Friday, May 27, 2011

Mesozoic Miscellany #32

Apologies for missing last week's roundup. It ended up being another hectic week. I can easily foresee more of these in the future, as I am set to begin studies for my Master's degree in graphic design in August. I love doing this blog, though, so to ensure that you keep getting good content on a regular basis, I invited Marc Vincent to come aboard. If you missed it, please see his introductory post from yesterday. I think he's going to be a great fit.

New Research

Sauropod Necks
How in the Sam Hill did sauropods get those freakin' long necks? In a long-awaited response to Phil Senter's 2006 proposal that sexual selection may explain how this marvel of the animal kingdom evolved, Matt Wedel, Dave Hone, Darren Naish, and Mike Taylor delve into the question. More at the fellows' respective blogs: SV-Pow, Archosaur Musings, and Tetrapod Zoology.

Dryptosaurus reexamined
Thanks to Steve Brusatte, Roger B.J. Benson, and Mark Norell, the hypothesized status of Dryptosaurus as a primitive tyrannosauroid has received more support. More at AMNH, Beasts Evolved and Theropoda.

The Ashford Maniraptoran
It appears that England was home to a miniscule maniraptoran in the Lower Cretaceous, based on a single cervical vertebra described by Darren Naish and Steven Sweetman. Naish writes at Tetrapod Zoology:
I make no secret of the fact that many of the fossils I publish on are extremely fragmentary, in many cases being single bones. Identifications made on the basis of single bones can very occasionally be horribly, horribly wrong (one personal example: a cervical vertebra that I identified as oviraptorosaurian (Naish & Martill 2002) now seems to be from an abelisauroid), but they can often be made with confidence if the material is good enough, and if it preserves the required informative bits of anatomy.
More at Beasts Evolved, Theropoda, and Palaeoblog. Darren is now tweeting, so be sure to follow him @TetZoo.

Shastasaurus revised
This strange genus of ichthyosaurs from the late Triassic is the subject of recent research into its physiology and life habits, which are compared to those of living beaked whales. Brian Switek covered this at Dinosaur Tracking, and I wrote about it on this blog.

Around the Dinoblogosphere
Dr. Phil Manning of the University of Manchester has been writing a blog for over a year, and I seriously had no idea! This is a serious lapse in my responsibilities, and believe you me, I am not taking it lying down. Well, I kind of am, since I'm lying in bed as I write these words. But I'm very cross with myself. Head to Dinosaur CSI and check out a heck of a fine blog. Thanks to Gary Vecchiarelli for tipping me off to the blog's existence. If you see a glaring omission to my blogroll, or if you're a paleontologist blogs regularly, by all means let me know!

Victoria Arbour pondered the dearth of fossils revealing ankylosaur tail pathologies this week at Pseudoplocephalus.

Anthony Maltese heads to the Niobrara Chalk and tells all at the RMDRC Paleo Lab blog.

Scott Sampson writes about his experiences in sharing his love of the outdoors with his daughter, and how important exploring nature is for children.

Saurian muses on the perpetual challenge of building on fragmentary evidence to build models of ancient worlds.

Gary recapped a Jack Horner lecture on the Project Dryptosaurus blog, which is also home to the next edition of the Boneyard Blog Carnival.

In another excellent post at Paleo Illustrata, Stu Pond writes about the initial steps artists can take as they research their restorations.

On a recent episode of the podcast Natural Selections, Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss extinctions, inclulding, naturally, dinosaurs. [MP3]

At Paleo King, Nima writes about the roller coaster career of paleoartist David Peters.

Twit Picks
An assortment of links I shared on Twitter in the last two weeks or so.
Paleoart of the Week
On the heels of the Ashford Maniraptoran paper, Matt Martyniuk set himself to the task of creating a restoration, which he gladly admits is highly speculative - as any restoration based on a single cervical vertebra is bound to be. At DinoGoss, he writes that he "essentially restored this as a very small protarchaeopterygid-grade animal, hence the short tail and tightly-folding wing feathers."


Really nice work here. Matt's stuff has a timeless look to it that I love - it could come out of a classic monograph. Check out more of his stuff at DeviantArt and Henteeth.com.

Outrageously Off-Topic Self-Indulgence
A bit of music I made was recently made available on the web. Music has been a hobby of mine for a long time, but not so much now that I've got this blog and am learning the craft of graphic design.

You can check out my tunes at the Laminar Excursion Monthly bandcamp page. It's six tracks long and there are many other quality artists in the series, too. LEM was a 3" CD subscription club run by my buddies Jared and Mike of Flannelgraph and Crossroads of America Records, respectively.

Oh yeah, I used a dinosaur for my cover art!



Over the years, I did a handful of songs dedicated to dinosaurs or paleontology, including smash hit titles like "Requiem Dinosauria," "Paradigmetrodon," and "The Dinosaur Geneology Bop," all of which are on some moldy cassettes somewhere in my house needing to be digitized so I can release my complete masterworks.

1 comment:

  1. Sadly, MelanieGriffith.com refuses to load for me. I am eaten up from head to toe with curiosity as to why she warrants a link here.

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