Discover a new way to find and share stories you'll love… Learn about Reading Desk

Blog Profile / Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Filed Under:Biology / Paleontology
Posts on Regator:627
Posts / Week:3.1
Archived Since:November 17, 2010

Blog Post Archive

The CC By licence does not let people distort and misrepresent your work

I was skim-reading the Political Studies Association’s evidence submitted to RCUK’s review. I was struck by one part that perpetuates a common but completely unfounded misapprehension: There is little enthusiasm for CC-BY [...] in the field of political studies. [...] It is clear that there is serious concern about the potential for work published under a CC-BY licence to […]

Gender balance at SVPCA

I’ve always thought of SVPCA as a pretty well gender-balanced conference: if not 50-50 men and women, then no more than 60-40 slanted towards men. So imagine my surprise when I ran the actual numbers. 1. Delegates. I went through the delegate list at the back of the abstracts book, counting the men and women. Those I knew, […]

Guest post: the genesis of Davide Bonadonna’s Spinosaurus painting

In the last post I pointed out some similarities between Davide Bonadonna’s new Spinosaurus painting and Brian Engh’s Spinosaurus painting from 2010. I also suggested that Davide might have borrowed from Brian and might have crossed a line in doing so. I was mistaken about that, as this post will show, and I’m sorry.  I woke up this […]

Spinosaurus fishiness, part n

Scott Hartman has already explained–twice–that the super-short-legged, “Ambulocetus-grade” Spinosaurus from the new Ibrahim et al. (2014) paper has some major problems. Those are both good, careful, thought-provoking posts and you should go read them. Show More Summary

How long was the torso of Dreadnoughtus?

In a comment on the last post, on the mass of Dreadnoughtus, Asier Larramendi wrote: The body mass should be considerably lower because the reconstructed column don’t match with published vertebrae centra lengths. 3D reconstruction also leaves too much space between vertebrae. The reconstruction body trunk is probably 15-20% longer than it really was. Check […]

How massive was Dreadnoughtus?

In the paper describing the new giant titanosaur Dreadnoughtus, Lacovara et al. (2014) use the limb bone allometry equation of Campione and Evans (2012) to derive a mass estimate for the holotype individual of 59.3 metric tons. This is presumably the “middle of the road” value spat out by the equation; the 95% confidence interval […]

Give a talk that holds attention!

I am just back from SVPCA, where I saw fifty 20-minute talks in three days. (I try to avoid missing any talks at all if I can avoid it, and this year I did.) As always, there was lots of fascinating stuff, and much of it not about the topics that I would necessarily have […]

Please welcome Rukwatitan (over on Mark Witton’s blog)

I just read Mark Witton’s piece on the new new titanosaur Rukwatitan (as opposed to the old new titanosaur Dreadnaughtus). I was going to write something about it, but I realised that Mark has already said everything I would have, but better. So get yourselves over to his piece and enjoy the titanosaurianness of it […]

Brief thoughts on Dreadnoughtus

Mike and I are in York for SVPCA — more on that soonish — and I just wanted to get out some quick thoughts about the world’s newest giant sauropod. First off, the paper (Lacovara et al. 2014) is open access, which is great. And, hey, 3D PDFs of the whole skeleton and selected elements — […]

Come on, AAAS. You can do better than this.

A couple of weeks ago, more than hundred scientists sent an open letter to the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) about their new open-access journal Science Advances, which is deficient in various ways — not least the absurdly inflated article-processing charge. Today I learn from email that there has finally been a […]

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 […]

Copyright © 2011 Regator, LLC