Friday, October 7, 2011

Mesozoic Miscellany 46

Serving up a generous slice of what's hot in the dinosaur blogosphere, it's another edition of Mesozoic Miscellany. Tally ho!

If you're in Alaska, or can get there, tonight is the opening of "Dinosaurs and Robots," an art show from friends of LITC Raven Amos and Scott Elyard. Some really cool stuff from both of them, including paleoart that looks like none other you've ever seen. Click their names for more info and to take a look at what they've been working on.

The Paleo Tourist writes about one of his favorite fossils, Microraptor gui, including recollections of his time as a docent for the Field Museum hosting of the AMNH's Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries exhibition in 2007.

At Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week (affectionately known as SV-POW!), Matt Wedel shares his experience this week at the Los Angeles County Museum to examine a special alligator skull fossil. He also has praise for the museum's recent renovation, calling it "frankly phenomenal: spacious, well-lit, loads of actual material on display, skeletons you can walk all the way around, informative but unobtrusive signage, tasteful integration with existing architecture." Cannot wait to see it with my own eyes!

Another newly renovated site I can't wait to see with my own eyes: the visitor center housing the famous quarry wall at Dinosaur National Monument, which Brian Switek calls America's "real Jurassic Park" in his splendid recounting of opening day at Dinosaur Tracking. Dan Chure, who has been telling the story of the monument's visitor's center over the last few years, also writes about the day at the visitor center's blog. I was at DNM about 20 years ago, when on vacation with my dad, one of the experiences that helped make me the hopless dinophile I am. I read Jurassic Park three times during the trip and fell in love with the Rockies and the desert. Congratulations to everyone who worked on this renovation.

I'd also like to visit Triassic Park. Bill Parker writes about a trip to Argentina at Chinleana.

At Paleo Illustrata, Stu writes about one of his treasured books, Mantells' Petrifications and their Meanings, sharing many of its fine illustrations.

Albertonykus reviews the third episode of Dinosaur Revolution, which I sadly have yet to see. It's favorable review, and it sounds like a lot of good stuff to chew on for maniraptor fans.

Also regarding episode three of Dinosaur Revolution, Mike Habib writes about the portrayal of the pterodactlyoid Anhanguera in the program.

Here at LITC, my main man Marc Vincent has been writing terrific reviews of Planet Dinosaur, now airing on BBC. If you haven't checked them out, you really should.

Recently added SciAm blogger David Bressan writes about the history of the kangaroo-dinosaur analogy and the iconic status of T. rex at History of Geology, and does me the very great honor of a citation to one of my posts from last year. Great read, and thanks for the link, David!

I could write a long paragraph about one of Heinrich Mallison's recent posts at Dinosaurpalaeo, but two words will certainly suffice: Plateosaurus butt.

At the new Project Dryptosaurus site, Gary shares a hilarious vocal version of the Jurassic Park theme. One thing: I couldn't help but think of a much smaller scale, potty-mouthed version that's gone around the web. You know the one.

Mark Wildman is teasing us with a detail of a pterosaur fossil. Can't wait to see the full post about it.

72 pages after Jim Lawson began sharing his unpublished tyrant lizard tale, Paleo: Loner is done.

Dave Hone does us the immense favor of collecting all of the links to his long list of interviews with paleontography luminaries at Archosaur Musings. His latest: master Doug Henderson.

Arkansas has produced some exciting dinosaur tracks, and ReBecca Hunt-Foster has the skinny at Dinochick Blogs.

Finally, here's a very nice Gallimimus digital illustration from Paul Heaston. He writes, "I feel like the ornithomimids are being ignored in the dino-media and paleoart these days. They're cool! I gave this guy a confetti streamer tail because I wanted to."
gallimimus digital painting

You know, he has a point (though it must be noted that in the Archosaur Musings link above, Hone shares one of Doug Henderson's beauties which features Struthiomimus). The "bird mimics" don't seem to get an overwhelming amount of love right now. You know what I'd like to see? An ornithomimid triumphant over a tyrannosaur. They deserve some good PR, don't they?


  1. That Gallimimus is awesome - but should it have such advanced feathers on its arms?

    As for the 'bird-mimic triumphant' - maybe you could have Deinocheirus jabbing a tyrannosaur in the eye. I'm sure deviantArtist Durbed would oblige. ;)

  2. @Marc I'm not sure either really. I know Tom Holtz puts ornithomimids in maniraptoriformes ( but I'll admit I have no idea what that means vis a vis arm feathers. I think I just wanted to see what they'd look like. I imagine them as display structures.

  3. I think it's a fair speculation if the maniraptor thing pans out.

  4. Thanks for the feature btw, and the great links---Geez, Doug Henderson is awesome! So cool to see an interview with him-- he's always seemed like the Salinger of paleoart.

  5. David and Paul: if that were the case, would vaned crown feathers like these be admissible, perhaps?

    Beautiful Gallimimus, Paul. :D

  6. No problem, happy to feature your stuff whenever I can, Paul. Always a kick to see a new one pop up in my Flickr contacts!

  7. Niroot: Thanks, and absolutely those vaned crown feathers are acceptable (according to my nonexistant expertise!)

    But seriously, I've seen feather-armed tyrannosaurs a-plenty, and Holtz and others have them as more basal coelurosaurs than ornithomimids, so who knows? I would assume vaned feathers appeared before flight, but when and where is not my area of expertise.

  8. Pennaceous wing feathers are known only in aviremigian maniraptors (oviraptorosaurs, deinonychosaurs, and avialians); even therizinosaurs appear to have only had long protofeathers (or plumaceous feathers) on the arms. As ornithomimosaurs weren't maniraptors proper, it looks as though they didn't have pennaceous feathers either, but protofeathers on the arms are deep within the realm of possibility (even probability).

    Very nice image regardless; has to be one of my favorite Gallimimus depictions now.

  9. Thanks Albertonykus for the educational comment. I'm learning a lot more about this stuff thanks to you guys. I've revised the restoration a bit to show it without the pennaceous wing feathers.

  10. Albertonykus comes through again! Best comment thread ever.

  11. @Paul Heaston: Love the revised version. Now it's even better! Very nice work.

  12. David, thank you for the mention! The show was apparently a hit (aaand we met some folk who were only there because they saw the mention on Boing Boing, too).

    For those interested, it runs all the way through October. So there's still time if anyone in Alaska missed the First Friday opening!

  13. "As for the 'bird-mimic triumphant' - maybe you could have Deinocheirus jabbing a tyrannosaur in the eye. I'm sure deviantArtist Durbed would oblige."

    Indeed. :D

    Really nice picture! I like the ostrich like feathery in the tip of the tail.

  14. Well, David, your wish is, once again, our command (O great Solomon). But I'm afraid I am the rather 'warped' genie of the lot. Pilsator's offering is by far the more superior -- not least because it reflects a probable situation. :D As will Durbed's be once he has finished. ;)


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