Friday, December 17, 2010

Mamma mia, è un dinosauro!

It is Christmastime, which means it is time for me to make my annual pilgrimage to my favourite 13th-Century-Castle-that-is-also-a-Palaeontological-Museum in lovely Lerici, Italy.

Enter the Cortile dei Dinosauri to meet some friends from the Jurassic and Triassic.

A family of cynodonts relaxes on the sand.

Scutosaurus gives you the once over.

And my small thyreophoran friend Scutellosaurus steps hesitantly behind a sauropod.

The interior of the museum is also quite nice, and features many footprints from the area around Lerici. There's also a pretty nice selection of invertebrate fossils from around the world.

I feel strongly that I need to make this into a t-shirt.

You can read more about the dinosaurs of Italy in the book...the Dinosaurs of Italy, by Cristiano Dal Sasso. It is a very readable book geared to a lay audience and has wonderful information about Ciro, the remarkably well-preserved small theropod Scipionyx, and Antonio, the newly-named hadrosaur Tethyshadros.

Dal Sasso C, Signore M. 1998. Exceptional soft-tissue preservation in a theropod dinosaur from Italy. Nature 392: 383-387.

Dalla Vecchia FM. 2009. Tethyshadros insularis, a new hadrosauroid dinosaur (Ornithischia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Italy. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29:1100-1116.

And for more information on dinosaur footprints from Lerici, check out:
Nicosia U and Loi M. 2003. Triassic footprints from Lerici (La Spezia, Northern Italy). Ichnos 10:127-140.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

5 Questions for Tetsuto Miyashita

Well folks, you get two mini-interviews back to back this week! My friend and colleague Tetsuto Miyashita is a Masters student at the University of Alberta and recently published a new paper on a very interesting specimen of the tyrannosaurid dinosaur Daspletosaurus:

Miyashita T, Tanke DH, Currie PJ. 2010. Variation in premaxillary tooth count and a developmental abnormality in a tyrannosaurid dinosaur. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 55: 635-643. APP is an open access journal, so you can download the article for free!

Tetsuto measures a little Tarbosaurus at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow.

1. What inspired you to conduct this study?

When I visited Tyrrell in 2007, my co-author Darren Tanke dropped a tyrannosaur premaxilla on my lap and quizzed me: "What's wrong with this specimen?" It's got only three tooth sockets, whereas almost all theropods, including all tyrannosaurids, have four. I started wondering what could mess up such a conservative trait.

2. Why is it important to consider development when studying fossils?

If you have two different species in front of you and wonder where the differences come from, you will find an answer in development. In other words, a sequence of evolutionary transformations are a history of modifications in developmental processes. Evidence is hard to find -- you can never visualize expression of genes in fossils. You rely on inferences, or simply speculate. But developmental interpretations based on morphology are arguably the most powerful voice in the narrative of evolution, because they explain how a diversity that we see in fossils and living forms was generated.

3. Did this particular individual have enormous teeth?

Yes. The tooth sockets are 25% larger than you expect for a normal tyrannosaurid. The teeth must have been larger accordingly. It is a trade off -- you reduce the number of teeth and create a space to accommodate larger teeth.

4. How do your findings affect using tooth count as a character in phylogenetic analyses?

Two parameters affect a tooth count: space in which teeth fit in and sizes of the teeth. So, rather than simply counting teeth (which is problematic for reasons below), why not measure variation in the two parameters? When you formulate a character simply on tooth count, you have to break up often continuous variation into a few discrete states. No matter how you break it up, justifying this is difficult. On top of that, when two factors are in play, it is more to the point to treat them separately.

5. Which is the better of the two Dinosaur Provincial Park tyrannosaurids, Gorgosaurus or Daspletosaurus?

Daspletosaurus: the rarer, the more massive, and the longer forgotten. But there is an indestructible Japanese cartoon character -- Gorgo 13. For the sake of Mr. Gorgo 13, I wish Gorgosaurus was more of a match for Daspletosaurus.

(Shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia.)

Thanks, Tetsuto! Now go find the matching premaxilla to that specimen so you can tell us all about asymmetry.

