July was our fifth and final month of collecting data in the 2019 Survey of Paleoartists. Now comes the “fun” part – crunching the numbers! Since this is an entirely volunteer effort, no promises on timeline other than that I hope to have the report ready for your eyes by the end of the year. I’ll also remind you that LITC is on Patreon! I’m thankful for the support we receive, which currently pays for our web hosting fees and makes projects like the survey easier to take on. If you like what we’ve been doing here, we’re always looking for new patrons and always appreciate social shares!
In the News
- Since I was away at the end of June, I wasn’t able to include Vespersaurus paranaensis in that month’s TMM. This noasaurid is described as being “functionally monodactyl,” with a middle digit that would have borne most of its weight, though the reduced digits around it probably also came in contact with the ground. Read more from Riley Black at Laelaps, Mike Walley at Everything Dinosaur, Chris DiPiazza at Prehistoric Beast of the Week, and Dinosauria Blog.
- Lori has arrived! This has been a long-discussed specimen and it’s great to see a publication. Lori – or Hesperornithoides miessleri – was a small feathered paravian living in the Late Jurassic. Our newest denizen of the famous Morrison Formation not only increases what we know of that fauna, it sheds more light on the evolution of flight and how pennaceous feathers relate to it. The authors conclude that the “neoflightless” hypothesis, which holds that early winged dinosaurs were flight capable, with later forms like Velociraptor being secondarily flightless, is not likely, with flight developing well after the evolution of wing-like forelimbs. Read more from lead author Scott Hartman, co-author Mickey Mortimer, Riley Black at the Smithsonian, John Pickrell at NatGeo, and the On the Fossil Record podcast.
- Notatesseraeraptor frickensis is a newly described theropod from Europe, hailing from the Klettgau Fromation of Switzerland, primarily famous for its Plateosaurus specimens. It’s an interesting beast, as many Triassic animals are, with the authors describing it as a stem-averostran displaying “an interesting mixture of character states typically seen either in coelophysids or in dilophosaurids.”
- New research examining the diversity of extinct crocodyliform teeth finds that the line evolved herbivory at least three separate times. Read more from Riley at the NHMU blog, Fernanda Castano at Letters from Gondwana, and Gemma Tarlach at Dead Things.
- Aquilarhinus palimentus is a new hadrosaurid from the late Cretaceous Aguja Formation of Texas. Specifically, it’s a member of the tribe kritosaurini, a clade of hadrosaurids noted for their deep, arched snouts. Aquilarhinus sports a unique bill that looks like it may be well-suited to browsing underwater vegetation. Read more from Aristos Georgiou at Newsweek, Everything Dinosaur, and Phys.org.
- A notably large Eurasian Pleistocene theropod, Pachystruthio dmanisensis, has been discovered. Read more from Jenny Howard at NatGeo.
- The tyrannosaurid genus Daspletosaurus is known from the Oldman and Two Medicine Formations, with a possible species in the Horseshoe Canyon Formation. Well, scratch that last one: it’s been reassigned to Albertosaurus sarcophagous in a new publication.
- Tarsomordeo winkleri is a new crocodyliform from the early Cretaceous Twin Mountains Formation in Texas, described by the authors as “an active predator of nesting dinosaurs and other small prey.”
- A new jurassic mammal, Microdocodon gracilis, is particularly interesting for its jointed hyoid bone, offering a glimpse into the way swallowing evolved from gulping down food whole to being able to process smaller bits. Read more from Yale University and Carolyn Gramling at Science News.
- A spectacular dig in Mongolia has uncovered a late Cretaceous dinosaur nesting site which points to colonial, parentally-attended nesting behavior.
- Elektorornis chenguangi is an early Cretaceous entantornithe with a really long second toe. Read more from Nur Pirbhai at the Guardian, Brigit Katz at the Smithsonian, and Carly Cassella at Science Alert.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
- Check out the gorgeous dinosaur sculptures of James Hermann over at SV-POW.
- More fossil owls! Head over to Lisa Buckley’s blog for the second post in her series, focusing on giant owls in the fossil record and in mythology.
- Andrew of Dino Dad Reviews paid a visit to a pretty awesome little museum in Texas, the Whiteside Museum of Natural History, and reports back with what he saw.
- Darren Naish reviews Mark Witton’s Palaeoartist’s Handbook at TetZoo. He likes it!
- Kristen Hugo writes about the “bat-winged” dinosaurs that have been taking the world by storm since Yi qi hit the scene at Earth Archives.
- At Raptormaniacs, Albert discusses the joys of the enantornithean tail.
- There’s a Mattel Nasutoceratops, and even though I normally don’t find JP/JW toys terribly attractive, this one surprised me. Read the review at the Dinosaur Toy Blog.
Dispatches from Himmapaanland
In a month that found Natee sharing a moon-jumping cow, a sword-wielding mongoose, and a delightfully flatulent podgy deer, they also served up some fine feathery goodness for an adoring audience.
Flap, flap, swoosh. pic.twitter.com/mCVO96bmW0
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) July 5, 2019
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) July 4, 2019
This is Archimedes, a highly educated Archaeopteryx.
Unlike me, who seem to be losing my direction, my health, and my marbles all over the place. pic.twitter.com/gVzSzPFdOj
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) July 11, 2019
The LITC AV Club
Vespersaurus in action
Paleoart on Common Descent
Gabriel Ugueto paid a visit to the Common Descent podcast, where he provided a great overview of the practice of paleoart.
Extreme Luis Rey
Forgoing traditional publishing, Luis Rey is creating a sequel to his 2000 book Extreme Dinosaurs and doing it himself. He’s launched a Kickstarter to raise the funds. “You may like it or hate it but will never leave you indifferent.” Pledge here.
Regina Mundi by David Krentz
He’s utterly obliterated his original funding goal, but if you haven’t seen legendary paleoart sculptor David Krentz’s Kickstarter campaign to fund his new T. rex piece, head over and check it out!
The Empty Wallets Club
Natee has made another of their wonderful “fancy ladies with Mesozoic dinosaurs” pieces available for sale, available as prints, stationery, and device cases. Get it here!
I’ve featured Chris Taylor’s wonderful pieces here before, and here’s another I couldn’t resist featuring: an Allosaurus skull pendant with an enclosed magnifying lens. Pick one up for yourself here!
Your Moment of Paleoart Zen
DeviantArt user Sergey, AKA Finwal, has a lot of impressive stuff in his paleoart galleries, and I especially love this gloomy piece featuring the aetosaur Desmatosuchus.
Check out more of Finwal’s work at DeviantArt!