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New Dinosaur Named After the Eye of Sauron

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the a-dinosaur-does-not-simply-stomp-into-mordor dept.

Lord of the Rings 69

SchrodingerZ writes "95 million years ago, the dinosaur Sauroniops pachytholus roamed northern Africa. Fossils, originally found in southern Morocco, only consisted of the upper skull, which included the eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies. Using skull comparison, it is theorized the two-legged meat-eater would have been 40 feet tall, challenging the Tyrannosaurus Rex in height. More fossils are needed for a full analysis, but so far it is very clear this dinosaur towered over many."

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No Resemblance at All in My Opinion (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 2 years ago | (#41917477)

the eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies

Nowhere in the article did they say that. In fact, if you watch this Slate video [youtu.be] there's not much physically related between the extrapolated skeleton and the film adaptation of the Eye of Sauron -- however they did name the dinosaur after that deity/character. The reason they named it after Sauron is that all we know of this predator now is its eye (really just a piece of the socket) and the idea of a large predator being known only for its eye reminded the archeologists of Sauron in the Lord of the Rings.

I think the submitter was confused by the hyperlink in the article that was designed to generate more page clicks for NatGeo:

"The idea of a predator that is physically known only as its fierce eye reminded me of Sauron, in particular as depicted in Peter Jackson's movies," Cau explained. (See a picture of an alien planet that resembles the Eye of Sauron.)

(emphasis mine)

Re:No Resemblance at All in My Opinion (3, Funny)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 2 years ago | (#41917631)

I had a nerd-gasm for nothing?

Re:No Resemblance at All in My Opinion (2)

somersault (912633) | about 2 years ago | (#41918625)

Meh, I knew you were faking it anyway

Re:No Resemblance at All in My Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917735)

National Geographic controlled by News Corp/Rupert Murdoch & family is a travesty to science. R.M. doesnt do conflict of interest, he buys you out.

Re:No Resemblance at All in My Opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41918339)

It's paleontologists, not archeologists.

Missed chance (5, Interesting)

Fishead (658061) | about 2 years ago | (#41917503)

Should have called it "Sauronsaur".

Re:Missed chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917695)

Should have called it "Sauronsaur".

Sauropods.

Sauron's foot?!?!

Re:Missed chance (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#41918539)

Nah, that would be "Sauropeds."

Re:Missed chance (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917743)

how about Dinosauron?

Re:Missed chance (2)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#41918527)

Tyrannosauron?

Re:Missed chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41919509)

Sauereticuli Tyrannokraut

Re:Missed chance (1)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#41919539)

But then discussing Sauronsaur on Sauronsaur violence would be rendered utterly silly.

Naming creatures after fictional charactesr? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917509)

Wow, the nerds HAVE taken over!

I won't worry until I start seeing names like "therewerenofuckingelvesathelmdeepiop".

Re:Naming creatures after fictional charactesr? (4, Funny)

Canazza (1428553) | about 2 years ago | (#41917811)

Hanshotfirstatops

Re:Naming creatures after fictional charactesr? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41918337)

I bet it would sound more scientific if you translated it into Quenya first.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917525)

I totally forgot how awesome dinosaurs are, until I saw this [nationalgeographic.com] . I had the same kind thing in poster form when I was a youngling.

Obligatory (1)

damien_kane (519267) | about 2 years ago | (#41917823)

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41921743)

Indeed. As great as our computers and cars and busy lives are, nothing we do will be as impressive as the raptor in that comic, or a plain ol' T-rex fighting a triceratops.

It's also pretty darned neat that the little starlings and pigeons I walk by each day have dino DNA in them.

New dinosaur!? (4, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#41917527)

I find it hard to wrap my mind around calling a 95 million year old fossil "new."

Re:New dinosaur!? (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#41917555)

In the context of archeology/paleontology, "new" usually means "newly discovered" or "newly classified". Same for astronomy, geology and other fields that deal with time on a scale that makes the whole of human civilization the blink of a Sauroniops's eye.