Monday, December 6, 2010

5 Questions for Scott Persons

A few weeks ago my friend and colleague Scott Persons published his first ever paper, detailing the results of the first phase of his Masters research at the University of Alberta. The paper received a fair amount of media and blog attention, but I demand attention as well, so here is a mini-interview with Scott  about the paper.

(But before we get started, you should check out Scott on Daily Planet, a very popular science variety show on Discovery Canada that I was shocked to learn is not carried by the American Discovery Channel. Tragedy!)
(Sadly, the frozen dissected lizard did not make the final cut for the segment.) 

1. What inspired you to conduct this study?

The inspiration to do a project on theropod tails came the summer before I began grad school in Edmonton. I was working at the Paleon Museum in Glenrock, Wyoming, and helping to put together a display case on the predatory dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation. Included in the display were two tail vertebrae. One from an Allosaurus and one from a Torvosaurus . . . and they looked really different! (For those of you interested, one major difference is the angle of the caudal ribs. In Torvosaurus the caudal ribs are strongly angled backwards, while the caudal ribs of Allosaurus are nearly perpendicular to the neural spines.) I asked the curator, Shawn Smith, about the differences, and he told me that no one really understood the functional significances. So, that got me thinking about tails, and this study was only the first part of a much larger project investigating theropod tail morphology and function.

2. What are some of your favourite Tyrannosaurus reconstructions?

That’s hard. T. rex is the most commonly depicted dinosaur, and a lot of paleo artists, from Charles Knight to James Gurney, have given us their renditions. Two of my favorites are John Gurche’s illustration of Sue and Michael Skrepnick’s “The ‘King’ prepares to defend his meal” (I’m not sure that’s the proper title). Not only do these depictions get the anatomy right (for the most part), but they succeed in conveying a visceral sense of power and menace. Recently, my favorite is Scott Hartman’s depiction of Stan, because it was created in collaboration with my study and really shows off the beefiness of the tail.

(Scott Hartman's excellent drawing can also be seen in Persons and Currie 2010 --Victoria)

3. Could Tyrannosaurus outrun the Jeep in Jurassic Park?

Well, that depends on how fast you think the Jeep was going. John Hutchinson and Stephen Gatesy have watched this cinematic sequence closely, and they concluded that the Jeep was traveling at over 40 mph (64 kph). No, I don’t think T. rex could go that fast.

But Jurassic Park was actually pretty specific about the T. rex’s intended top speed. Early in the film Richard Attenborough says to Sam Neill “Well, we’ve clocked the T. rex at 32 miles per hour.” Could a Tyrannosaurus do 32 mph (51.5 kph)? That would be about twice as fast as a modern elephant, but not much faster than a black rhinoceros (although maximum rhino speeds are hotly debated). I think it’s important to emphasize that my study only provides one of the many pieces of evidence needed to answer this question, and I think a lot of those pieces are still missing.

However, if we want to force the issue, and if I had to place a bet at the Dino Derby, I’d bet on “yes”. But (just to hedge my bet) the T. rex that I’d enter in the race would be a sub-adult. Young tyrannosaurs were lighter and had proportionately longer shins, so they were probably significantly faster than the bulkier adults.

4. How does this relate to the idea that Tyrannosaurus rex was a scavenger rather than a predator? This is an important and timely debate.

Your sarcasm is well founded. The scavenger vs. predator debate has largely been perpetuated by paleontologist Jack Horner, who is a vocal advocate for the scavenger hypothesis. But, in his book The Complete T. rex, Horner wrote “I’m not convinced T.rex was only scavenger, though I will say so sometimes just to be contrary and to get my colleagues arguing.” – p. 218. Add to this the recent discovery of hadrosaur tail vertebrae with healed tyrannosaur bite wounds, and it’s safe to say the debate over whether T. rex was purely a scavenger is basically over (if, indeed, it ever really existed).

But, if we let ourselves be provoked by this contrarian notion, the tail study’s results are relevant. If Tyrannosaurus was a scavenger, then the big theropod wouldn’t need a large M. caudofemoralis, because it doesn’t take much athleticism to catch a rotting corpse, and a slowpoke T. rex would have been poorly adapted to chase after live prey. So, if Tyrannosaurus had a small M. caudofemoralis and was incapable of rapid locomotion, this would support the scavenger hypothesis. As it turns out, T. rex had what it took to chase and catch dinosaurs like ceratopsians (the horned dinosaurs) and hadrosaurs (the duckbilled dinosaurs) while they were still alive.

