The Big News
Vintana sertichi is a new Gondwanatherian mammal from Madagascar, and in expanding our knowledge of the clade beyond assorted jaw-y and tooth-y bits, it's a pretty significant discovery. It's one of the largest mesozoic mammals discovered, coming in second to the mighty Repenomamus. More on V. sertichi from the New York Times, NSF, National Geographic, Palaeoblog, and the Guardian.
Kulindadromeus on Twitter claims that the reconstructions we've seen are way off, however. Supposedly, this was what the critter looked like:
Last time around, I'd intended to include another new ankylosaur with a generic name starting with "Z" (the previous being Ziapelta). But that other splashy new research distracted me. So, I'm making up for it now. Zaraapelta is a new ankylosaurid from the Nemegt formation in Mongolia. Danielle Dufault created a gorgeous illustration for the press release, so be sure to gaze on its splendor. And be sure to read the post on it at Everything Dinosaur.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
John Hutchinson, who has given us so much insight by showing the contents of his freezer, has had a dreadful health scare. He wrote an affecting post about his adversity, which I can't recommend highly enough.
At DinoGoss, more cathartic ranting against crappy practices in paleo-toys. This time, Matt is training the crosshairs on the toy industry'penchant for rip-offs.
Fans of the spaghetti-necked Tanystropheus, hie thee to Nobu Tamura's Paleoexhibit blog.
Necks lie! And SV-POW tells all.
Pete Von Sholly had a bit of fun at the expense of people who allow their canine companions to defecate willy-nilly.
At TetZoo, Darren has begun writing a series on phytosaurs.
Rebecca Groom wrote about a plush Elginerpeton at the Dino Toy blog.
Extant Theropod Appreciation
I used to do occasional posts on those living theropods we like to call "birds," and I've decided it would be a great idea to bring it back as part of the Mesozoic Miscellany Series. For the first one, I'll strongly urge you to visit Tony Martin's Life Traces of the Georgia Coast blog for a ghoulish story of a decapitated gull.
I mentioned the new "Z" ankylosaurs up above, so this led me to decide on Sydney Mohr, creator of the first reconstruction of Ziapelta, for this round-up's paleoart feature. Here is a terrific piece called "Campanian Scene." Check out more of Sydney's work at DeviantArt.
Illustration © Sydney Mohr, used with permission.