May 25, 2012


Hey, he's a chubutense! If I'm allowed to anthopomorphise and stereotype at the same time and not be hanged for that, he's probably a mellow fellow, a bit on the quiet side, and will try to get you to buy some of his dulces artesanales after he treats you to a chivito asado. If he does say later on it might get a bit breezy, however, run for your dear life towards the nearest basement.
posted by Iosephus at 12:14 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


This all makes me happy.
posted by shelleycat at 1:52 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I vote yes.

GO FIGHTING EOABELISAURIDS!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:07 AM on May 26, 2012


So since the top one is a stock ceratosaurus, the image on the t-shirt would be this or this, yes? So.. suggestions for the labels?
posted by progosk at 4:22 AM on May 26, 2012


Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

(= YES PLEASE)
posted by likeso at 5:21 AM on May 26, 2012


(The only other actual E. mefi image, apart from this sketch, seems to be this here.)
posted by progosk at 5:44 AM on May 26, 2012


I think that sketch is better than the one on the article. Looks like some kind of dinosaur party.
posted by carter at 6:22 AM on May 26, 2012


this is just to say

I reached for
the plums
that were in
the ice age

and which
probably evolved
just to
taunt me

Fuck it
I am so 'armless
so tiny
and so useless
posted by drlith at 6:57 AM on May 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


In west Patagonia born and raised
On the pampas was where I spent most of my days
Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool
And NEVER SHOOTIN' B-BALL BECAUSE MY ARMS ARE TINY AND USELESS
GOD EVOLUTION IS EMBARRASSING SOMETIMES
posted by cmyk at 7:07 AM on May 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


penduluum: "MeFi's own E. mefi, you mean."

Well, what good is marking him as a contact if they don't have a "Potential Prey" relationship?
posted by Samizdata at 7:19 AM on May 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


It's all fun and games right now, then BAM! 20 years later when you're an adult, your favourite dinosaur has feathers.
posted by Fizz at 7:26 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


There are no other MetaFilter members nearby, sorry.

Then thank the heavens doubly for MetaFilter! Even with that dialup 0.00000000024 bit connection.
posted by Danf at 7:44 AM on May 26, 2012


> Well, what good is marking him as a contact if they don't have a "Potential Prey" relationship?

I marked him as "Kin."
posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


> Long or short sleeve shirts?

Tank tops.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:47 AM on May 26, 2012


I have spoused him. I love everything about this.
posted by biscotti at 7:51 AM on May 26, 2012


I am sure this is one of my direct line ancestors. Sure.
So much about my family dynamic has been explained in this one post!
((Deleting the as-yet-unposted 12-page askmefi I've been composing for 3 years))
posted by theplotchickens at 7:51 AM on May 26, 2012


If I wear this t-shirt will it give away my age?
posted by infini at 7:54 AM on May 26, 2012


Does anyone have any theories about what kind of evolutionary pressures would cause the arms to shrink like that?

The short-armed ones reproduced out of necessity. The long-armed ones had, uh, other options.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:39 AM on May 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


90+ comments and no one has said the obvious?

Metafilter: a short skull and tiny forearms.
posted by asnider at 8:57 AM on May 26, 2012


Short-arms is also football scout lingo for a pass catcher who is unwilling to extend his arms and expose his ribs and belly to violence when thrown to in traffic. Dr. Z used to work in the term (or the synonym alligator-arms) into every single paragraph he wrote about Terrell Owens.
posted by bukvich at 9:17 AM on May 26, 2012


.
posted by XhaustedProphet at 9:25 AM on May 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Your favorite dinosaur sucks.
posted by dr_dank at 9:38 AM on May 26, 2012


Yeah, those are some stumpy arms. But it could be worse. At least we're not represented by a Carnotaurus, or God forbid the pathetically-armed Majungasaurus. Talk about vestigial. What the hell were those things for? The intimidating snapping of the fingers just before the final death blow?

Heh, Majungasaurus. That's its real name. I'll bet high school was a living hell for that thing.
posted by Toekneesan at 10:06 AM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Now I want to read a three part series of articles where Joe Majungasaurus traces his roots back to a Madagascan stumpy armed dinosaur but none of his relatives want to hear it; they just want to keep on pretending they are a family of long-armed dinosaurs from Portugal.
posted by elizardbits at 12:13 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is there some sort of Shrine of Awesomeness in which to enroll this thread? It has everything: dinosaurs, poetry, puns, braying, Meffiness, and even a bit of token snark!
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:08 PM on May 26, 2012


ts;dr

(too short; didn't reach)
posted by drlith at 1:46 PM on May 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm just here to register my approval and glee!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:26 PM on May 26, 2012


E. mefi: "Oooh, ahhh, that's how it always starts. Then later there's running and screaming."
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:26 PM on May 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


E. MeFi: Fossilizing beans since the Late Cretaceous
posted by tilde at 8:31 PM on May 26, 2012


If the Rex in T Rex stands for king, what does the Mefi in E Mefi actually mean?
posted by b33j at 9:28 PM on May 26, 2012


Oh embarrassment. Ignore please.
posted by b33j at 9:31 PM on May 26, 2012


Nobody remembered to link to the Mef? Tsk...
posted by Iosephus at 11:14 PM on May 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Awesome! Now I get to talk about dinosaurs in my dissertation!
posted by iamkimiam at 3:31 PM on May 27, 2012 [6 favorites]


Dinosaurs pronounce "Mefi" as (holds elbows to my waist and waves my forearms) GRAAAH!
posted by Pronoiac at 2:47 PM on May 29, 2012


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