Heterodontosaurus illustration by Dammir G. Martin

This Mesozoic Month: January 2020

This Mesozoic Month

A new decade begins, and once more we’ll wrap up the past month in Mesozoic news.

In the News

  • A non-pterodactyloid pterosaur trackway was discovered and hit the scientific press this month, an important new insight into their locomotion on the ground. Possibly made by a rhamphorynchid, it indicates that these little aerial archosaurs were perfectly capable walkers, thank you very much. There is a gorgeous piece of Mark Witton paleoart to accompany the paper, as well.

  • More fun ichnology also hit the media this month, in the form of a Texas sauropod trackway that seems to show the great beasts walking on their hands. It may mean they were propelling themselves through the water, or perhaps that their center of mass was such that only their hands made an impression in a hard substrate. Read more from Colin Barras at New Scientist.
  • Wulong bohaiensis is a new microraptorine, named from a juvenile specimen that bears fully mature flight feathers. Read the paper here, more from the San Diego Museum of Natural History via Phys Org and Fernanda Castano at Letters from Gondwana.
  • Using a neutron source has allowed University of Bonn scientists to get a good look inside oviraptorid eggs, indicating they developed similarly to modern birds, hatching at different times. Read more from the University of Bonn via Phys Org.
  • A new skull has led to the naming of a new Allosaurus species: Allosaurus jimmadseni. Read more from Daniel Chure at the NHMU blog.
  • Brian Engh found a big Brachiosaurus humerus in the Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation, and this week it was unveiled to the public at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum. Matt Wedel of SV-POW has written a terrific post about the find, which also spurred Brian’s new Jurassic Reimagined documentary, which you can see in the AV Club section below.

Around the Dinoblogosphere

Dispatches from Himmapaanland

A splendid hadrosaur and a tribute to Brittany Stoneburg kicked off 2020 in grand fashion. Follow Natee on Twitter and Instagram for much more, and buy your own piece of Himmapaanland at Redbubble.

The LITC AV Club

As noted above, Brian Engh’s new documentary on the Morrison Formation and our evolving understanding of its ecosystems debuted this month, with two more parts in the offing. If you thought you understood the Morrison (or were under the impression that its study was complete), this will be very eye-opening.

Sex Lakes: the Game

Inspired by the “sauropod sex lakes” idea espoused by the author of that one book, Frostdragonliz has continued her winning string of paleontology browser games, creating Lemme Splash, in which the player attempts to launch a Brachiosaurus past various obstacles, hoping to land in a body of water in which his paramour awaits. With bonus points for squishin’ turtles.

The Palaeontological Association Hits Youtube

In the first video on the Palaeontological Association’s new channel, Dr. Lucy McCobb talks about the spikiest of the trilobites.

PBS Eons and the Case of the Disappearing Mediterranean

The Empty Wallets Club

  • Pixel Triceratops art by Ash Dadoun

    Here’s a nifty Triceratops in pixelated form from artist Ash Dadoun, whose shop also contains a few more saurian delights.

  • A woman in Tang dynasty garb holds the dinosaur Archaeoceratops

    Natee celebrated a birthday this month so let’s celebrate by buying some of their art! I might suggest Lady with Archaeoceratops, or any other piece available via their Redbubble shop.

Your Moment of Paleoart Zen

Heterodontosaurus illustration by Dammir G. Martin

This month, we welcome Damir G. Martin to this space and his lovely reconstruction of Heterodontosaurus. Damir did some beautiful dinosaur models for Dinosaurs in the Wild, and he created this scene to move beyond the limited timeframe of Hell Creek but remain consistent with the style of that attraction. I love the energy of these animals dashing through the forest. Visit Damir on his website and on ArtStation, and to see more of the animals he created for Dinosaurs in the Wild, go to this album.


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