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The QueueJul 13, 2022 12:00 pm CT

The Queue: Meraxes gigas

So let’s talk about Meraxes gigas, the latest of the Carcharodontosauridae to be described. As you might expect from the gigas on the species name, it was a member of the Giganotosaurinae, the group that contained old Giganotosaurus carolinii herself.


So what’s to say about Meraxes, besides the fact that they were named after a Dragon from the A Song of Ice and Fire books? Well, they were big — the mostly intact head of the animal is 1.27 meters, making it slightly larger than that of Acrocanthosaurus who wasn’t exactly tiny either. Other skeletal features also seem around the same size as Acrocanthosaurus, supporting this idea. Estimates range around the 5 ton mark, so while it wasn’t the biggest carnivorous theropod we’ve ever found, it’s near the top.

The specimen is one of the most complete of the Carcharodontidae yet found, including most of the skull, some neck vertebrae, much of the ribs, the shoulders and forelimbs, and a big portion of its back and almost a complete look at the legs and a good chunk of the tail. And yes, it does have rather small arms, but while so far a lot of press compares it to Tyrannosaurus rex, the fact is that small forelimbs have evolved convergently in four theropod lineages and it’s easy to see that none of the Carcharodontidae have what I would call whopping big forearms.

So what we have here is a very cool new species that helps complete our look at the evolution of theropods, gives us a more detailed look at the anatomy of the Carcharodontidae as a whole, and also means you can imagine a whole new species of dinosaur being presented in a Jurassic Park movie as having fought T Rex even though they never would have met because they were separated by millions of years and thousands of miles. Oh, and there’s already cool paleoart of them out there.


Suggestion for a WRUP type question for the BW writers – what is the strangest thing you have in your main character’s bag/bank that you kept and have no current use for? (I have a full stack of gently squeezed toads in more than one character).

I have an Undying Deathroach that I haven’t learned and have no intention to that I keep in my bags for absolutely no reason at all. Oh, and a Spectral Essence trinket. I don’t think I’ve been to Caer Darrow in years.


Which of these Diablo tattoos would you get if you had to get one?

I have a few tattoos that I designed myself and one for the band Dirty Rotten Imbeciles aka DRI from my misspent youth. Even my janky DRI tattoo is better than any of those, in my opinion. But if I had to pick one, the middle helmet on the bottom row would probably be the one I went with.


do you think we’ll see a resurgence of the black dragonflight in the next expansion? If there’s anywhere in the world we might find a stash of black dragon eggs, it’s the Dragon Isles, and Wrathion knows how to purify Old God corruption. So it seems possible we could see the flight restored. What do you think?


Heck, I even think it’s something Alexstrasza would want to help with. Despite everything she’s been through at the hands of Neltharion/Deathwing, having the Black Flight back and able to take up their ancient task, headed up by Dragons like Wrathion and Ebyssian who are aware of the threat the Old Gods pose, could be a really good thing for Dragonkind, Azeroth as a whole, and everybody living on it.

We know that Neltharion created the Dracthyr and left them on the Isles, where the loss of magic put them into some kind of torpor for millennia. Maybe he left a clutch of eggs from himself and Sintharia on the Isles before he went mad. Perhaps he even realized he was going mad, and left them behind in a sealed vault he himself couldn’t access as a way to safeguard the flight’s continued existence.

Whatever happens, I hope we do see some kind of resurgence for not just the Black Flight but all the Dragonflights.


Q4tQ: Why is Arms so damn awesome?

Like, I swear I’m not baiting a Rossi question, but it’s just so damn nice. I’m not doing keys or anything, just soloing, but Cleave is a monster ability when paired with Condemn, Condemn, and some more Condemn, and then Overpower and Mortal Strike.

It’d almost make me make my Draenei warrior into Arms (for that sweet, sweet polearm flip animation), if he wasn’t my very, very, very angry character.

Well, for one, it’s the stronger of the two DPS specs at the moment. It’s not really even all that close. But that’s not the only, or even the primary reason, for Arms being a fun and versatile spec to play.

For starters, it has a really good suite of options for both single target and AoE DPS. Between Cleave and Sweeping Strikes it’s very solid, and there’s a really potent and fun to use array of options for bosses and other single target damage situations. Mobility isn’t bad (for a Warrior, anyway, we’re not talking a Demon Hunter here) and Die by the Sword is a nice oops exrement button for when you suddenly have twenty mobs when you only meant to get one.

Also, it’s a solid archetype. While the Fury Warrior is basically the Diablo Barbarian class, the Arms Warrior is the old Master of Arms archetype — focusing on a single trusty weapon and using Rage not as the unleashed fury of the, well, Fury Warrior, but instead as cold, enraged determination to bring pain to the enemy with the power of a hammer flattening metal on an anvil and the precision of a surgeon.

I think both Arms and Fury need a little love in Dragonflight, though, because both are lower than I like to see in terms of raid DPS. Very curious to see how the talent tree shakes out.

Okay, that’s the Queue for today. Here’s another really good piece of paleoart of Meraxes gigas, for folks who like that kind of thing. Like me. I like that kind of thing.

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