Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mesozoic Miscellany 88

It's been a while! For various personal and professional reasons, the last few months have been a roller coaster. I've been working on this roundup for a while and decided it was time to put a bow on it. I hope to have another one put together soon to cover the blogging and news coming out of the recent SVP conference and the Dinosaur Society's Dinosaur Days. Let's get to it!

In the News

Sometimes, research is splashy enough on its own to attract mainstream coverage. "The Biggest Whatzit!" "The First Whatchamacallit!" Unfortunately, the majority of discoveries don't have an obvious hook - no matter how excited those of us who follow paleontology may be. Luckily, there's paleoart to save the day! Case in point: a stunning reconstruction of Psittacosaurus by Bob Nicholls, demonstrating the counter-shading apparent in a beautiful fossil specimen. Read more from Bristol University, Pop Sci, and Nat Geo.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Alton Dooley shares his views on how to effectively work those popular "sandbox" approximations of dig sites into museum exhibits.

At Extinct Monsters, Ben wrote about the new natural history arm of the Google Cultural Learning Institute, providing helpful criticism for a project that doesn't hit a home run every time, but seems to be a good start in making important natural history collections and exhibits available online.

Lisa Buckley takes a deep dive into fossil collectiong laws in Alberta, in response to an article at the Inverse,Exploring Canada's Socialist Dinosaur Paradise.

Paleoaerie devoted a week to prehistoric sharks in August. Start here!.

The big Hell Creek hadrosaur in Saurian has stirred up some taxonomic controversy, and Matt Martyniuk is here to sort it out.

Mark Witton pays tribute to the wonderfully big-headed erythrosuchids.

Speaking of heads, Zach at Waxing Paleontological takes on the heads of titanosaurs.

Listen to Cara Santa Maria interview Mike Habib on the Talk Nerdy podcast!

TetZooCon 2016 has come and gone, and Darren has a write-up at the TetZoo blog, as does Albertonykus. Marc and Niroot attended, and I'm hoping that one day when I'm not bound by the school year, I'll be able to pop over the pond to attend. The event looks like so much fun.

Crowdfunding Pick

Over the years, paleontology enthusiasts have been hearing about an incredible discovery in Utah: a collection of well-preserved Utahraptor specimens that had been trapped in quicksand. Well, it's finally being prepped, but it's a huge job: the block of sandstone trapping the fossils weighs 9 tons, and there's an awful lot of work needed to free the dinosaurs within. That's where we come in. A funding campaign has been launched to help bring these charismatic raptors to light once more. Utah State Paleontologist Jim Kirkland has all the details.

Paleoart Pick

Francisco Riolobos Bianco AKA Franxurio has paid tribute to the dinosaurs of his homeland with a series of anachronistic scenes depicting various species of Mesozoic dinosaur in Seville. The series is called Paleopureza, and it is delightful.

'Familia de Protoceratops en el cruce de Marco Sancho con Santa Rufina' by Francisco Riolobos Bianco, used with the artist's permission.

It must be noted that Francisco is a champ at #DrawDinovember, twisting it to feature animals that aren't dinosaurs. Follow Franxurio at Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

The Little Corner of Weirdness

Tim "the Toolman" Taylor, fighting dinosaurs. It was a thing that happened.


  1. I'd say this arrived just in time, just when I was feeling a bit down.

  2. "It's been a while! For various personal and professional reasons, the last few months have been a roller coaster."

    Hope everything's OK.

  3. My goodness!! Franxurio's picture looks exactly like a corner at my neighbourhood... but with dinosaurs!!
    Thank you for discover me this artist.


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