Re:New dinosaur!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917727)

How about ~6000 years old? Would that be new?

Re:New dinosaur!? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 2 years ago | (#41918269)

In fact, discovery of a new dinosaur would be proof that the dinosaur bones have been faked all along. :-)

Full circle (3, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#41917533)

Sauron was named after dinosaurs, so why not?

Lets name some trees aftwr treants, while we're at it, and name some hobbled kid Bilbo.

Re:Full circle (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | about 2 years ago | (#41917605)

I thought it was because he was always so...saur on Mondays.

Re:Full circle (5, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 2 years ago | (#41917733)

Sauron was named after dinosaurs, so why not?

No, he wasn't. "Sauron" has a meaning in Tolkien's invented language Quenya, namely "foul". Tolkien was likely inspired in this by Old Norse saur "urine, filth". See Tolkien's etymologies in The Lost Road [amazon.com] . In a letter to one Mr. Rang, Tolkien explicity disavowed any connection to the Greek word for "lizard" (and in fact the Proto-Elvish form didn't even have an initial s-).

Re:Full circle (3, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41917911)

The fact that comments like this can get modded up highly is the reason why I'm still coming back to slashdot.

Re:Full circle (1, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | about 2 years ago | (#41918545)

Yeah, you could bottle the virginity here and sell it to the rich and sexually jaded.

Re:Full circle (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 2 years ago | (#41918885)

Really? This tired old joke yet again? You're going with "Computer geeks can't get girls!" in this age when the name "Bill" is almost always followed by "and Melinda"? When Mark Zuckerberg is married, but if he weren't, he could probably walk into a room and pick any girl he wants? When geek girl is the new chic, and the goddess Felicia Day proudly proclaims, "I'm the One That's Cool [youtube.com] "?

The 1980s John Hughes geek caricatures called and want their stereotypes back, because I've got news for you: Nowadays, we are the rich and sexually jaded.

Re:Full circle (1, Funny)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#41919747)

Gates and Mark got those women by not being creepy, social retards like the vast majority of Slashdotters are. Felicia Day is also not a creepy, social retard.

Re:Full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41921829)

Gates and Mark got those women by not being creepy, social retards like the vast majority of Slashdotters are. Felicia Day is also not a creepy, social retard.

But she does play one on youtube.

Re:Full circle (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#41921857)

Yes. Because creepy and socially retarded is just "moody and interesting" but without the billions of dollars.

1980's called (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41919893)

I had a conversation with the 1980's the other day. They told me that they don't want anything back and we can keep it.

Nasty... (3, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41918511)

I think we get that Tolkien had it in for technology, but he was hardly subtle about it. When I was interviewed for Durham, (UK university) I had a most interesting discussion with the college admissions tutor about C P Snow and the "two cultures" - the deep separation between science and the arts in the UK. He thought that people like Tolkien really did not understand civilisation at quite a deep level, and were afraid of technology because it had led to social mobility - the middle and upper classes didn't like the way that engineers and the companies they started made so much money, and they couldn't rely on "connections" to get their children into them - mathematical and practical ability was needed.

On this reading, Tolkien's creation of Sauron as an embodiment of evil is just the British class system at work.

All the "good guys" in Tolkien are one percenters; even the Baggins are very rich. So you could say that Tolkien was a kind of Republican shock-jock, he just didn't think of writing that Sauron was actually born in Kenya, and was a Muslim Communist.

I like the Terry Pratchett version [plot spoiler alert], in which the entire plot of LOTR turns out to have occurred in a backward, barbaric country, and missionaries are sent out to rescue the surviving Orcs.

Re:Nasty... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41918911)

While you may not be entirely incorrect, I have read a fair bit of Tolkien in my time, and my interpretation for his disdain of technology was much more environmental. He disliked the pollution and destruction of the environment and preferred much more pastoral scenes of life. He was also greatly influenced by his time spent in the trenches of World War 1. In fact, one of the defining qualities of "evil" in Middle-Earth is its propensity for tearing up the earth and building machines that belch smoke (note Orthanc and Saruman).

