Seventy million years, and organic material remains. A new paper in PLoS ONE details the preservation of soft tissue in a mosasaur humerus. A variety of analysis techniques lead the authors to conclude "that primary organic molecules, including collagen or its degradation products, are preserved in the fibrous bone tissues" of a Prognathodon held at the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique. More at Palaeoblog , Life as We Know It, and Discovery News.
Basal Archosaur Phylogeny!
In another open source gem, Stirling Nesbitt of the American Museum of Natural History has published a monumental new take on the phylogeny of basal archosaurs in a paper that will keep folks busy for a while. Mike Taylor of SV-POW stands in awe of the scope of Nesbitt's research.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
New Boneyard Blog Carnival this week! Head over to Life as We Know It to read the newest edition of the world's only paleontology blog carnival.
Also on the topic of the Boneyard, please read today's post at the Boneyard's official blog, concerning the state of the carnival and my thoughts on its utility and future. If you write a paleo blog and dig the idea of blog carnivals, it will be of particular interest to you.
I think I can see the wheels turning as Brian Switek works on his coming book project, titled Date with a Dinosaur. At Dinosaur Tracking, he's been dealing a lot with pop culture and changing public conceptions of dinosaurs. This week, he reviewed March of the Dinosaurs and an 80's documentary featuring folks from the Smithsonian, and wrote about how the scarcity of complete dinosaur skeletons hampers our understanding of their world.
The May gallery at ART Evolved is posted, celebrating one of my favorite families of dinosaurs, the noble hadrosaurs. Lots of top notch work in this one, but a bit more on that in a few seconds...
Scott Sampson has written another meditation on how we can create a more visceral connection between human culture and nature at Whirlpool of Life, which prompted a nice introspective response from Stu Pond at Paleo Illustrata.
Saurian reflected on the recent passing of dinosaur researcher Harley Garbani.
Matt Martyniuk has written more on the challenges of reconstructing Hesperornis accurately.
Must read: Pseudoplocephalus has a pointed critique of "Best and Worst" dinosaur name lists. Big props from me to you, Victoria!
At TetZoo, Darren Naish has written a follow-up to his February Darwinopterus post.
Links I've shared on Twitter in the last week or so:
- Paul Heaston's beautiful new drawing of Monolophosaurus jiangi
- The sounds dinosaurs made? Whatever you say, Dinosaur Gardens.
- Check out page 6 of 11 of Austin Madison's "Terrordactyl," appearing in the compliation Afterworks 3 this summer.
- The biggest, baddest dinos still rule - Macleans.ca
- Chinleana: Postosuchus v.2.0 by Jeff Martz. I love his reconstructions of Arizona's triassic inhabitants.
- At Paleoexhibit, Nobu digs into Muzquizopteryx coahuilensis and the other nyctosaurid pterosaurs. Some of his best.
Easy way to go, I suppose, but I'll pick one of the featured pieces from this week's hadrosaur gallery at ART Evolved. Here's Craig Dylke's Corythosaurus illustration, a beautiful and atmospheric piece. Nice work!
Originally shared at ART Evolved, © Craig Dylke
Outrageously Off-Topic Indulgence
I've mentioned a few times here that I'm a complete podcast junkie. I start my day by lining up what I'll listen to as I bang out book covers. A favorite recent discovery is WTF with Marc Maron. It's hard to pick a favorite among his interviews, which are long and conversational and honest, but Ken Jeong's appearance took all sorts of surprising and emotional turns. I used to watch Maron on Comedy Central's Short Attention Span Theater in the early nineties, then I sort of forgot about the dude, and now he does this incredible interview show. Awesome.