[Note from Victoria: I myself have no problem with speculating on the feeding strategies of Tyrannosaurus. However, I knew that this would be what many media sources would jump on with regards to Scott's paper, even though it is not the most interesting aspect of the study, and was correct. So there.]

5. Will it blend?

As demonstrated by Dickson et al. (2007), everything blends . . . except Chuck Norris.

Lastly, Victoria, in case your readers aren’t aware, I’d like to point out how helpful and important your work on ankylosaur tails was to this study. The theropod tail project has built directly on the caudal muscle classification scheme outlined in your 2009 paper in PLoS One.

Well Scott, with that you can occupy the same office as me for the next few weeks at least, I'd say.

You can find Scott's paper online here (PDF not available just yet though, I'm afraid). Scott also did a great guest post over at Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings which is well worth a read.
And finally, Pete would like me to point out the amusing list of results if you google 'scott persons tyrannosaur'.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In search of Cryolophosaurus.

Today my supervisor Dr. Philip Currie and his research associate and wife Dr. Eva Koppelhus embark on a two-month expedition to Antarctica as part of the larger Transantarctic Vertebrate Paleontology Project. And just what the heck are they looking for all the way down there?

This dude:

(Image by my very talented friend and colleague Robin Sissons!)

This is Cryolophosaurus ellioti, the Frozen Crested Lizard. It's an important animal for a couple of reasons: 1) it's weird, 2) it's old, and 3) it's cold. It is one of just a handful of dinosaurs known from the continent and as such it's a pretty important animal biogeographically speaking. Antarctica was not exactly warm during the Jurassic, but it was actually pretty close to its current position over the south pole and would have had extended periods of darkness and potentially cool winters. It is also from a poorly-sampled age in the evolution of theropods, the Early Jurassic, and so it can help us understand early theropod evolution.

Cryolophosaurus also has some pretty interesting anatomical features, the most notable of which is the transverse crest on the top of the skull. The crest is formed of the lacrimal and nasal bones. Cryolophosaurus is very large considering that it is Early Jurassic in age - it is of comparable size to some of the largest Ceratosaurus specimens from the Late Jurassic. A recent phylogenetic analysis showed that Cryolophosaurus is found in a clade of medium-sized Early Jurassic theropods that includes Dilophosaurus wetherilli, 'Dilophosaurus' sinensis, and Dracovenator.

You can keep up with the expedition via the Field Museum Expeditions website, which will have more information in the coming days - click on the box next to "Pete Mackovicky and Nate Smith - Dinosaurs in Antarctica" near the bottom of the map.

Update: The expedition website is now up. There is a stunning amount of resources on the website, so I'd highly recommend checking out expeditions@fieldmuseum - Beardmore Glacial Region, Antarctica.

Hammer WR, Hickerson WJ. 1994. A crested theropod dinosaur from Antarctica. Science 264 (5160): 828–830.

Smith ND, Makovicky PJ, Hammer WR, Currie PJ. 2007. "Osteology of Cryolophosaurus ellioti (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Jurassic of Antarctica and implications for early theropod evolution. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 151 (2): 377–421.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hey look, a Christmas tree!

But what's that lurking in the plastic foliage?

Why, it's a tree composed of 80% small plastic dinosaur ornaments! How lovely!
(The remaining breakdown is 10% hilarious cellphone charms, ironic because neither of us have cellphones, and 10% real ornaments given to us by our families [at least 40% of which are Disney-related in some way].)

You may wonder why a festive witch adorns the top of the tree. In Italy, Santa Claus was not really a big deal until after World War II - before then, Christmas gifts were given not on Christmas Day, but on the Epiphany, and were delivered by La Befana. Last Christmas I got my very own Christmas Witch complete with sack full of delicious candy.

Pete and I have been having a lot of fun transforming dollar store plastic animals and dinosaurs into Christmas ornaments. I also had a great set of really cool dinosaur skulls from a Safari Toob, which turned into AWESOME decorations. The set included traditional Christmas favourites such as Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor and Parasaurolophus, the slightly more obscure Carnotaurus, Dilophosaurus, and Oviraptor, and the newcomers Nigersaurus and Dracorex! Isn't that neat?

