August has slipped through our fingers, but it brought us an insane amount of treasures wrenched from the unforgiving Earth by hard-working paleontologists, exalted by paleoartists, and eulogized by science journalists and paleobloggers. Hats off, my fossil-smitten friends! There was so much stuff this month (or maybe more of it found its way to me, idk), I split the usual news section up and gave new taxa their own section.
In the News
- The next Jurassic Foundation grant deadline is approaching! Get your research grant proposals in by September 15; details here.
- National Fossil Day in the US is approaching, and PLoS Paleo Network has again compiled a big list of events across the country.
- It’s been a long road from discovery to prep to publication, but this Kayentatherium was worth the wait: it’s preserved with a clutch of 28 newborns! Read more from UT Austin and the Independent.
- Vectidraco, an azhdarchoid pterosaur described in 2013, was the subject of new research by Liz Martin-Silverstone aiming to study the neural canal to make some inferences about its lifestyle. Read more from Darren at TetZoo.
- Parasitoid wasps in fly larvae! Some beautiful fossils have been published showing just that. Check out George Dvorsky’s story at Gizmodo.
- A new trackway found in Alaska shows evidence of hadrosaurs and therizinosaurs coexisting. Read more at Everything Dinosaur.
- Farewell, sweet Drinker. New research from Carpenter and Galton finds that Drinker, Othnielosaurus, and Nanosaurus rex (aka “Othnelia”) are all various ontogenetic stages of Nanosaurus agilis. Read more from Justin Tweet at Equatorial Minnesota.
- Spinosaurus: Competent Terrestrial Animal. Doesn’t that sound like a fun television series? Don Henderson’s new research, published in PeerJ, finds that ol’ sailback wouldn’t have fared very well hunting in deep water. There’s still a lot of debate to be had; there’s been significant pushback from paleontologists in conversation on Facebook, who bring up the possibility that Henderson’s model discounts how barrel-like spino’s ribcage may have been. Read more from the Calgary Herald, the Royal Tyrrell Museum Blog, Brian Switek at Laelaps, and Michael Greshko’s piece for NatGeo.
Fresh New Taxa
- Caelestiventus hanseni is a new dimorphodontid wrenched from the sandstone of the Saints & Sinners quarry in Utah. It’s the earliest pterosaur discovered in North America yet, and well-preserved, especially as pterosaurs go. Read more at Sci-News, Letters from Gondwana, and SV-POW.
- We have a new Mongolian iguanodontian, Choyrodon barsboldi, based on remains of several subadults. Hailing from the Khuren Dukh formation, it would have lived alongside Altirhinus, but the authors do not believe it to be a young specimen of that species. Read the paper here.
- Also in PeerJ, also ornithischian: Invictarx zephyri, which adds to the fossil record of Laramidian nodosaurids. Check out the paper here.
- Fans of weirdo marine reptiles, rejoice. A new one has been described, a simosaurid nothosaur hailing from Triassic rocks in central Spain. With its pachyostotic (as in, highly thickened) bones, Paludidraco multidentatus is described as something like a filter-feeding, reptilian manatee. Cool! Check out the paper here.
- The twists and turns the turtle fossil record continue with the publication of Eorynchochelys sinensis, a late-Triassic animal from China bearing an intriguing mix of primitive and derived characteristics. Read more from Stephen Fleischfresser for Cosmos Magazine.
- Two, count ’em, two new early Cretaceous alvarezsaurs have been described by a Chinese and South African team. Bannykus and Xiyunykus nicely demonstrate the mosaic evolution of the iconic single-digit forelimb of the late Cretaceous alvarezsaurs. Read more from Mike Walley at Everything Dinosaur.
- Last month we got Lingwulong shengqi, this month it’s Pilmatueia faundezi, another new dicraeosaurid for 2018. The sister taxon to the later-occurring Amargasaurus, Pilmatueia adds to the spotty global fossil record of the Valanginian stage of the early Cretaceous.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
- How about a dromaeosaur fairy tale? I loved “The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat” by Brooke Bolander, published by Uncanny Magazine.
- At ART Evolved, Herman runs down his four favorite natural histories of dinosaurs.
- Dino Dad Reviews covers an awesome-looking title dedicated to the natural history of the Grand Canyon.
- Mark Witton’s new book, The Palaeoartist’s Handbook: Recreating Prehistoric Animals in Art, is out now! Read Mark’s in-depth post about the book.
- At the Guardian’s (now sadly defunct) Lost Worlds Revisited blog, Elsa Panciroli writes about the difficulties encountered by journalists trying to write about fossil discoveries.
- At the new TetZoo, Darren muses on the wisdom of domesticating non-avian dinosaurs, should the opportunity present itself.
- Let Chris DiPiazza be your guide on a trip to see “Last American Dinosaurs” at the NMNH.
- Sounds like the latest Flugsaurier meeting was a blast. Liz Martin-Silverstone shares what she saw, teasing that we may be getting a big Quetzalcoatlus monograph soon!
Dispatches from Himmapaanland
Our Natee continues to be a bright spot on the TL. Here are a few of their saurian (and saurian-esque) highlights from this month.
Slow progress today, though I'm not _too_ displeased with how it's going. Gadzooks. 😱 pic.twitter.com/RtOpbdkaBB
— Natee regrets (@Himmapaan) August 9, 2018
— Natee regrets (@Himmapaan) August 13, 2018
Delivery by Triceratops? This may take some time… pic.twitter.com/LsfiDCro6s
— Natee regrets (@Himmapaan) August 28, 2018
Reminder. 😇 pic.twitter.com/Q7xCtztrw0
— Natee regrets (@Himmapaan) August 17, 2018
The LITC AV Club
Here’s a video from BYU about the discovery of Caelestiventus hanseni.
Dave Marshall of Palaeocast talks to Chris Manias about the history of paleontology outreach.
The Science Through Multimedia Stories gofundme campaign has a ways to go to meet its goal! Help Sara ElShafie, Ashley Hall, and Gabriel Santos offset the costs of running their workshop. Pledge here.
A new tee from Rebecca Groom! If you loved her heraldic Archaeopteryx, you’ll lover her new Microraptor design. The goal has been thoroughly pulverized, so the shirts are definitely happening; preorder your very own at Kickstarter.
The Empty Wallets Club
- Check out Vladimir Nikolov’s 2019 calendar – his first published work! 12 months of paleoart, plus as he points out, you can always save pages for framing… Buy it at Lulu.
- Greer Stothers has created a delightful risograph zine on the history of paleoart. Pick it up in her shop.
Your Moment of Paleoart Zen
This month, I’m featuring a lovely piece by artist Afton Kern, who was inspired to paint Caihong juji in its iridescent glory.