Monday, July 31, 2017

This Mesozoic Month: July 2017

July! That really was a month, wasn't it? A mellow month after the sturm und drang of June, but still plenty of fun to be had, so let's start having it.

In the News

Razanandrongobe sakalavae is a new, giant notosuchian from Jurassic Madagascar. Learn more about this fearsome beast from Jon Tennant at PLOS.

Straight out of the nineties: fossils that have been in the Royal Tyrrell Museum since 1993 and 1996 have received new attention, found to be a new species of troodontid. Read about Albertavenator curriei at Live Science.

Drs. Hone and Holtz teamed up for a big overview of spinosaurs. Read about it from Archosaur Musings and grab the paper here [PDF link].

The earliest neornithine bird, Vegavis iaai, was recently the subject of osteohistological research, offering confirmation that it was a diving, foot-propelled bird. Read more from Fernanda Castano at Letters from Gondwana.

Read about the ongoing effort to recover and prepare "Walter," a giant hadrosaur from Rangely, Colorado, by a team from Colorado Northwestern Community College.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Mark Witton interviews artist Johan Egerkrans, who has been doing some fantastic, cartoony prehistoric art lately.

At the Inverse, Jacquelyn Ronson talks to Mike Habib and Jordan Mallon about The Land Before Time and its scientific accuracy.

Darren Naish returns with another post about the big empty space in the noggins of ceratopsians at TetZoo.

At Raptormaniacs, check out some animatronic beasts at the Bristol Zoo.

NatGeo has done an amazing 3D tour of the Suncor nodosaur fossil.

Chris talks dinosaurs and beer at Prehistoric Beast of the Week.

Since industrial operations are digging in places where rock isn't naturally exposed, some unique fossils can turn up. The Royal Tyrrell Museum blog delves into this intersection of industry and science.

Paul Pursglove writes about Wukongopterus lii, now on display in the Dinosaurs of China exhibition at Wollaton Hall, at the Pterosaur database blog.

At the RMDRC blog, Anthony Maltese shares the story of finding a tyrannosaur's ass. Glamorous field work alert!

One of the most enduring questions about theropods -especially non-maniraptorans - is how they used those often small forelimbs. "T. rex trying," anyone? Duane Nash takes a critical look at some of our prevailing assumptions and comes up with some pretty satisfying counterpoints.

Liz Martin-Silverstone wraps up her "150 Things about Canadian Palaeontology" series with a look at some of the country's truly ancient fossil sites.

The Empty Wallets Club

The cover for Ted Rechlin's 'Jurassic' graphic novel.

Ted Rechlin's new dinosaur graphic novel, Jurassic, is now available from his own Rextooth Studios imprint. Pick it up at Amazon and read more at Rextooth.

Rebecca Groom's Yutyrannus art doll

Rebecca Groom of Palaeoplushies fame unveiled her painstakingly crafted Yutyrannus huali art doll, and it can be yours.

The LITC AV Club

Who's ready for an hour of Dave Hone talking about tyrannosaurs? He offers a fantastic overview of the family. Pull up a seat!

As if that wasn't generous enough, there's a great Q&A portion that the Royal Institution has made available to the masses.

Not enough tyrant action for you yet? No? Well have some more: Dr. Thomas Carr talks about Daspletosaurus horneri.

Saurian is finally here! At the time of this writing, the team is simply awaiting for Steam to approve it. Here's the release trailer for the game.

Finally, Mark Witton has announced his next book, and it's a doozy. Check out his preview video!

Crowdfunding Spotlight

Diane Ramic's 'Coloring Book of (Scientifically Accurate) Paleofauna' Diane Ramic's paleofauna coloring books are pretty wonderful, with an engaging aesthetic that allows colorers plenty of freedom to invent color schemes for the animals. Her second coloring book is being funded via Kickstarter. The campaign lasts until August 6, so hurry up and pledge.

A Moment of Paleoart Zen

So, this has been a tyrannosaur-heavy post. Why stop now? Here's Raph Lomotan's gorgeous Yutyrannus pair.

Raph Lomotan's Yutyrannus painting
Yutyrannus huali © Raph Lomotan, shared here with the artist's permission.

Be sure to follow Raph at DeviantArt. If you're into Star Wars, he's done quite a few beautiful character paintings as well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Vintage Dinosaur Art: Tyrannosaurus Sex: A Love Tail (Omni magazine, Feb 1988)

Beverly Halstead accomplished rather a lot in his life; geologist, palaeontologist, holder of professorships at universities around the world, author and science populariser, and more besides. Halstead (full name Lambert Beverly Halstead) died in 1991, and in spite of having written numerous popular dinosaur books, didn't figure into my childhood dinosaur obsession; I was probably a tiny bit too late. In fact, my first notable encounter with his work was when I got hold of a copy of his 1975 book The Evolution and Ecology of the Dinosaurs back in 2012, a significant book for those a little older than me, and perhaps what first comes to mind for many when they hear Halstead's name.

That and all the sex.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Vintage Dinosaur Art: The Crocodiles Still Wait

When attempting to flesh out their Mesozoic palaeoart scenes, artists will often throw in a few crocodilians. After all, many of them (although very far from all) closely resembled those we have with us today, which makes referencing a great deal easier. Quite apart from that, having a familiar animal in a scene helps accentuate the strange, exotic nature of beasties of more extinct archosarian clades. In this delightful book, however, one of those 'set dressing' creatures finally gets its time in the spotlight. Many thanks again to Charles Leon for sending me this one.