Sclerocormus parviceps by Nikolay Zerkov, used here with the artist's permission

This Mesozoic Month: May 2019

This Mesozoic Month

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.
  • 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

Dispatches from Himmapaanland

As usual, we’ll take a look at what Mesozoic wonders Natee has been posting at Twitter

The LITC AV Club

Emily Graslie is Coming to PBS

The Trouble with Amber

Brian Engh Brings Caiuajara to Life

Crowdfunding Spotlight

Exploring Pleistocene Iberia

El Toril Cave in Spain

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.

Tarot Dinosaurs

Cards from the Dinosaures de Marseille Tarot Deck by Anastasia Kashian-Smith

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

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.

Sclerocormus parviceps by Nikolay Zerkov, used here with the artist's permission
Sclerocormus parviceps by Nikolay Zerkov, used here with the artist’s permission.

Go check out more of Nikolay’s work at DeviantArt.

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