PaleoNews #10

Wow Baby! We have hit the big one O!  Time to celebrate with tons of new PaleoNews! 

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. They have also 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.

However, this unconventional method of analysis has been criticized by multiple 3rd parties, including myself. I have argued that Tschopp et. al. did not factor in species-level phenotypic variation  as much as they should have. Mike Taylor of SVPOW! has also noted that the reason Tschopp et. al. got different results is because they collected data from so many different specimens. For the time being, their analysis remains “valid” (whatever that’s supposed to mean nowadays) until someone actually does all the research they did and finds something wrong with their results. Overall, the paper is one of the most well-done pieces of paleontological literature I think I’ve ever read. 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 end result of Project Daspletosaurus has finally been published!  Dave Hone Darren Tanke have published their findings on combat and cannibalism among tyrannosaurs in 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 specimen has an exceptionally well-preserved skull. The trachea, voice box, and auditory region of the skull are all very well preserved. This allowed researchers to estimate the vocal frequency range “terror birds” like L. scagliai could hear. This has implications for finding out what the calls of these immense birds sounded like.

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

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

In other news, specimens from the Yale Peabody Museum indicate that mosasaurs gave live birth at sea. The paper, which was released in Palaeontology on April 10, describes the youngest mosasaur specimens ever found. Originally thought to be fossils of prehistoric marine birds, these newly re-described fossils give us further insight into the ecology, biology, and ontogeny of mosasaurs.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY

At SVPOW! , Mike shares some thoughts on Tschopp et. al., 2015. while Matt talks about how to construct the results in your paper so that a wider audience can understand them. 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 new awesome 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.

Remember, if you would like to feature your work on this blog, leave a comment below or contact me at chasethedinosaur@gmail.com .

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s