Screencap of Sharp Teeth by David James Armsby depicting a purple gorgosaurus

This Mesozoic Month: January 2019

This Mesozoic Month

Move it on out, January! Those of us in the Midwestern US are returning to life after a polar vortex, and I emerge from this bracing blast of cold with a gift basket overflowing with paleontological goodies. First, though, a brief announcement for those of you involved in matters paleoartistical: the Survey of Paleoartists will be returning soon! Building on 2017’s survey, I hope to continue gathering useful data about the field so we can figure out exactly where it’s going and what needs to change. When it’s ready, I’ll be sure to sound the call here and across social media. Your participation and help spreading the word will make all the difference!

In the News

  • There’s a new hupehsuchian on the block, Eretmorhipis carrolldongi, a lovely weirdo the authors describe as being superficially convergent with platypuses of all things, with its reduced eyes and elongated snout. Check out the abstract here, and read more from Zach Miller in his latest post at Waxing Paleontological.
  • How cool would it be if 2019 kept the sauropod steamroller of 2018 going? Maybe it will, with our first of the year, the mamenchisaurid Wamweracaudia kerajei. Read the paper here; more at IDW.
  • Enantiornithe lovers, perk up: Shangyang graciles is a brand new Early Cretaceous “opposite bird” from the Jehol Biota boasting fused premaxillae, the earliest occurrence of this in a fossil bird. Read the paper here.
  • Let’s all take a moment to show proper respect to a superb pseudosuchian and cheer the fact that the skull of Prestosuchus chiniquensis has been described in a new paper, including a brain endocast. Read it here.
  • Adynomosaurus is a new lambeosaurid from Spain, a few million years more ancient than Rhabdodon. Read the description here.
  • Svalbard, the arctic archipelago, has been the focus of a dedicated team of paleontologists for the last eleven field seasons. In a new publication, the Spitsbergen Mesozoic Research Group reports on a treasure trove of marine reptiles and invertebrates from the Triassic and earlier.
  • The 45th president’s government shutdown damaged paleontology, as it did other sciences. Read Brian Switek’s article surveying the damage.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

  • Jovial tyrannosaur evangelist and papa of Bellubrunnus Dave Hone has a new venue for his science communication: Dave Hone’s Dinosaurs and other Fossils, a Facebook page. Check it out and shoot your paleontology questions to him! And in other Dave Hone Outreach news, take a minute or two to fill out this survey to help collect data regarding his scicomm impact.
  • Earth’s vast store of treasures depends on people from all walks of life and backgrounds to discover and interpret. Brian Switek writes about the hard work of Ann Johnson, a volunteer preparator at the Natural History Museum of Utah who is prepping the skull of Teratophoneus.
  • Devotees of temnospondyls will want to check out Bryan Gee’s new blog: it’s all temnospondyls all the time, friends. Check out the introductory post!
  • In a post at PLoS Paleo Community, Andrew Farke breaks down all of the dinosaurs published in open access journals in 2018.
  • Roll on over to Theropoda, where Andrea Cau muses about dinosaur genitalia.
  • Unintentionally horrifying and/or wonderfully quaint dinosaur statues were featured in the Atlantic this month, some famous some obscure. Though I’m not sure the Waterhouse Hawkins sculptures deserve to be hanging out with such rabble, the historical photo of an ichthyosaur being hauled out of the water for a cleaning is cool. Thanks for reader Masao Okazaki for sending in a link.
  • Legend-in-his-own-time Darren Naish writes about the work of artist Gerhard Heilmann in the early debate about bird origins, and how it fit in with other artistic depictions of early birds, at Tet Zoo. Check out Darren’s post on the life appearance of sauropods, too.
  • Elegantly straddling the worlds of typography and paleoart, Alphasaurs and other Prehistoric Types is a totally unique children’s book. Check it out at Dino Dad Reviews.
  • Sadly, it’s the end of an era – or at least closure on an era that ended a while back. So long, Art Evolved, and thanks for all the palaeoart!

Dispatches from Himmapaanland

More saurian treats from Natee! The only thing to do is revel in the bounty. Feast, friends!

The LITC AV Club

Big Al in Motion

WitmerLab shares this one from the archives, a rigging test of the famous allosaur Big Al.

YouTubin’ with Knuppe

Many of you know of Joschua Knuppe’s Paleostreams on Twitch, but if you’ve not seen one before, here’s the latest upload to his YouTube Channel.

Trey Looks Back

Fondly looking back at a mighty fine year in paleontology research, Trey the Explainer recaps 2018.

Crowdfunding Spotlight

Behold: Holzdinosaurier

Wooden Dinosaurs kickstarter campaign by Tobias Neukamm

Wood you like some beautiful dinosaurs? You’re in luck: Tobias Neukamm is crowdfunding a beautiful collection of wooden dinosaur toys. Mosey on over to Kickstarter to grab your own!

The Empty Wallets Club

  • Take a gander at the striking new Velociraptor osmolskae figure from Beasts of the Mesozoic, available soon at Everything Dinosaur.
  • Parasaurolophus toy by HalftoysFor my recent birthday, I received the most unexpected gift: a dinosaur toy I actually like! Between the abstract, minimalist design, cool skeleton component, and papercraft environment, Halftoys dinosaurs strike me just right.

Your Moment of Paleoart Zen

When speaking about idealized paleoart animation or film projects, many of us dream of stories that are interesting visually but also tell a compelling, not-too-anthropomorphized story. You may just find yourself satisfied by this wonderful new animated short: Sharp Teeth by David James Armsby.

2 thoughts on “This Mesozoic Month: January 2019”

  1. Hey, does picture 21 in the Atlantic photo essay look a whole, whole lot like the big T-Rex illustration in the How and Why Wonder Book of Dinosaurs?

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