PaleoNews #10

Wow! We have hit the big 1-0!  Time to celebrate with tons of news! 

NEW FINDINGS

Brontosaurus is back! A new paper published in the journal PeerJ by Tschopp et. al. revisits the entire clade Diplodocoidea in a specimen-level analysis. They have also renamed “Diplodocus” hayi Galeamopus hayi. Two other species of Apatosaurus have also been attributed to Brontosaurus. These are A. parvus and A. yahnahpin. Tschopp et al.  found that AMNH 460 might not even be an Apatosaurus and that FMNH 25112 might not even be an apatosaurine.

We don't know what this guy is anymore. AMNH 460. Photo by the author, 2015.

We don’t know what this guy is anymore. AMNH 460. Photo by the author, 2015.

I... I don't know anymore! FMNH 25112 Photo by the author, 2014.

I… I don’t know anymore! FMNH 25112.
Photo by the author, 2014.

Although I would argue that Tschopp et. al. did not factor in species-level phenotypic variation as much as they should have in their taxonomic assessments, the paper stands as a well-done review and description of the diplodocoid sauropodomorphs. I highly suggest you read the paper here, and good job to the guys who wrote it!

The neck of the Brontosaurus excelsus mount at the Peabody Museum. Photo by the author, 2014.

The neck of the Brontosaurus excelsus mount at the Yale Peabody Museum. Photo by the author, 2014.

The Project Daspletosaurus paper has been released! Dave Hone and Darren Tanke have had their findings on combat and cannibalism among tyrannosaurs published in the journal PeerJ. This detailed work showcases the battered skull of an adolescent Daspletosaurus. You can go check out the paper here.

A battle-damaged Daspletosaurus by the author. pencils on paper, 2015.

A battle-damaged Daspletosaurus by the author. pencils on paper, 2015.

A new phorusracid has been described! The type specimen of Llallawavis scagliai is the most complete phorusracid specimen yet found. The skeleton has an exceptionally well-preserved skull, and the trachea, voice box, and auditory region of the skull are all preserved. This has allowed researchers to estimate the frequency range of terror birds like L. scagliai could hear, which has implications for research into communication among these immense birds.

Llallawavis scagliai by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2015.

Llallawavis scagliai by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2015.

Specimens from the Yale Peabody Museum indicate that mosasaurs gave live birth at sea. The paper, which was released in the journal Palaeontology on April 10, describes the youngest mosasaur specimens ever found. Originally thought to be fossils of prehistoric marine birds, these fossils give us further insight into the ontogeny of mosasaurs.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY

At SVPOW!, Mike Taylor shares some thoughts on Tschopp et. al., 2015 and Matthew Wedel considers how to make the results of scientific research more accessible. You can find those posts here and here.  Dave Hone talks about his paper on combat and cannibalism among tyrannosaurs (see above) on his blog Archosaur Musings. Here is the link.

Prehistoric Beast of the Week has arrived! Born out of the beloved blog Jersey Boys Hunt Dinosaurs, Christopher DiPiazza, Nathan Vranken and Eric Warren have teamed up to make this awesome new addition to the Dinoblogosphere. You can find the blog here.

At LITC, David Orr interviews artist Angela Connor. Go check that post out here! I know I have mentioned this before, but David and his wife Jennie are in the midst of the funding campaign for their book, Mammoth is Mopey. If it is published, it will be a great educational resource for young children interested in paleontology. To see what you can do to help, go to their Indiegogo page here.

At his blog, Mark Witton talks about the weird Triassic reptile Sharovipteryx. You can find that post here.

FEATURED ARTWORK/PHOTOGRAPH

This week we have my photo of the AMNH Tyrannosaurus mount:

Tyrannosaurus rex at the AMNH. Photo by the author, 2015.

Tyrannosaurus rex at the AMNH. Photo by the author, 2015.

The classic AMNH Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs image. Tyrannosaurus in foreground and an unidentified apatosaurine in the back. Photo by the author, 2015.

The classic AMNH Hall of Saurischian Dinosaurs image. Tyrannosaurus in foreground and an unidentified apatosaurine in the back. Photo by the author, 2015.

The skull of the famous AMNH Tyrannosaurus. Photo by the author, 2015.

The skull of the famous AMNH Tyrannosaurus. Photo by the author, 2015.

 

I hope you enjoyed PaleoNews #10! Thanks for reading!!

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