Stay safe. Stay at home, as best you can. Look out for each other. Flatten the curve. With that said, let’s look back at March 2020 in Mesozoic paleontology.
In the News
- The world lost a paleontology giant this month as Dr. Jenny Clack, master of early tetrapods, passed away. Read Darren Naish’s wonderful tribute.
- Did non-avian dinosaurs glow? Spurred by a twitter conversation, Darren Naish, Cary Woodruff, and Jamie Dunning explore the possibility in Historical Biology [PDF link]. Read more at TetZoo.
- Luchibang xinzhe is a really interesting new istiodactylid pterosaur from the Yixian formation of China, which dates to the early Cretaceous. With long legs and large feet, it seems that this was a pterosaur adapted for a highly terrestrial lifestyle. Two fish, possibly its last meal, were preserved in association with the skeleton as well. Read more from lead author Dave Hone at Archosaur Musings. Dave also writes about the long path from Luchibang‘s discovery to publication, which has been a roller coaster!
- An exciting new tracksite on the Isle of Skye was announced this month. Read more at Palaeomancer.
- We have a new taxon of dromaeosaur from the end-Cretaceous. Read more at Everything Dinosaur, Fernanda Castano’s Letters from Gondwana and the Guardian. Click through to that Guardian link to see a beautiful illustration by Sergay Krasovskiy!
- Feels like a lifetime ago, but in early March, Oculudentavis was published. And it seemed like we reached a tipping point in the public consciousness about the trade of amber from Myanmar. Read Mark Witton’s post about this instantly controversial animal.
- Asteriornis maastrichtensis is our oldest known crown avian. Read more from study author Albert Chen at Raptormaniacs and Letters from Gondwana.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
- Mark Witton begins a two-parter on the pop culture vision of dromaeosaurs and how it squares with science.
- A new Bajadasaurus figure from CollectA gets the spotlight at the Dinosaur Toy Blog.
- At Dino Dad Reviews, Andrew shares his enthusiasm for Diane Ramic’s awesome dinosaur coloring book.
- T.K. Sivgin delves into representations of prehistory on Spongebob Squarepants.
Dispatches from Himmapaanland
Each month, I feature some of the work our own Natee shares on Twitter. Of course, this is just a selection of paleontological content, but their work is much more than that. So be sure to follow Natee them on the tweeting websiteand Instagram for much more, and buy your own piece of Himmapaanland at Redbubble.
An admission which will astonish nobody at all who is familiar with me and my work: I enjoy drawing theropods most if they're maniraptorans — obviously including extant birds. I more or less just tolerate the other kinds. ;} pic.twitter.com/HybEjWeYTC
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) March 12, 2020
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) March 18, 2020
Beware the frozen heart.
Frustrated with these, not least because they were an embattled effort for unequal results, but forcing myself to let it go. pic.twitter.com/lYwE8xKEWo
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) March 27, 2020
The LITC AV Club
Plesiosaurs on Palaeocast
Learn all about the amazing plesiosaurs, their evolution over time, and how opal is formed in a terrific episode of Palaeocast in which Dave Marshall interviews Dr. Benjamin Kear of Uppsala University.
Fossil Plants with Dr. Susannah Lydon
The Empty Wallets Club
Janelle Becker’s Paleo Leather shop deserves a look. In addition to more expensive limited edition models like the Archelon above, she makes more affordable kits for your assembly. Shop at the Paleo Leather site and follow at Facebook.
I recently had the idea to do a sports logo with a Mesozoic spin, and created this design for a fictional team called the Hell Creek Tyrants. I might do more, time will tell! You can buy it on tees, mugs, totes, stickers, and more at my Redbubble shop.
Your Moment of Paleoart Zen
I felt a bit fuzzy today so why not feature a mammalian denizen of the mesozoic? I’ve long been a fan of Maija Karala’s paleoart, and she recently did this splendid illustration of Repenomamus.
Keep up with Maija at DeviantArt, Twitter, and her blog. With Ville Sinkonnen, Maija is part of Studio Eem. Follow them at Facebook and Instagram and shop their beautiful wares at Society 6. Also, read my interview with Maija from 2014!