Friday, December 4, 2015

Mesozoic Miscellany 81

In the News

Dinosaur eggs. We love 'em. New research comparing the porosity of 29 species of non-avian dinosaurs' eggs to those of hundreds of extant birds and crocs has concluded that maniraptorans were unique in incubating their eggs in open nests. Read more at Science, The Royal Tyrrell Museum, and Live Science.

A significant new dinosaur tracksite, dating to the Middle Jurassic and perhaps preserving the footprints of Cetiosaurus, has been discovered on the Isle of Skye. The BBC has produced an impressive multimedia feature about it. Read more at PopSci and NatGeo. Fans of shrink-wrapped dinosaurs will be over the moon when they see the illustration included with the press release.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Parasitologist and illustrator Tommy Leung wrote a great overview about what we know about the parasites that hassled dinosaurs for The Conversation.

If you have the opportunity to check out fossil collections at a museum, be sure to read Victoria Arbour's post about how to prepare for your visit.

Gareth Monger probed the problems of skim-feeding pterosaurs at Pteroformer.

Emily Willoughby has written about Dakotaraptor in her first article for Got Science.

The second TetZooCon has come and gone, and LITC's Marc Vincent has recapped the festivities, as has Darren Naish.

You know you want to read about the Chinese museum that is packed with the most dinosaur fossils in the world, "stocked over just five years by the eccentric former head of a state-owned gold mining company." Dan Levin has the story at the New York Times.

"I want to give this animal the best chance of falling over..." is the kind of phrase we lovers of paleontology and its artistic interpreters are blessed with from time to time. At his blog, Mark Witton has taken a fresh look at the long-necked weirdo Tanystropheus, investigating the view that it could not have lived a terrestrial lifestyle because it was just too front-heavy.

Next time I'm in the Denver area, I hope I get to stay at the Dino Hotel. Check out the feature about Meredith and Greg Tally's labor of love at Atlas Obscura.

At ART Evolved, Herman Diaz reviewed The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Bird and a Magic Schoolbus dinosaur book.

Liz Martin-Silverstone delved into the taxonomy of Dimetrodon at Musings of a Clumsy Palaeontologist.

David Prus wrote about the prehistoric wonderland that was Hațeg Island.

Dinosaurs in Name Only: Andrea Cau has proposed a new term for those popular depictions of dinosaurs that can't be bothered to follow the palaeontological evidence.

The AV Club rounded up more than a dozen regrettable dinosaur entertainments - any they've unfairly maligned?

While Allosaurus, Ceratosaurus, and Torvosaurus get a lot of attention, Brian Switek urges you to appreciate Marshosaurus, a smaller but no less nifty Morrison predator.

Linocut dinosaur greeting cards by Frank-Joseph Frelier, available at Etsy.
These here dinosaur skull greeting cards are the bee's knees. If you missed it, do check out the LITC gift guide published earlier this week. And go see Gareth Monger's as well, while you're at it!

Video Pick

Cartoonist Bob Flynn alerted me to this video that Fablevision, the studio he works for, produced with the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is an installment of the "Good Thinking!" series, which launched this summer. More than explaining the idea of Deep Time, it delves into impactful ways to teach the concept of Deep Time. I think it's fantastic.


  1. Thanks so much for the shout-out(s)! Just want to say, the excellent Frelier Velociraptor card briefly looked to be sporting a nice, gothy dog-collar - but they're reindeer bells. (Both work for me!)

  2. Thanks for the shout out! Also, thanks for linking to my dA gallery too - people don't usually notice/mention that I also draw stuff when I get mentioned in a post like this, so thanks for including a link to my work on dA!

  3. "At ART Evolved, Herman Diaz reviewed The Puzzle of the Dinosaur-Bird and a Magic Schoolbus dinosaur book."

    Many thanks for the shout out! As you may have noticed, I've made a habit of posting dino-bird book reviews around Thanksgiving time. The only downside is that said reviews seem to attract No-voting crazies (I.e. Pro-BAND fans). Even still, I enjoy looking for new dino-bird books to review & hope there'll be enough to keep my habit going in the future.


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