Friday, February 25, 2011

Mesozoic Miscellany #21

The Big Stories

Brontomerus thundered onto the scene this week, with two posts at SV-POW introducing the new early Cretaceous sauropod. It's gotten a lot of press, including pieces by Superoceras, Pterosauria, 80 Beats, Dinosaur Tracking, Live Science, Discovery, Everything Dinosaur, Palaeoblog, and me. Here's a fantastic short video from University College London, featuring paper co-author Mike Taylor.

That's not all, though. The journal Palaios announced that the March issue will include a study that looks at the purported burrow in which a specimen of the hypsilophodontid Oryctodromeus was entombed. From the abstract, "To test whether this skeletal arrangement reflected in situ burial from within or transport into the burrow, we constructed a half-scale burrow model using PVC pipes and conducted a series of sediment infilling experiments with appropriately scaled, disarticulated rabbit skeletons." Cool, Mythbusters-esque way to test this!

The seed cones of conifers were also the subject of recent research soon to be published in the Proceedings fo the Royal Society B. Andrew Leslie of the University of Chicago looked at the evolutionary trends of seed cones since the Pennsylvanian, noting an increased investment in protective structures since the Jurassic, which may be tied to the feeding behavior of the giant sauropods. Read Switek's piece at Dinosaur Tracking.

The Tate Geological Museum at Casper College in Wyoming has announced the discovery of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which looks like it's going to be a wonderful specimen. They promise to follow the excavation closely beginning this summer.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Saurian: I definitely relate to Saurian's appreciation for the scientists, writers, and artists who brought the new ideas of the Dinosaur Renaissance to light, as well as his continuing love of all of the obsolete representations of years past.

The Bite Stuff: Jaime Headden looks at those wonderfully long vertebrae of Spinosaurus and suggests an alternate alignment, giving the big lug a very different look.

The Great Cretaceous Walk: Tony Martin shares memories of the Dinosaur Dreaming coastal dig site in Australia.

Paleochick's Digs: Watch some knucklehead get his rear-end handed to him by an enraged mother duck.

ART Evolved: A simple tutorial for creating silhouettes from photos of wildlife, written to help folks contribute to PhyloPic. I'm a pen tool man myself, but it's an acquired taste! Also a must read: Scott Person's guide to reconstructing theropod tails.

House of Bones: Jeff Martz begins a series on taxonomy and systematics.

Whales, Camps, and Trails: Big thanks to Michael Ryan at Palaeoblog for sharing a link to this new blog written by Clive Coy and dedicated to legendary dino-hunter Roy Chapman Andrews. While you're at it, check out the University of Alberta's slideshow of a recent Cryolophosaurus excavation in Antarctica, shared by Coy and Ryan.

Twit Picks
Stuff I linked to at Twitter in the last week or so:
Thank you to I Effing Love Dinosaurs for sharing this piece by illustrator Joey Chou, a nice take on the meme of titanic fossilized beasts hidden just under the Earth's surface.

Paleoart of the Week

The wonderful Brontomerus restoration got a lot of attention this week, but I'd also like to draw your attention to Andrey Atuchin's wonderful Europasaurus, created for the International Europasaurus Paleo-Artwork Contest.

Europasaurus by Andrey Atuchin, via DeviantArt. Used with the artist's permission.

Outrageously Off-Topic Indulgence

With gusto, I recommend Dan Carlin's podcasts. Insightful political and historical commentary from a firmly independent point of view.


  1. Really like the sensitive colours in Audrey's Europasaurus.
    Actually, between that Joey Chou's illustration and Angie Rodrigues' Olorotitan it's been a pretty good week in Paleo Illustration!

  2. Without a doubt! That Olorotitan is great, as is all of her stuff.


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