Are you getting festive with dinosaurs this year?

***and yes, I realize it's pretty early for a tree. But we had these awesome ornaments, and we were excited, and besides, why not?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Another new Korean dinosaur!

I'm happy to announce the publication of another new Korean dinosaur, Koreaceratops, by my friends and colleagues Yuong-Nam Lee, Michael Ryan, and Yoshi Kobayashi.

This little fellow was actually discovered very close to where I spent much of my summer this year, at Jeongok Harbour in Hwaseong-si (somewhat close to Jebu-do). Koreaceratops is diagnosed by some features of the ankle as well as the tall, deep tail. It's a beautiful specimen even though it lacks a skull - here's hoping that a head is found sometime!

The Dinosaur Egg Visitor Centre in Songsan has a nice model of a protoceratopsian with eggs and hatchlings, which I suppose we can now call Koreaceratops! There's also a bit of information on the specimen, although the actual fossils are not on display. You can, however, take a look at some fossil eggs both in the centre and a short walk away in situ.

I also wanted to post some pictures of the other Korean dinosaur named a few weeks ago, Koreanosaurus. I love the life reconstruction that was made for this guy!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Victoria in Victoria

In addition to visiting the Royal BC Museum last week, I also spent a bit of time wandering around Victoria. It is a very pleasant city and it was nice to wander near the ocean again, even if only for a day.

Hey! That person has the same name as me or something.

This is the Fairmont Empress Hotel, something of a landmark in Victoria. Also note the presence of a palm tree in Canada.

I stopped by the Pacific Undersea Gardens, which seems to have bad reviews on a lot of tourist sites, but that I rather liked. You go down a cool tunnel and view fish in what is essentially a fenced-off portion of the harbour. It's all sealife that can be found in the area, so they aren't necessarily as showy as tropical fish, but it was very interesting. There were lingcod, spiny rock cod, a silvery school of salmon, anemones, bright purple starfish, and kelp. The neatest part of the experience is the live theatre, where every hour a scuba diver enters part of the tank at one end of the boat and shows off crabs and starfish, feeds the fish, and plays with the amazing wolf eel (named Eli) and giant pacific octopus (named Armstrong).

Here's some video I took of the dive show! I was very excited to see the octopus. This was the first time I've seen a live octopus that I wasn't about to eat.

Friday, November 12, 2010

25 Million Years, BC.

I found myself in Victoria, British Columbia for the day, and spent some time wandering around the Royal BC Museum. Although many people don’t associate Vancouver Island with abundant fossils, there are many palaeontological treasures to be’s a few highlights:

This unusual bleb of rock is actually a tooth from a very strange type of animal called a desmostylian, and this species is called Cornwallius. There’s nothing really like desmostylians today. They’re related to proboscideans (elephants) and sirenians (manatees), but look more like hippos crossed with sea lions. They lacked flippers but lived an aquatic lifestyle. Here’s Wikipedia’s interpretation of what they looked like:

In short, they are highly unusual animals that certainly do not get enough play in the land of palaeo promotion. (Also, I may have a new favourite genus name – a related animal called Vanderhoofius. So awesome!) Cornwallius is a desmostylian from the Sooke Formation of Vancouver Island. Some Cornwallius specimens from Vancouver Island have even made their way into the Smithsonian...

Elsewhere in the museum is a nice temporary exhibit showcasing the ‘behind the scenes’ aspect of museums, with lots of interesting specimens on display from each of the Natural History departments.

Something I had been wondering about for some time was whether or not pearls could fossilize, and if so, why we weren’t finding them in the fossil record. I now have an answer – they CAN, and we DO. How neat is that?

And finally...mammoth! With real ice!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Throw Scotty a bone!

The T. rex Discovery Centre in Eastend, Saskatchewan (home of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum Fossil Research Station) is participating in the Pepsi Refresh Challenge, which could ultimately give them $100 000 for renewing their galleries. The centre is home to Scotty, perhaps the largest (or at least, most robust) Tyrannosaurus ever collected.

