Gosh. I planned on doing the Dinosaur themed article last week, and then another 2 dinosaurs (1 is avian) were announced. 2015 hates me I tell you! 

NEW FINDINGS

A new Early Cretaceous bird has been described. Archaeornithura meemannae is an early member of ornithuromorpha, the clade which all modern birds stem from. 2 partial specimens of this animal have been collected from the Huajiying Formation in northeastern China. These animals are the first ornithuromorphs from the formation, and also predate the earliest known ornithuromorphs (from the famous Jehol Biota) by 6 million years, making them 131 million years old. The fossil specimens suggest that skilled flight and rapid developmental growth arose rapidly in the early stage of bird evolution. The bird itself also had an awesome crest of feathers on its head.  Overall, these new finds suggest that the ornithuromorphs have an older origin then previously thought.I agree with Stephen Brusatte in that this bird is one of the most important fossil birds discoveries of the decade, as it not only extends the range of the ornithuromophs, but is one of the earliest steps on the stairwell to modern birds.

Archaeornithura meemannae by the author. Pencils on paper, 2015.
Archaeornithura meemannae by the author. Pencils on paper, 2015.

Meet Saurornitholestes sullivani. This new dromaeosaurid has been making headlines due to the large size of  surface of its skull where the olfactory bulbs would have been in life, suggesting that S. sullivani could smell pretty well. It was a relatively small dinosaur, being around 6 feet in length. The animal was excavated from New Mexico in 1999. This animal adds to the growing list of North American dromaeosaurids.

Sauronitholestes sullivani by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2015.
Sauronitholestes sullivani by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2015.

THE INTERNET AND PALEONTOLOGY

At The Bite Stuff , Jaime Headden talks about the much forgotten Chilesaurus. You can find that post here.  Thank Gorgosaurus for his post, as lately it’s been Yi qi mania!At dinosaurpalaeo, Mr. Mallison has reached the 10th installment in his Photogrammetry series. Go check that out here.

At his blog, Mark Witton embraces European wukongopterid pterosaurs. You can find that here. LITC reviews a new Vintage Dinosaur Book here, and Darren Naish writes on Domesticated African Horses. Go check those posts out!!

PBOTW showcases that weirdly-crested hadrosaur Parasaurolophus here. This post is filled to the brim with facts and is very well-written, and I suggest you check it out!

FEATURED ARTWORK/PHOTOGRAPH

This week we have my illustration of a lone Merycoidodon for one of my museum’s exhibitions. It wasn’t used in the final exhibit but it was a blast to illustrate the animal!

Merycoidodon by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2014.
Merycoidodon by the author. Colored pencils on paper, 2014.

Remember, if you’d like to feature your artwork, leave a comment saying so below. If you have paleoart and want to feature it, this is the place to do so!

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed PaleoNews #12, and thanks for reading!! 

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