Time again to take a look at some of the Mesozoic discoveries and news from the last month. And when you’re done here, check out the 2019 Survey of Paleoart! We’re still taking (totally anonymous) submissions and there is a Spanish version active as well. All the details are on this page.
In the News
- Suskityrannus hazelae is a new tyrannosauroid from New Mexico, dating to 92 million years old and filling in a gap in the fossil record regarding the evolution of the family. Read more from Virginia Tech, Katherine J. Wu at PBS Nova, and Brigit Katz at the Smithsonian.
- New biomechanical research finds that while the animal was running, the “proto-wings” of Caudipteryx would naturally begin flapping, effectively “training” proto-birds to make movements that would eventually be essential to powered flight. Read more at Science Daily and check out the coverage at Science Node – which includes a new Caudipteryx illustration from yours truly!
- Mussaurus patagonicus is the subject of new research looking into how its locomotion changed as it developed ontogenetically. Read more from Jason Bittel at NatGeo.
- Phuwiangvenator is a new megaraptoran from Thailand, described along with another, more gracile megaraptoran, Vayuraptor. Read more from Phys.org and Jon Tennant at PLoS.
- A new Portugese macronarian, Oceanotitan was published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, hailing from the sauropod-rich late Jurassic strata of that region.
- The Croatian island of Dugi Otok has borne an articulated mosasaur specimen, Portunatasaurus krambergeri. It’s particularly notable for its forelimb anatomy, which is transitional between terrestrial and fully aquatic forms.
- In Cretaceous China, an ancient frog called Genibatrachus baoshanensis ate a salamander in the genus Nuominerpeton, and a stunning fossil has preserved the predation for all time.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
- Mark Witton has been pumping out a ton of terrific work for the Crystal Palace dinosaurs, and at his blog he digs into the science behind his reconstructions of these iconic taxa.
- At Time Scavengers, Jen Bauer writes about the many paths to becoming a paleontologist, based on the results of a recent poll conducted on Twitter.
- Zach Miller zeroes in on Smok, the mysterious beast of Triassic Poland.
- At Raptormaniacs, Albert writes about the recently-extinct avian theropods from New Zealand called the adzebills.
- The Paleontological Society has a great interview with Gabriel Santos, touching on his background in paleontology and thoughts on outreach efforts.
- The Berenstain Bears took another crack at doing a dinosaur book several years back, and Dino Dad Reviews takes a look at it to see if it’s an improvement on the time before (spoiler: it is). Andrew also reviewed a beautiful book called X-Ray Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures earlier in the month.
- Riley Black writes about a juvenile Utahceratops specimen on display at the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Dispatches from Himmapaanland
As usual, we’ll take a look at what Mesozoic wonders Natee has been posting at Twitter…
Ceratopsian frills are practically ready-made heraldic shields. It's irresistible not to go wild on such a canvas, especially given that they most likely served display purposes. pic.twitter.com/TEvF9nuXX8
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) May 13, 2019
Today's shocker: I love hadrosaurs.
Also, Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro is on Radio 3, so it's a good afternoon. pic.twitter.com/0EHyu1MZnN
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) May 2, 2019
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) May 22, 2019
The LITC AV Club
Emily Graslie is Coming to PBS
The Trouble with Amber
Brian Engh Brings Caiuajara to Life
Exploring Pleistocene Iberia
A team of researchers hoping to learn more about the Pleistocene era of the Iberian peninsula is raising money for an expedition into the El Toril cave. Help them out at Experiment.
I love the illustrations on these dinosaur tarot cards by Anastasia Kashian-Smith. They are not the most capital-A Accurate renderings in the world, but then, that sort of fits in with the believable old aesthetic of the deck. It’s been funded fully, but there is still over a week to pledge.
The Empty Wallets Club
- I’ve been slowly creating new items in my Orogenic Industries Etsy shop, including this gold trilobite enamel pin.
- Sharon Wegner-Larsen has been creating some gorgeous paleoartworks featuring dinosaurs, bold colors, and intricate patterns. Pick up “Star Stego” here!
Your Moment of Paleoart Zen
It’s almost redundant to follow up “Triassic” with “oddball.” There were so many strange critters climbing, flying, grazing, hunting, and swimming as life rebounded from the great dying at the close of the Permian. I love this depiction of the weird pug-ichthyosaur Sclerocormus by Russian paleoartist Nikolay Zverkov. His body of work shows a clear preference for marine life, and while browsing his gallery, I often wish I could see his pieces as huge murals.
Go check out more of Nikolay’s work at DeviantArt.