Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mesozoic Miscellany 66

In the News

Venezuela has gained another non-avian dinosaur taxon, making 2014 something of a boom year for the early Jurassic La Quinta Formation. Following the publication of Laquintasaura venezuelae in August, we now welcome Tachiraptor admirabilis to the fold. Mike at Everything Dinosaur has terrific pieces on both taxa: read his takes on L. venezuelae and T. admirabilis. Because of my recent post on dreadful stock image dinosaurs, please note that each of these publications were accompanied by commissioned illustrations for their press releases (by Mark Witton and MaurĂ­lio Oliviera, respectively), resulting in the public reading stories illustrated in thoroughly non-embarrassing ways. Which is always nice.

A late Cretaceous ankylosaur from New Mexico was described in PLoS One in September, dubbed Ziapelta sanjuanensis. Lead author Victoria Arbour wrote at Pseudoplocephalus that this new armor-bearer "doesn't seem to be particularly closely related to the other ankylosaurid from the Kirtland Formation, Nodocephalosaurus. Instead, it's a close relative of Euoplocephalus and friends from Alberta." Read more on Ziapelta and its implications for ankylosaur evolution from Brian Switek.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Mary Anning's name is well-known, but what about other early female pioneers in paleontology? Fernanda Castano fills in the blanks at Letters from Gondwana with a post about Mignon Talbot and Tilly Edinger.

At Hawkmoth, Amy McDermott wrote about communing with Sue.

Zach Miller has returned to paleontology blogging, with his new posts at Waxing Paleontological. Hop over to welcome him back, and to read why he is greatly annoyed by the practice of naming new taxa after place names. So, our first news item up top is perfectly suited to peeve him.

Over the summer and fall, Mark Wildman has written a fossil hunting diary at Saurian. Read about his amble for ammonites in From the Toarcian to the Callovian: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and the addendum, which is essential to you intrepid explorers looking to replicate his journey.

Herman Diaz continues his book review posts at ART Evolved, and recently gave the thumbs up to Prehistoric Monsters and a big thumbs down to Brussatte and Benson's Dinosaurs. If you find yourself nodding along, be sure to click through to Amazon to upvote the reviews.

Robert Alicea still occasionally draws dinosaurs at Doodle of Boredom, such as a recent, adorable Allosaurus hug.

At the Dino Toy Blog, Gwangi writes about a 90's Velociraptor figure that *wasn't* influenced by the omnipresent JP design.

Matt Martyniuk also offered a critical look at a feathered theropod toy at Dinogoss with a look at a museum-endorsed dromaeosaur figure that nonetheless gets the feathers wrong.

Paleoart Pick

Why not continue the theme of feathered Mesozoic dinosaurs and how to restore them? Here's a terrific graphic by artist Mette Aumala, AKA Osmatar at DeviantArt. It's been shared around social media recently, as well as being tipped to us by reader Lew Lashmit. I love the subtlety of the humor.


  1. Many many thanks for the kind words. I'm trying to make it so that my upcoming reviews are especially relevant to November & December.


  2. Mette's anti-guide is glorious, and not just for the sparkleraptor macaw colours. 'Don't worry about this, whatever it is' - I loled.

    The 90's velociraptor toy... maybe not inspired by Jurassic Park the movie, but is it me, or does the colour scheme resemble Michael Crichton's description in one or other of the original books?

  3. I just want to thank you for the return of the miscellany. I read your site with a very serious 8 year old paleontologist in training, and the miscellany always points us to new things to discover!

    1. Thank you, I really do appreciate the encouragement. I am at a good point with my workload that I think I can keep up with blogging more regularly.

  4. "If you find yourself nodding along, be sure to click through to Amazon to upvote the reviews."

    I forgot to mention this in my previous comment: My "More of the same old nonsense" review in particular needs more "Yes" votes ( ) . Those pesky pro-BANDit fans are at it again, trying to undermine my review AWA Emily's w/"No" votes. Many many thanks in advance.


  5. Thanks for the shout-out! It's been good to get back into the swing of things.


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