Really? (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41920037)

You do know that he lived in Oxford, in an urban environment, and that the original of Fangorn is a small clump of trees in the Fellows' Garden of his college? Tolkien wanted a sanitised, managed environment; but he wanted other people to pay for it.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41924453)

Fair enough, though you could have noticed that I did not dismiss your argument but instead offered a supplementary one. Not everything can or needs to reduced to a single issue. To be more explicit, I think it was a combination of class and environmental concerns (among other issues), especially since both were changing quite rapidly at the time. Overall, though, I think it primarily boils down to a man pining over an idyllic time that never really existed. Like I do sometimes.

Also, (minor quibble), Sam was a gardener, Frodo's servant, and not a one percenter. Though of course his eventual inheritance of the Baggins' wealth changed that.

Furthermore, I bid adieu to to this conversation, though I will read any reply you choose to leave eventually.

Finally, (on topic), the estimation of the dinosaur (predator?) standing 40 feet tall is truly awe-inspiring and reminds me to be thankful of whatever changed to make animals smaller.

Re:Really? (2)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#41928753)

Finally, (on topic), the estimation of the dinosaur (predator?) standing 40 feet tall is truly awe-inspiring and reminds me to be thankful of whatever changed to make animals smaller.

I thought that too, but it turns out it's not 40 feet tall, but 40 feet long. So, it's more on the same scale as T. Rex rather than towering over it.

Re:Full circle (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41917815)

If I parented a dwarf I would totally call him Bilbo.

Re:Full circle (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 2 years ago | (#41918421)

If I parented a dwarf I would totally call him Bilbo.

Your nerd card, please. You are hereby sentenced to 6 months of remedial training in the systematics and taxonomy of Middle Earth species. You may reapply for your nerd card dependent on the success of your training.

Re:Full circle (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 years ago | (#41918963)

Real life Earth little people are not called hobbits, they are called dwarfs. But real life dwarfs are more likely to look like a hobbit. If I wanted the child to grow a large beard and work in a mine I would call him Gimli.

Re:Full circle (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41926013)

If I wanted the child to grow a large beard and work in a mine I would call him Gimli.

Yes, but if you wanted him to be awesome, get all the chicks, and totally rule, you would have called him Thorin.

Re:Full circle (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41918997)

Why would you give a Dwarf a Hobbit name? Name hime Glowan or Gimly!

Re:Full circle (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#41921977)

Was just about to post this. Instead, I would say, give the parent some mod points.

eye bones connected to the head bones (2, Insightful)

Dr. Tom (23206) | about 2 years ago | (#41917561)

One has only to look at the sclerotic plates found in the eyes of birds to realize that they are dinosaurs.

Not exactly (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | about 2 years ago | (#41918837)

They are what some of the dinosaur lines evolved into.

Re:eye bones connected to the head bones (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 years ago | (#41921921)

Whut? Nonsense. Not that they aren't (at least closely related) but there's more to it than that.

Picture a T. Rex trying to put on the Ring (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917563)

Umm, ahh...

Ooops.

Aaahhh.

DAMNIT!

A sequel to the movie (5, Funny)

concealment (2447304) | about 2 years ago | (#41917569)

If you tell Peter Jackson, we'll get that Jurassic-Park-with-Hobbits tie-in movie we always wanted.

Re:A sequel to the movie (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917705)

If you tell Peter Jackson, we'll get that Jurassic-Park-with-Hobbits tie-in movie we always wanted.

Ahhh. Now we know what George Lucas is going to do with his $4 billion...

Re:A sequel to the movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41918223)

Until the project gets handed to Disney, at which point it'll be Jedi Hobbits trying to escape from a theme park based around velociraptor-riding Nazgul with lightsabres.

Re:A sequel to the movie (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | about 2 years ago | (#41918881)

velociraptor-riding Nazgul with lightsabres

I think I own that t-shirt

Re:A sequel to the movie (1)

epSos-de (2741969) | about 2 years ago | (#41926725)

Frodosaurus will be the winner of that film.

