Monday, December 5, 2016

Mesozoic Miscellany 90

Time for another Mesozoic Miscellany, gathering cool news, blogging, art, and more from around the web over the last month.

One brief note about LITC first. If you're viewing us on the browser, you'll notice that we've added some ads in our sidebar via Project Wonderful, in addition to continuing our tip jar. All proceeds from this will go to moving us over to WordPress and covering related hosting fees. Project Wonderful is a platform particularly popular in the webcomic world. It works by auctioning off ad space and the value of our boxes depend on traffic here as well as click throughs, so don't be bashful about clicking ads that strike your fancy! I'm trying to keep anything too obnoxious off the site. I was pretty happy to find Ashfire Moon through ads, which features some innovative comics, including a "Lost World" inspired tale called "The Heart of the Hollow World."

With that out of the way, on to the dinosaurs!

In the News

Illustration copyright Studio252MYA/ Julio Lacerda
As featured in our 2016 gift guide, Studio 252mya has opened its doors. A project from the team behind Earth Archives and Pteros, the studio sells goods based on the artwork of their international roster of paleoartists and plans on launching an image licensing service soon. Check 'em out now.

Meet the muddy dragon, a new oviraptorosaur out of China. Read more at Science and from Brian Switek at Laelaps.

A new paper described two new late Triassic dinosauromorphs from Brazil, the lagerpetid Ixalerpeton polesinensis and early, carnivorous sauropodomorph Buriolestes schultzi. Read more from Jacquelyn Ronson for the Inverse and Joe Bauwens at Sciency Thoughts. Nice paleoart from MaurĂ­lio Oliveira, as well!

Around the Dinoblogosphere

At the Canadian science communication blog Science Borealis, Liz Martin-Silverstone and Raymond Nakamura write a nice article on the practice of paleoart, speaking with Mark Witton and Danielle Dufault.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History recently hosted Dinofest, and Ashley Hall covered the event at her tumblr, Lady Naturalist.

The nostril openings - or nares - of ceratopsids are rather remarkable. Darren Naish writes about their possible explanations at TetZoo, inspiring a rash of paleoart (unfortunately not organized by any hashtag, so you kind of just have to search it out). Also, don't miss Darren's post on his new book with Paul Barrett, Dinosaurs: How they Lived and Evolved.

At Pseudoplocephalus, Victoria Arbour summed up her experience at SVP 2016 with lots of great photos from the museum, auction, and more.

Sarah Gibson has been writing about the Top 10 Open Access dinosaur descriptions of 2016 at the PLoS Paleo Community Blog, With recent posts on Spiclypeus shipporum and the delightfully named marsupial "lion" Microleo attenboroughi.

Head over to Beyond Bones to read about really, really, really old poop.

The Tetanurae Guy writes about recent travels, including photos from Dinosaur Ridge and its accompanying museum near Denver.

At the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History's Digging the Fossil Record blog, Antoine Bercovici writes about his time out in the field as part of a team mapping sites associated with the K-T Boundary in southwestern North Dakota and southeastern Montana.

At the RMDRC Paleo Lab blog, Anthony Maltese writes about how the lab acquired a fairly complete specimen of the rare Cretaceous turtle Chelospargis and cast a reproduction of the skeleton.

Michael Barton of the Dispersal of Darwin blog writes about Gregory S. Paul's new second edition of the Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs.

Crowdfunding Pick

I've written about the Virtual Museum of Natural History in the past, and figured it would be good to do an update. Their crowdfunding model was changed to a flexible goal, so the fundraising is ongoing. Dave Marshall sent out an email update on the current progress, and it sounds like a lot of fun. He writes:

The technology behind the V-NHM is now complete and we’ve even been able to take a tour around! The user interface is so intuitive to use and loads of fun to just run around with your friends; in fact, one of our trial runs ended up as a 30-minute-long game of chase! It just goes to show that the V-NHM is inherently fun, even before we’ve placed any content in the cabinets. With the website complete, the focus over the coming months will be on curating content, filling cabinets and weaving a narrative between exhibitions. We hope to be able to launch the museum early in 2017.

To contribute to the campaign, head over to Crowd.Science.

Paleoart Pick

For the second year in a row, Raul Ramos pumped out an amazing volume of beautiful paleoart during #DrawDinovember. Hard to pick just one to feature, but I particularly love this backlit Protoceratops.

Protoceratops andrewsi by Raul Ramos, used here with the artist's permission.

Follow Raul on Twitter, Facebook, DeviantArt, and at his site, which promises a store soon.


  1. Hello & thanks for the mention. It's always a treat to use your articles to browse what's a-goin'-on around the paleo-community. You also reminded me to add a link to the preprint for my paper on those Maryland theropod remains to my article, so thanks again.

    Happy Holidays,


  2. Love these news roundups, thank you. Just one thing though - I tried clicking on the link to the paleoart story, and it had gotten posted a little garbled. You can find it here:


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