I found something similar on my plate after my roast last night, bit smaller than that though. Dinosaur anatomy had an amazing ability to scale down to birds (= therapod dino) and scale up to a sauropod femur like in the picture.
Even more amazing though than the ability of the anatomy to scale, is what vastly different physiologies such different beasties must of had. 'Reptiles' including dinos & birds encompass every sort of different energetic strategy, from small low energy lizards, though to the super high performance metabolism of birds, including the giantism of low metabolism sauropods, and the big therapods with an 'in between' sort of metabolism.
The survivors we see today are small animals reflecting two ends of the metabolic spectrum amongst reptiles. The cretaceous giants all died, always a bad time to be big when the biosphere collapses. At the low metabolism end there are the 'classic' reptiles, lizards/snakes/turtles along with our degenerate low metabolism crocs. The other survivors were the naturally small but high metabolism & high performance birds. All the great archosaurs with physiologies falling between these two patterns died. Small high performance maniraptors couldn't cut despite having an almost bird like size, metabolism, feathers gliding and possibly even flying. Pterosaurs couldn't make it, despite flying. Ancestral crocodilians with their fully four chambered circulation didn't make it, only those crocs that evolved low metabolic physiology and matching lifestyle.
Palaeontologists identify things other than small size amongst the cretaceous survivors. Semiaquatic life style, generally carnivores or omnivores with a bit of a penchant for insects, and presumably, in the case of reptiles, us furballs. Interestingly lizards seem to be especially adept at catching insects while snakes seem especially adapted to catching mammals (infrared, fast acting poisons on mammalian muscle). Whoops, that's my PhD.
This paper links the rise of dinos 215 million years ago to an increase in oxygen levels in the late Triassic, which went up to 19%. Oxygen levels over time have been a bit controversial, many techniques use isotope ratios and from that O2 levels are 'derived'. This technique is seemingly a direct one and should be more reliable. Measured 02 from atmospheric bubbles in amber
Scientists hail it as perhaps the best-preserved dinosaur specimen ever uncovered. You can’t even see its bones.
That’s because, 110 million years later, those bones remain covered by the creature’s intact skin and armor.
Indeed, the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology in Alberta, Canada recently unveiled a dinosaur so well-preserved that many have taken to calling it not a fossil, but an honest-to-goodness “dinosaur mummy.” With the creature’s skin, armor, and even some of its guts intact, researchers are astounded at its nearly unprecedented level of preservation. “We don’t just have a skeleton,” Caleb Brown, a researcher at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, told National Geographic. “We have a dinosaur as it would have been.”
When this dinosaur — a member of a new species named nodosaur — was alive, it was an enormous four-legged herbivore protected by a spiky, plated armor and weighing in at approximately 3,000 pounds.
Today, the mummified nodosaur is so intact that it still weighs 2,500 pounds.
How the dinosaur mummy could remain so intact is still something of a mystery, although as CNN says, researchers suggest that the creature “may have been swept away by a flooded river and carried out to sea, where it eventually sank. Over millions of years on the ocean floor, minerals took the place of the dinosaur’s armor and skin, preserving it in the lifelike form now on display.”
Although the nodosaur dinosaur mummy was so well-preserved, getting it into its current display form was still an arduous undertaking. The creature was, in fact, first discovered in 2011 when a crude oil mine worker accidentally discovered the specimen while on the job.
Since that lucky moment, it has taken researchers 7,000 hours over the course of the last six years to both tests the remains and prepare them for display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where visitors now have the chance to see the closest thing to a real-life dinosaur that the world has likely ever seen.