Hey guys! sorry I’m late with this installment. It’s time to get off my lazy bottom and do this thing!
Hailing from China is the new mamenchisaurid Qijianglong goukr. This fifty foot long Mamenchisaurid was discovered in 2006 by construction workers who managed to find the skull still connected to the neck of the animal. What’s weird about Qijianglong are the finger-like processes extending from the vertebrae. This is only one of the features which makes Qijianglong distinctive from Mamenchisaurus. In fact, Qijianglong is the only late jurassic mamenchisaurid distinctive from Mamenchisaurus, which shows that mamenchisaurids from the late jurassic were much more morphologically diverse then previously thought. Qijianglong is the first sauropod described in 2015, which I think we can all say is awesome.
Four new snake fossils show that snakes evolved much earlier then previously thought. These snake fossils, originally thought to be lizards of some sort, are from all around the world and date from the Upper Jurassic to the Lower Cretaceous. The oldest of the group is Eophis underwoodi, which is known from a fragmentary skeleton that dates from the middle Jurassic. The skeleton is small and is probably a juvenile, but the fossils, which are in pieces, do not supply enough information to tell us how old the specimen was when it died. The youngest of the group is Parviraptor estesi from the late Cretaceous of England. Overall, the distribution of these snakes and the anatomy of their skeletons leads professor Caldwell of the University of Alberta to believe that snakes from even older time periods will be discovered, and I have to say that I agree with him. You can find more information on these snakes from the excellent article in Science Daily here.
THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY
The guys at SV-POW! discuss theses weird finger like processes extending from the vertebrae of Qijianglong here. It’s an excellent article which not only discusses the weird processes in detail but also provides pictures of the vertebrae in question. At DINOSOURS!, Ben talks about Georgie the Daspletosaurus, a terrific tyrannosaur which currently resides in the Field Museum. You can read the article here.
This week we have an awesome artwork of two Diamantinosaurus by Brian Engh. You may know him from his recent Aquiliops artwork or from his awesome series Earth Beasts Awaken which is on youtube. A link to his website can be found here, and thanks again to Brian for allowing me to showcase his artwork.
Anyways, thanks for reading guys!