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Blog Profile / Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Filed Under:Biology / Paleontology
Posts on Regator:616
Posts / Week:3.1
Archived Since:November 17, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Thinking about spinal cords

I’m scrambling to get everything done before I leave for England and SVPCA this weekend, so no time for a substantive post. Instead, some goodies from old papers I’ve been reading. Explanations will have to come in the comments, if at all. For more noodling about nerves, please see: The world’s longest cells? Speculations on […]

SO close

I have often argued that given their long hindlimbs, massive tail-bases, and posteriorly-located centers of mass, diplodocids were basically bipeds whose forelimbs happened to reach the ground. I decided to see what that might look like. Okay, now obviously I know that there are no trackways showing sauropods actually getting around like this. It’s just […]

Open Letter to the AAAS about Science Advances

Dear  AAAS, This is an open letter concerning the recent launch of the new open access journal, Science Advances. In addition to the welcome diversification in journal choices for authors looking for open access venues, there are many positive aspects of Science Advances: its broad STEM scope, its interest in cross-disciplinary research, and the offering […]

The bizarre caudal neural spines of Tambatitanis amicitiae

Today for the first time I saw Saegusa and Ikeda’s (2014) new monograph describing the Japanese titanosauriform Tambatitanis amicitiae. I’ve not yet had a chance to read the paper — well, it’s 65 pages long — but it certainly looks like they’ve done a nice, comprehensive job on a convincing new taxon represented by good material: […]

Researchers: do your damned job

I am just about out of patience with academic departments putting up endless idiot arguments about open access. Bottom line: we pay you good money out of the public purse to do highly desirable job where you get to work on what you love — jobs that have tens or dozens of candidates for every […]

How untrue “facts” propagate in the scientific literature

Short post today. Go and read this paper: Academic urban legends (Rekdal 2014). It’s open access, and an easy and fascinating read. It unfolds a tale of good intentions gone wrong, a chain of failure, illustrating an important single crucial point of academic behaviour: read what you cite. References Rekdal, Ole Bjørn. 2014. Academic urban legends. Social Studies […]

Fumbling towards transparency: the Royal Society’s “reject & resubmit” and submitted/published dates

Regulars will remember that nearly two years ago, I reviewed a paper for the Royal Society’s journal Biology Letters, recommended acceptance with only trivial changes (as did both other reviewers) and was astonished to see that it was rejected outright. There was an invitation to resubmit, with wording that made it clear that the resubmission would […]

How should I cite my old/new diversity preprint?

Recently, I published an old manuscript of mine as a PeerJ Preprint. I wrote this paper in 2003-4, and it was rejected without review when I submitted it back then. (For, I think, specious reasons, but that’s a whole nother discussion. Forget I mentioned it.) I haven’t touched the manuscript since then (except to single-space it for submission […]

My scientific media diet, the arborization of science, and the Red Queen

I was reading a rant on another site about how pretentious it is for intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals to tell the world about their “media diets” and it got me thinking–well, angsting–about my scientific media diet. And then almost immediately I thought, “Hey, what am I afraid of? I should just go tell the truth about […]

Mike Taylor’s ESOF2014 talk: should science always be open?

As recently noted, it was my pleasure and privilege on 25 June to give a talk at the ESOF2014 conference in Copenhagen (the EuroScience Open Forum). My talk was one of four, followed by a panel discussion, in a session on the subject “Should science always be open?“.   I had just ten minutes to […]

Pelican vertebrae are mostly air

I was at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County yesterday to do some research in the ornithology collection. After lunch I was working on this pelican skeleton and I thought, “Geez, there is just no way to do this thing justice with still photos. I should make a video.” Here it is. You’ll […]

SV-POW! showdown: Supersaurus vs Brachiosaurus and Diplodocus

This was inspired by an email Mike sent a couple of days ago: Remind yourself of the awesomeness of Giraffatitan: Now think of this. Its neck is 8.5m long. Knock of one measly meter — for example, by removing one vertebra from the middle of the neck — and you have 7.5 m. Supersaurus’s […]

New (but very old) preprint: A survey of dinosaur diversity by clade, age, place of discovery and year of description

Today, available for the first time, you can read my 2004 paper A survey of dinosaur diversity by clade, age, place of discovery and year of description. It’s freely available (CC By 4.0) as a PeerJ Preprint. It’s one of those papers that does exactly what it says on the tin — you should be able […]

Free papers you should read: Martin and Palmer (2014) on ASPs of pterosaur wing bones

This came out two months ago, and I should have blogged about it then, but as usual I am behind. I’m blogging about it now because it deals with a question that has been on my mind for about 10 years now. If you want to skip my blatherations and get on to the good […]

LAST CHANCE to book your place for TetZooCon

Folks, You may know that the inaugral TetZooCon is set to take place next Saturday (12 July) at the London Wetland Centre. It’s an informal convention that’s condensed around occasional SV-POW!sketeer Darren Naish’s absurdly informative blog Tetrapod Zoology, and features a day of talks, a palaeoart workshop and a quiz. At £40 for the day, it’s […]

The revolution will be comic-booked

  So, this is on the shelves right now. Underage anthropomorphic martial chelonian cargo notwithstanding, the Triceratops on the cover is pretty standard. The one on the inside is much less so. Or, at least it would have been up until a couple of years ago. Apparently, dinos that are All-Yesterdays-ed out are a pop […]

Xenoposeidon in glorious 3D

Get your red/cyan anaglyph glasses on, and feast your eyes: Click through for stupidly high resolution. Those of you who are still too cheap to have sprung 99¢ for a pair of glasses, you can make do with this grossly inferior wigglegram:

The Journal of Zoology special issue on paleobehavior is free for the next 30 days

Got this in my inbox this morning. I presume this means that the 30 days start now. But if you’re interested in this stuff, don’t tarry. And you should be interested in this stuff. This volume brings together some very active and knowledgeable researchers–including our fellow SV-POW!sketeer, Darren Naish, and sometime coauthor Dave Hone–writing on […]

Cambrian trilobites from the Marble Mountains, southern California

  These animals experienced days less than 23 hours long, and years with close to 400 days.

A beautiful Lego Diplodocus skeleton

Check out this beautiful Lego Diplodocus: (Click through for the full image at full size.) I particularly like the little touch of having of bunch of Lego Victorian gentleman scientists clustered around it, though they’re probably a bit too big for the skeleton. This is the work of MolochBaal, and all rights are reserved. You […]

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