Friday, July 8, 2016

Mesozoic Miscellany 87

In the News

Cool news regarding a shared origin of feathers, hair, and scales: Nicolas Di-Poï and Michel Milinkovitch of the University of Geneva have published research tracing them all to the shared ancestors of modern birds, mammals, and reptiles. It all has to do with placodes, thickenings of the skin in embryos which had until now not been observed in developing reptiles, though the same genes had been found to control these three forms of integument. Read more at CS Monitor and Cosmos Magazine.

Not everyday you get to see 100 millon-year-old enantornithine wings in amber! Amazing stuff. More from NatGeo, WaPo, and Earth Archives.

New research studying tooth wear patterns reveals that the Leptoceratops chewed like a mammal.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Missed this last year, but saw it pop up on the old Facebook recently. An interview with the one and only Dr. Tom Holtz.

The conflict between private and public interests in fossils isn't going away. At the Inverse, Jacqueline Ronson writes about an important sauropod skeleton from Montana that's in the hands of a private firm, the Judith River Dinosaur Institute.

Trish Arnold offers up a slab of 1993 pop-paleontology goodness with an issue of Time magazine featuring... Mononykus on the cover, of all things.

Meet the pterosaurs of the Liverpool World Museum, courtesy Paul Pursglove at the Pterosaur Database.

She's headed for Toronto soon, and Victoria Arbour offers a tour of North Carolina geology before she leaves.

Tristan Stock is not a fan of the "Montanaspinus" prank from last month.

At Letters from Gondwana, Fernanda Castano writes about the end-Permian and end-Triassic extinctions.

Gareth Monger celebrates the humble conodont - which has been gone from this planet since the end-Triassic - in a new design riffing on the poster for Alien 3.

Crowdfunding Pick

Mongolia is undoubtedly one of the most important countries in the history of palaeontology, but too many important fossils have been taken away. A new crowdfunding effort seeks to bring the wonder of Mongolia's scientific treasures to the country's children via a moveable museum. "Kids in the communities we visit will board the moveable museum to experience the interactive exhibits, and join classroom activities about dinosaurs, fossils and the relationship of dinosaurs to modern birds." Pledge your support today!

Paleoart Pick

Mark Witton's long-awaited book of palaeoart is out now! Pick up Recreating an Age of Reptiles at Lulu. Sit back to enjoy this launch video from Mark.

I love how he expressed the idea of "credibility" in palaeoart. His point that many depictions of prehistoric life can depict equally valid hypotheses is in line with my feelings over the past few years. Wouldn't it be great if at least some palaeontology press releases or media coverage included multiple reconstructions, driving home the point that there are no concrete answers for many of our questions? Anyhow. Pick up a copy of the book.

1 comment:

  1. Many thanks for including "Save Mongolia's Dinosaurs". You guys are always good at raising awareness about important paleo issues. In this case, you also helped me figure out what I wanted to say about said crowdfund:


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