Welcome back to This Mesozoic Month, the roundup of news, blogging, multimedia content, and art related to life of the Mesozoic era. I’ve made the decision that this will be the final edition of the series. These regularly scheduled roundups have been going since December 2016, preceded by less regular Mesozoic Miscellany posts. These simple posts take more time to compile than they might look like, and it’s time I just can’t spare any more. Thank you to everyone who has read them. I hope they’ve been enjoyable and helped you discover a few new things along the way.
In the News
- A beautiful titanosaur embryo fossil has revealed some surprises about what the largest dinosaurs looked like when they were born. Eyes oriented for binocular vision! Snout horn! Read more from Michael Marshall at the New Scientist
- We’ve got a funky new interpretation of Tethyshadros to chew on. Whip-tail hadrosaurs: you love to see it.
- Another big redescription hitting the press this month was Thecodontosaurus. Among the findings: the taxon is one of the earliest herbivorous sauropodomorphs and Pantydraco may be a juvenile Thecodontosaurus.
- A pathologically interesting specimen of Centrosaurus has been discovered, bearing evidence of malignant bone cancer. Read more from Riley Black at the Smithsonian.
- Don’t bite off more than you can chew, ichthyosaurs. A pretty incredible fossil records a five meter Guizhouichthyosaurus that swallowed a four meter thallatosaur, Xinpusaurus. Read more from Elizabeth Rayne at SyFy Wire and Michael LePage at New Scientist.
- The iconic long-necked reptile Tanystropheus is known from specimens which come in large and small varieties, and a big new study has settled a debate about them: they aren’t adult and juvenile members of one species. They’re two species, niche-partitioned to take advantage of different prey. The larger Tanystropheus has been dubbed T. hydroides. What’s more, the authors conclude that both species spent most of their time in the water. Read more from Nicola Davis at the Guardian.
- Balveherpeton hoennetalensis is a new salamandroid salamander from Cretaceous Germany.
- We’ve got some more fiddling happening at the base of the dinosaurian lineage, as a new paper proposes that Silesauridae is not a valid clade at all, but represents a number of different clades, one of which being the ancestral stock of the ornithischians.
- More interesting early dinosaur research: Daemonosaurus chauliodus is the subject of a comprehensive new paper examining its osteology, offering significant insights into the early evolution of dinosaurs. It’s posited by the authors to bridge the anatomy of Herrerasaurus with later eusaurischians.
- How did Lystrosaurus survive the Great Dying? Research just published has found a new clue: a fossil from Antarctica shows clear signs of having gone through periods of hibernation.
Around the Dinoblogosphere
- If you’re looking for a good paleo-themed comic, there are a couple new ones that came to my attention: Paleos by Chobbbz, set in Cretaceous Brazil with its charismatic cast of dinosaurs and pterosaurs. Second, I’m excited to see that Mike Keesey’s gorgeous Paleocene is back with its second chapter.
- Mark Witton writes a wonderful profile of Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins at his blog, providing some great background on his iconic Crystal Palace sculptures.
- At Equatorial Minnesota, Justin Tweet continues his ongoing catalog of the mighty titanosaurs. This time around: Ruyangosaurus, Saltasaurus, and Sarmientosaurus.
- The twists and terns (that began as a typo but it was too good not to keep) of post-KPg theropoda is endlessly fascinating, and in a recent post at Raptormaniacs, Albert writes about some mysterious groups of Eocene birds.
- The Permian-Triassic extinction event is thoroughly recapped at the Royal Tyrrell Museum blog.
- What’s it like to manage a paleontology lab? Liz Martin-Silverstone fills us in at Musings of a Clumsy Palaeontologist.
- At Extinct Monsters, Ben Miller gives us an enlightening look at the Cretaceous display in the recently renovated paleontology hall at the National Museum of Natural History.
- Chris DiPiazza shares his wonderful illustration of Nigersaurus and a perturbed Kaprosuchus at Prehistoric Beast of the Week, providing a nice run-down of the peculiarly besnouted African sauropod.
- Recent LITC guest poster TK Sivgin writes about the many ways scientists have thought about the evolutionary origin of birds.
- Mary Anning is having a moment in the popular culture. At Dino Dad Reviews, Andrew shares his review of the children’s book Dinosaur Lady. At the Smithsonian, Riley Black writes about the upcoming Mary Anning movie, Ammonite.
- Paleoartist Brian Franczak sadly passed away earlier this month; read Darren Naish’s post about him at Tet Zoo, and Jason Abdale/s at Dinosaurs and Barbarians.
Dispatches from Himmapaanland
One of the great pleasures of writing these posts has been to pick a selection of art from Natee’s tweets. Of course, you need not rely on me to enjoy their art. I implore you to follow Natee on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for much more, and buy your own piece of Himmapaanland at Redbubble.
Perennial Mood. pic.twitter.com/m1rYwIOc0m
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) August 14, 2020
Who's a handsome ornithischian? pic.twitter.com/48wKzNqzhy
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) August 5, 2020
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) July 31, 2020
An inauspicious morning begun in bloodshed and warfare.
Between myself and a flesh fly.
Yes, my blood was drawn, too (I scraped my finger somehow), but the fiend was rent asunder in an hundred pieces and is very, very dead. pic.twitter.com/PwKzf9VfY3
— Natee ~A drift of dust~ (@Himmapaan) August 23, 2020
The Empty Wallets Club
- Raven Amos has released a new enamel pin: if you ever wanted to see a T. rex in a schoolgirl outfit, your wish has finally come true. Get your own Sailor Sue!
- This new tee from the paleo shirt shop Teelobite is wonderfully clever, and features the up-to-date look of Spinosaurus to boot. Get yours here.
The LITC AV Club
Through Time And Clades Debuts
A Ventriloquist and an Artist Walk into a Bar…
The beloved paleoartist Ray Troll has teamed up with his friend Dave Strassman to create Paleo Nerds, a brand new podcast.
Jen Bauer interviews Tony Martin
Your Final Moments of Paleoart Zen
I already had three months of artists lined up for this monthly art feature when I came to the decision to end it. I think it’s fitting to go out with a splash, so I’m sharing them all at once. It has been so rewarding to find artwork to share here over the years, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to feature a diversity of artists, aesthetics, and animals.
Without intending to, I actually wound up with a theme for this final trio: young artists from around the world. All are students, all are uniquely skilled. It’s incredible when you pause to reflect on how much young talent is in this field. It brings me a sorely-needed shot of optimism.
Full Moon by Júlia d’Oliveira
Júlia d’Oliveira has painted a series of wonderful pterosaur pieces called the “moon series,” each featuring a different phase of the moon in the background. This one may be my favorite; Júlia describes it as “Caiuajaras singing a forgotten song as the moon sets and the sun rises. I love how the full moon looks at the very beginning of mornings, and also how the sand changes its color as the sun goes up.”
Nomads by Brennan Stokkermans
This piece featuring the recently described Terminocavus is entrancing. Brennan writes, “This painting is inspired by both the styles of great north American wildlife artist such as Carl Rungius and the plein air works of artist like Edgar Payne.”
Dilophosaurus trio by Joanna Kobierska
Joanna Kobierska is a 3D artist and animator who came to my attention with her short but very, very sweet Velociraptor animation this spring. Her take on our new-look Dilophosaurus is just as excellent. Be sure to click through to see more of these models.
Well, that will close the book on This Mesozoic Month. Thanks again for reading these roundups over the years! Support Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs by becoming a patron on Patreon and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.