Although they have some excellent skulls and models on display, the T. rex Discovery Centre does not have any complete skeletons, and this is what they would like to purchase if they win the Pepsi Challenge. They are hoping to add a dromaeosaur and a Thescelosaurus to the galleries, to better represent the Saskatchewan dinosaur fauna.

Please help them out by voting daily at the Pepsi Refresh Challenge website - you need to sign up, but you won't be registered for Pepsi spam. The project with the most votes will receive the money.

The T. rex Discovery Centre is built into the side of a hill, with beautiful big windows illuminating the gallery spaces.

And where else, may I ask you, can you see the world's largest coprolite? Yes indeed, this is a half metre long Tyrannosaurus poo - you can read the Nature paper describing it here.

Vote for the project and throw Scotty a bone - they're good folks over there.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Edmonton's Sewersaurus

I was in Mongolia when this story originally appeared in the news, but I like it too much to not mention it here on the blog.

Last August, Edmonton city construction workers were digging a new sewer tunnel when they discovered dinosaur bones! My fellow ankylosaur worker Mike Burns, and Don Brinkman from the Royal Tyrrell Museum helped out at the site for about two weeks, excavating bits and pieces of Edmontosaurus and Albertosaurus. In particular, some awfully nice Albertosaurus teeth were found.

Image from the Edmonton Sun.

Mike has mentioned that it was a lot of fun to get lowered down into the tunnel each day. I suspect this was quite an unusual excavation experience - we don't usually work deep underground when digging up dinosaurs!

Overall, the material looks quite similar to a bonebed we've been excavating in the south of Edmonton for the last several years - dark black shales, and dark black bones. There's a good chance there's dinosaurs underneath us everywhere in Edmonton, but they're covered up by trees and roads and buildings and such.

Recent update in the Edmonton Sun.

Original articles at the National Post and CBC News.

A nice slideshow can be seen at the Edmonton Sun.

And there's a short video about the find at the Toronto Star.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

A visit to the Jurassic Forest.

The University of Alberta has a pretty active Palaeontological Society with undergrad, grad student, and faculty members, and when we can we try to organize palaeo-themed field trips. Lucky for us, this summer Edmonton had a very cool new dinosaur attraction open called the Jurassic Forest, so of course we had to check it out.

I should probably point out that winter arrives early in Edmonton...we had our first snowfall earlier this week.

One of the nicest things about the Jurassic Forest is that the animatronic dinosaurs are presented in what is probably close to their ‘natural’ habitat. Many of them are partially obscured by the trees and the effect can be quite convincing as you come up on these little vignettes. Here an Albertosaurus charges a herd of Styracosaurus, who wave their frills and roar.

One of the favourites was the pair of Edmontosaurus. I think it was the combination of the position in the forest, the lighting, and the fairly anatomically correct animatronics – all the details added up to really transport you back in time. Plus, Edmontosaurus may even have seen the occasional weather like this...

Another favourite was the duelling Pachycephalosaurus!

Most of the animatronics were pretty good, and Scott and I are pretty sure they are done by the same company that did the ones we saw at Dino Dino Dream Park back in Beijing this summer. The only ones I was really disappointed with were the Pteranodon, which were standing on their back legs, leaning forward, wings spread and ‘flapping’. Why won’t people show quadrupedal pterosaurs? They would still look cool!

I was also pleased to see two ankylosaurs make an appearance! Although both were labelled “Ankylosaurus”, they were clearly modeled off the British Museum’s Euoplocephalus specimen, but that’s ok. They were trying.

Tyrannosaurus closes the show at the end of the trails, of course. Somewhat bizarrely, he is roaring while eating a baby Corythosaurus and stepping on another somewhat indeterminate hadrosaur.

The Jurassic Forest also has a playground and sand pit for digging up fossils, and a multi-purpose educational room. I hear that their first summer of operation went pretty well, and I’m glad – the experience is pretty fun, and although Alberta has a lot of dinosaur attractions, we didn’t really have anything near Edmonton besides a small display at the Royal Alberta Museum. Some of the models are a little off, and there isn’t a whole lot of coherency to what dinosaurs appear in which order. But the placement of the dinosaurs in the forest is really great, there’s lots of signage about the science of palaeontology, and I think that with a tour guide for a school group this would be an excellent educational resource. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to go back in the spring or summer when it’s a bit greener!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

More Albertosaurus Bonebed Coverage

The CBC did a nice interview with Phil about the Albertosaurus Bonebed on the radio show Quirks and Quarks. You can download an mp3 of the episode here.