What "eerie looking eye socket"? (4, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41917577)

Has the submitter just made this bit up?

eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron

Firstly I'm not sure how much an eye socket could resemble the Eye of Sauron, except that it might be round, and secondly there's no mention or pictures of eye sockets in the article, so what gives?

Re:What "eerie looking eye socket"? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#41917677)

Oh, wait, here we go:

"The idea of a predator that is physically known only as its fierce eye reminded me of Sauron,"

So... yeah, not because it looked like Sauron, but because it had an eye.

Re:What "eerie looking eye socket"? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 2 years ago | (#41920365)

Here I was expecting some sort of bone blades on either side of the eye, and they haven't even got a complete eye socket. This is what I hate about paleontology. They get one tiny skull fragment and it's "New dinosaur found", "8 inch, razor sharp, serrated teeth, like steak knives", "Stood as tall as T-Rex". It's like someone feeling a few raindrops and going "storm of the century", "massive flooding expected", etc. Chill. You don't have enough data to make those claims. You probably don't even have enough data to verify that this is a new species of dinosaur.

Wrong science (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about 2 years ago | (#41917635)

Now the next dinosaur movie/documentary about South African dinosaurs will be filmed in New Zealand.

Apple will sue (2)

gsgriffin (1195771) | about 2 years ago | (#41917665)

as they believe that they have first rights to anything with an 'i' in

This is why the LOTR films are good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917667)

Because if we only had the books to go by we would have no idea what they all looked like unless it was written in the book.

Re:This is why the LOTR films are good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41918509)

Because if we only had the books to go by we would have no idea what they all looked like unless it was written in the book.

Wow, seriously? People have been "seeing" the Eye of Sauron for YEARS! It's called imagination. Do we really need to canonize Peter Jackson's view of it as the "one true look"? No, I think not. Please turn your TV set off and pickup the books. Thank you.

Weird Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917753)

I was just excited to see a New Dinosaur. I never thought they'd re-evolve!

One Dinosaur to Rule them all... (2)

Tilgore Krout (22720) | about 2 years ago | (#41917777)

...One Dinosaur to find them,
One Dinosaur to bring them all and in the darkness eat them
In the Time of Cretaceous where the Shadows lie.

Stupid Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41917827)

Eyeofsaurrr...

Paleontology has come full circle (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#41919073)

The earliest fossil hunters were all about blowing stuff up then marketing the remains as attractions. Well, what goes around comes around.

This lot have dug up one partial skull fragment, and some grant-hungry mouthwhore is now spouting off "ZOMFG bigger than T-Rex! Look, here it is eating Spinosaurs which we all know from Jurassic Park ate T-Rexes! Totes true, bro! Plus, it's called... uh... ChuckNorrorsaurus. Or whatever the kids are into these days. Really, we don't give a damn."

Pretty sad and pathetic, when it comes down to it, that science has to prostitute itself like that.

Re:Paleontology has come full circle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41921343)

When was the last time you had to write a grant proposal to get funding for your life's work? In a time when funding agencies have zero tolerance for curiosity, scientists are trying to make any connection they can to the "real" world.

40 feet *long*, not 40 feet tall (1)

Colin Douglas Howell (670559) | about 2 years ago | (#41921877)

The story says it was estimated to be 40 feet *long*. 40 feet *tall* would have been mind-boggling huge for a predatory dinosaur. Only the very largest of dinosaurs, all plant-eating sauropods, reached such heights.

Peter Jackson is mai waifu (1)

partyguerrilla (1597357) | about 2 years ago | (#41923065)

which included the eerie looking eye socket which resembles the Eye of Sauron from the Lord of the Rings movies.

Tolkien reportedly spinning in his grave at the moment.

Re:Peter Jackson is mai waifu (1)

Woldry (928749) | about 2 years ago | (#41943199)

As if he weren't already, over dwarf-tossing jokes and blond Legolas.
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