Friday, October 26, 2012

Mesozoic Miscellany 55: SVP Fallout

'Tis the season for SVP news and roundups! The great gathering of vertebrate paleontologists has, as always, led to a windfall of interesting stories, some of which can be found below. You may notice that our fearless leader David is not handling this. The truth is, he's insanely busy, so I'm stepping in to help pick up the slack. Let's take a look at what's new in the world of dinosaur paleontology!

Brian Switek's Dinosaur Tracking has a quick roundup of the annual SVP meeting. It sounds like there's some interesting research coming down the pipeline. Torvosaurus embryos? Evidence of giant Oviraptors in North America?  Mixed crocodile and dinosaur nests? Can't wait.

Microraptor's ability to fly has been somewhat in contention since it was discovered, and a new study is suggesting a method by which they might have flown. Scientific American has a nice writeup. Head on over to Science News as well to see a different take. Don't forget to admire the gorgeous David Krentz digital model on both.

It's long been assumed that bone headed dinosaurs used their skulls to hammer opponents, though as always, there's been a fight over what exactly this entailed. By studying injury patterns on skulls and skeletons, the SVP blog notes, it's possible to infer some behaviors in different species of pachycephalosaurid.

Ornithomimus specimens in Canada have been found with different stages of feather growth, including feathery wings. Brian Switek breaks the find down for those in a hurry, and Time's Science Blog gives it a slightly longer treatment. Not Exactly Rocket Science and New Scientist also both have the story.  (For a hilariously out of date Ornithomimus, stroll on over to The Dinosaur Toy Blog and enjoy the monstrosity.)

How did Tyrannosaurus dismember a dead Triceratops? Nature's blog--and new research-- suggests a likely scenario.

Has the true identity of "Predator X" been bugging you? Over at Laelaps, Brian Switek unmasks this pliosaur of mystery.

To lip, or not to lip? Jaime Headden has an ongoing and very interesting series of posts exploring soft tissue reconstruction in dinosaurs. It's lengthy, but the comment threads are lively and the posts are well illustrated. Part onepart two, Turtle meme dance break, part three, and part four.

It's not all serious business at SVP. Pseudoplocephalus spins a tale of whoopee cushion chairs and dance parties. The more I read these roundups, the more determined I am to actually go one of these days.

And finally, Julio Lacerda delivers what may be one of my new favorite bits of paleoart. His website is here; his DeviantArt page is here. He's awesome and you should check him out.

That about wraps it up for this news cycle! What are you folks most excited about?


  1. Scott Hartman also tackled the Ornithomimus news:

  2. "What are you folks most excited about?"

    I'm definitely most looking forward to the research done in Portugal. It's not just my land, the findings are quite exciting.

    1. I have to agree. I didn't make it to the meeting this year, but I view the finds there with more interest then just about anything else announced.

  3. Wonderful job, Asher. Thank you.


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