This Mesozoic Month: June 2018

This Mesozoic Month

Big month! Good job diggin’, studyin’ and publishin’ all these fossils, paleontologists!

In the News

  • The next Jurassic Foundation grant deadline is September 15. If you’re in need of some money to fund research into non-avian dinosaurs and/or Mesozoic birds, check it out!
  • It’s always important to test assumptions that have been handed down from previous generations, especially as new technology allows us to study fossils in novel ways. That’s Jordan Bestwick’s goal in new research that surveys at a massive amount of pterosaur research to find out how much quantitative evidence we have for diet across the pterosauria – and suggests paths forward for future research. Read Elsa Panciroli’s terrific article about it at the Guardian.
  • Good stuff for Mesozoic arthropod fanciers! Seven new earwigs hailing from the Triassic and Jurassic have been described. Also, meet Austaulius haustrum, a new Jurassic caddisfly, and a beautifully preserved burrower bug in Burmese amber.
  • From the miniscule to the (relatively more) titanic. A study of cranial material of the smallish Chinese sauropod Bellusaurus finds that despite years of doubt as to the validity of the genus, it is indeed valid, and represents one of the most completely known sauropods known. Bellusaurus was originally described from a bonebed of seventeen juvenile individuals in the early nineties. Read the open-source paper here.
  • New material published on the mysterious dinosaur fauna of Appalachia is always welcome. Chase Brownsetin’s new PeerJ publication examines feeding traces on two theropod bones: an ornithomimosaur femur with shark feeding traces, and an indeterminate theropod’s tibial shaft bearing the marks of crocodyliform teeth. Both also bear traces of marine invertebrates. Read more at Sci-News.
  • A new study examines the noggin of Concavenator – including the creation of a new three-dimensional model.
  • And flipping things, the postcranium of the basal iguanodontian Dysaltosaurus is the subject of new research that takes a look at the taxon’s ontogeny to look at ornithopod evolutionary trends as a whole.
  • A new eucynodont from Poland has been described. Meet Polonodon woznikiensis.
  • A new species of Cretaceous frog found preserved in Burmese amber provides the earliest evidence for anurans living in a wet tropical habitat. The paper from Lida Xing et al describes Electrorana limoae and discusses its paleoenvironmental context. Read more at Sci-News, the Inverse, and the BBC.
  • The Jurassic rhynchocephalian Eilenodon is the subject of new research, examining its mammal-like teeth. Check out Bob Nicholl’s beautiful restoration!

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Dispatches from Himmapaanland

The LITC AV Club

Hear Darren Naish explain why dinosaurs weren’t all aquatic. This is from the recent Naish v. Ford event at Conway Hall in London (read Gareth Monger’s and Marc Vincent’s takes).

And yes, Brian Ford’s well-reasoned and entirely convincing half of the event is up, too.

Check out the NHM’s beautiful, Attenborough-narrated animation of Anhanguera quad-launching. You can read more at the NHM blog.

Crowdfunding Spotlight

science through multimedia stories gofundme promo image

A team of educator-researchers comprised of Sara ElShafie, Gabriel Santos, and Ashley Hall are holding a workshop called “Science Through Multimedia Stories” at this year’s SVP. It sounds great: participants will gain “fundamental skills for developing engaging science stories, and for sharing those stories on social media using DIY videography.” Check out the Facebook Event here and help them raise some money to put on the workshop at GoFundMe.

One more day to pledge at my Kickstarter! If you want a flaming dinosaur skull pin before anyone else in your neighborhood, this is your last chance! We’ve unlocked the Ankylosaurus design, so now there are five designs to choose from on both vinyl decals and enamel pins.

A group of Utahraptor illustrated by Julius Csotonyi for the Utahraptor Project

The Utahraptor Project is still plugging along, closing in on the halfway point of its $100,000 goal. Head to GoFundMe to support the project!

The Empty Wallets Club

  • Cover art for Mark Witton's Palaeoartist's HandbookMark Witton’s Palaeoartist’s Handbook is available for preorder! It’s very affordable, especially considering that it’s a hefty volume.
  • Cover image fro Gareth Monger's "A Disarray of Palaeoart"Gareth Monger’s A Disarray Of Palaeoart is now available via Lulu. Your buddies here at LITC provided the foreword, and I’ll surely post about it when I get my copy. In the mean time, hie thee to Lulu.

Your Moment of Paleoart Zen

Savage Ancient Seas! Brian Engh has been working on a massive project to create all of the artwork for a new traveling museum exhibit dedicated to the Western Interior Seaway and its inhabitants. Read Brian’s post teasing the opening, including artwork depicting a reef ecosystem with a giant Inoceramid bivalve as its core.

Paleoart of a reef system built around a giant inoceramid clam, pupolated by a wide variety of marine life

Inoceramid Reef illustration © Brian Engh. Produced for the Savage Ancient Seas exhibit by Triebold Paleontology. Shared here with the artist’s permission.

And here’s Brian’s video detailing the conception of his giant Tylosaurus mural, guest starring Anthony Maltese, who consulted on Brian’s reconstructions and who you’ve seen pop up in these roundups from time to time.

Savage Ancient Seas, produced by Triebold Paleontology, is currently on view at the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park, Kansas. As ever, it would behoove you to follow Brian on Twitter, support him via Patreon, and keep up with his work at his website.

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