Previous post about the Albertosaurus Bonebed CJES volume here!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Gobi Desert Diaries: Life in Camp

In the Gobi we tended to spend most of the day (from about 8:30 am to 7pm, with a break for lunch) out prospecting in the desert. It was nice to come home to such swanky digs each evening at Camp Bugin Tsav! Because we had so many people (almost 30 crew members at one point), we had a fairly elaborate kitchen, supply, and dining tent setup, in addition to the two big supply trucks and numerous vans.

We each then had our own individual tents spaced out around the general vicinity of the big tents. Mine is the yellow tent just behind the blue one! Home sweet home! I feel like we should be getting sponsored by Mountain Equipment Co-op, since the Canadian crew uses so much of their stuff – I had a MEC tent, sleeping bag, towel, wash bag, vest, and several nice sport shirts that were a lifesaver for a salty dog like myself.

Home sweet sandy home! I took this picture after the very first night in Bugin Tsav. I was hoping to try to reduce the amount of sand that entered my tent, but was completely and utterly thwarted by a gigantic wind storm the first evening that blew sand right through the closed zippers. The storm was so strong that I had a little dune piled up on the windward side of the tent, the guidelines on the tent ripped, and I was being forcibly lifted off the ground several times that night. Several tents blew right down, and Premji’s lifted off the ground and sailed several metres with her in it! The next morning the wind was still going strong and it was quite painful to have any bare skin exposed to the sand.

On a few ferociously hot days, we spent the midday out of the sun in the big tent sorting through specimens and getting things organized.

And each evening, someone would proudly open the very exclusive Flamingo Bar for drinks and socializing! Closing time is whenever everyone goes to bed. (Yes, those are inflatable pink flamingo tent peg covers. They are very good.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Phil Currie receives Alberta Order of Excellence

Earlier this week my supervisor Phil Currie received the Alberta Order of Excellence, the province's highest order for public service. Hooray Phil!

News covereage of the event, and interviews with Phil can be found via the Edmonton Journal, The Gateway, and CBC News. (Excellent photo of Phil in The Gateway's article.)

The picture above shows Phil this summer in Mongolia, marking the location of a particularly nice sauropod footprint.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gobi Desert Diaries: All creatures great and small, part 4.

Although you wouldn’t necessarily know it from this picture, the Bactrian Camel Camelus bactrianusis is the two-humped camel found in the deserts and steppes of Mongolia. When I was growing up, the way to remember which camel was which was to turn the B of Bactrian and D of Dromedary on their sides – Bactrians have two humps, Dromedaries have one. Last winter was very harsh in Mongolia, and millions of livestock died – I wonder if this is the reason that so many camels had flopped-over humps this year.

Camel bones are some of the most common recent bones to find while out prospecting, and there was even one day where I became increasingly frustrated at the sheer volume of recent bone compared to fossil bone. This skeleton is also where I encountered my very first camel tick! They are horrible and persistant!

One of my favourite dead camel finds was a pair of feet with the foot pads still in place. That skin must be incredibly tough. The texture on the bottom of the pad was quite interesting, as well. The runner-up for dead camel finds was the Tremendous Dead Camel, which I deeply regret not photographing. It was obviously recently dead, and all of the wool and sloughed off while leaving the skin intact. I was surprised that it had not been scavenged at all.

The Natural History Museum in Ulaanbaatar has a little room dedicated to the Bactrian Camel and has this great skeleton. Much has been written about camel necks in the blogosphere lately – see SV-POW’s The Cambridge Camel is Just Plain Wrong, Maybe All the Camels are Wrong, The Oxford Camel is Just Plain Cheating, and The Paris Camel is Just Plain Dumb. I wonder what the Ulaanbaatar Camel would be?

Male Bactrians have FANGS! My guess is that these are probably used during rutting season, but I certainly would not like to be nipped by an angry camel. And camels seem to be angry, or at least somewhat irritated, most of the time.

This I do not totally understand, but I enjoy greatly.