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Blog Profile / Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Filed Under:Biology / Paleontology
Posts on Regator:563
Posts / Week:3.2
Archived Since:November 17, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Horrible sauropod skulls of the Yale Peabody Museum, part 2: Brontosaurus; and no, I do not mean Apatosaurus

How can it be? All credit to the Yale Peabody Museum for having the courage to display this historically important object in their public gallery instead of hiding it in a basement. It’s the skull from the original mount of the Brontosaurus (= Apatosaurus) excelsus holotype YPM 1980. Needless to say, it bears no resemblance […]

Introducing VertFigure, a better name for vcd2svg

Five days ago, I released a program for drawing comparative figures of vertebral columns, such as this one from our neural-spine bifurcation paper. With my idiot computer-scientist hat on, I gave that program the startlingly unmemorable name vcd2svg — the reasoning being that it takes Vertebral Column Descriptions and translates them into Scalable Vector Graphics. In […]

Taxidermy photobombs of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History

Visiting relatives in Texas, just like last spring. Very distant relatives. And this happened: Here’s the culprit, with his sidekicks Monorail Badger, Trashbag Tortoise, and Kas-Tor, Last Beaver of Krypton. A disreputable bunch. The victim. Some call him the Winter Cervical. He was fast, strong–and he had a metal arm…ature. Meanwhile, in the back:

Introducing vcd2svg: how we made the vertebral-bifurcation heat-map figure

I think it’s fair to say that this “bifurcation heat-map”, from Wedel and Taylor (2013a: figure 9), has been one of the best-received illustrations that we’ve prepared: (See comments from Jaime and from Mark Robinson.) Back when the paper came out, Matt rashly said “Stand by for a post by Mike explaining how it came it be” […]

Photography and illustration talk, Part 14: Summary figures, and the talk files

The rest of the series is here. As promised, here are the files for the talk, in PPT and PDF formats. Wedel 2014 Photography and illustration lecture (PPT, ~53 Mb) Wedel 2014 Photography and illustration lecture (PDF, ~21 Mb) References Wedel, M.J. 2007a. What pneumaticity tells us about ‘prosauropods’, and vice versa. Special Papers in Palaeontology 77:207-222. […]

Photography and illustration talk, Part 13: Intro figures

The rest of the series. References Janensch, Werner.  1950.  Die Wirbelsaule von Brachiosaurus brancai.  Palaeontographica (Suppl. 7) 3: 27-93. Wedel, M.J., and Sanders, R.K. 2002. Osteological correlates of cervical musculature in Aves and Sauropoda (Dinosauria: Saurischia), with comments on the cervical ribs of Apatosaurus. Show More Summary

HEFCE’s new open-access policy for post-2014 outputs

This morning sees the publication of the new Policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework from HEFCE, the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It sets out in details HEFCE’s requirement that papers must be open-access to be eligible for the next (post-2014) Research Excellence Framework (REF). Show More Summary

Frederik Spindler’s wooly brachiosaur

Aitor Ederra drew my attention to this painting by Frederik Spindler: It’s briefly discussed in a blog-post on changing norms in palaeo-art. (I think the blog is Spindler’s, but I can’t find confirmation — its About page is singularly uninformative.) As so often when we look at All Yesterdays-style palaeo-art, the initial reaction is “no way!”, but […]

Rearing titanosaurs of the Egidio Feruglio museum

A simple picture post, courtesy of John Hutchinson’s tweets [first, second, third]: I’ve never seen a rearing titanosaur skeleton before. Here it is again, from in front: And here’s the whole exhibit: I don’t know what taxon the big rearing guy is — perhaps John can chip in? — but it certainly smells like a titanosaur. […]

We need different types of citation: Replicates, Falsifies, DependsOn, Acknowledges …

I just read this on Zen Faulkes’ NeuroDojo blog: How should scientists, and reporters, discuss work that has failed to replicate? The original Barr and colleagues article remains in the scientific literature; failed replication alone is not grounds for retraction. He’s right, of course: we certainly don’t want to retract every paper whose conclusions can’t […]

Photography and illustration talk, Part 12: Stereo and 3D

Here’s a working version of that link. Working link. Working links: Falkingham (2012) on photogrammetry for free Mallison photogrammetry tutorial 1 Mallison photogrammetry tutorial 2 Mallison photogrammetry tutorial 3 Mallison photogrammetry tutorial 4 The rest of this series. Show More Summary

Behold, the SV-POW! mole!

When Fiona checked her email this morning, she found this note from our next-door neighbour Jenny: Hi I seem to remember Mike wanting a mole – I do hope so because I’ve left you a body on your patio in a cereal box! Cheers Jen x What a delightful surprise! And here it is: And […]

Photography and illustration talk, Part 11: Maps and territories

That last one really hurts. Here’s the original image, which should have gone in the paper with the interpretive trace next to it rather than on top of it: The rest of the series. Papers referenced in these slides: Taylor, M.P., and Wedel, M.J. 2013b. The effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture and range of motion […]

A “nuanced” position isn’t always correct

In discussion of Samuel Gershman’s rather good piece The Exploitative Economics Of Academic Publishing, I got into this discusson on Twitter with David Mainwaring (who is usually one of the more interesting legacy-publisher representatives on these issues) and Daniel Allingon (who I don’t know at all). I’ll need to give a bit of background before I reach […]

Greatest. Video. Ever. Starring sauropod-on-theropod violence!

Inspired by Bob Nicholl’s brilliant sketch Failed Ambush, my son Matthew reinterpreted it in this video — also titled Failed Ambush. NOTE: this video is officially endorsed by Dr. Mathew J. Wedel, who testifies as follows: “it’s awesome”.

Get your relative-lengths-of-sauropod-necks T-shirts

Are you a lover of sauropod necks? Do you long to demonstrate to your friends and family how much better[1] they are than the necks of other long-necked critters? Are you crazy for the Taylor and Wedel (2013a) paper on why sauropods had long necks; and why giraffes have short necks, but disappointed that it’s not, […]

On breadth in research interests

In a comment on the last post, Anonymous wrote: I was wondering, in the course of your career, have you ever gotten tired of studying sauropods? Not to say that sauropods aren’t interesting, or that you might be losing interest in them, but have you ever looked out the window one day and gone “you […]

Photography and illustration talk, Part 10: Figure parts and placement

On that last slide, I also talked about two further elaborations: figures that take up the entire page, with the caption on a separate (usually facing) page, and side title figures, which are wider than tall and get turned on their sides to better use the space on the page. Also, if I was doing […]

How is it possible that Elsevier are still charging for copies of open-access articles?

I hate to keep flogging a dead horse, but since this issue won’t go away I guess I can’t, either. 1. Two years ago, I wrote about how you have to pay to download Elsevier’s “open access” articles. I showed how their open-access articles claimed “all rights reserved”, and how when you use the site’s facilities […]

Welcome, Cracked readers–here’s some eyeball bait

Although it would be nice to think that our site views have octupled in the last day because of Mike’s fine and funny posts about what search terms bring people to SV-POW!, the real reason is that we were blessed by incoming links from both pages of this article. Now, as any person who […]

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