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Blog Profile / Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Filed Under:Biology / Paleontology
Posts on Regator:676
Posts / Week:3
Archived Since:November 17, 2010

Blog Post Archive

Tutorial 29, Appendix B: good, bad, and ugly titles of Matt’s papers

Last October, Mike posted a tutorial on how to choose a paper title, then followed it up by evaluating the titles of his own papers. He invited me to do the same for my papers. I waited a few days to allow myself to forget Mike’s comments on our joint papers – not too hard […]

Dinosaur National Monument quarry map

The Carnegie Quarry, at Dinosaur National Monument, near Jensen, Utah, is arguably the most impressive dinosaur-fossil exhibit anywhere in the world — a covered, semi-excavated quarry that’s absolutely packed with big dinosaur fossils. It’s also notoriously difficult to photograph: too big to fit into a single photo, and with poor contrast between the bones and […]

Defensive use of the tail in monitors – and also sauropods?

One thing that I’ve never understood is why some people are skeptical about sauropods using their tails defensively, when lizards do this all the time. I’ve been digging through the literature on this for a current project, and there are some really great accounts out there, and by ‘great’ I mean ‘scary’. Here’s a key […]

A permanent home for the SVP’s Aetogate documents

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly seven years since the “resolution”, if you want to call it that, of Aetogate, the aetosaur plagiarism-and-claim-jumping scandal. I was contacted privately today by someone wanting to know if I had copies of the SVP’s documents published in response to this. I didn’t — and the documents are […]

The Titanic was sunk by an Apatosaurus cervical

According to Rare Historical Photos from the 1860s to the 1960s, this is the iceberg that sank the Titanic: Clearly this was no iceberg, but a gigantic Apatosaurus vertebra, most of it hidden under water. Here is an artist’s impression: They get everywhere, don’t they?

The planned vandalism of the Natural History Museum: a modest proposal

Go to Google and do a picture search for “natural history museum”. Here are the results I get. (I’m searching the UK, where that term refers to the British museum of that name — results in the USA may very.) In the top 24 images, I see that half of them are of the building […]

Can it be? Even more non-dinosaurian epipophyses? Yes, and this time they’re non-ornithodiran!

Having given pterosaurs all the glory in two earlier posts, it’s time to move yet further away from the sauropods we know and love, and look at epipophyses outside of Ornithodira. Here, for example, is the basal archosauriform Vancleavea. (Thanks to Mickey Mortimer, whose a comment on an earlier post put us onto this, and various other candidate epipohysis-bearers which […]

What’s that you say? No epipophyses in titanosaurs? Oh really?

This just in, from Zurriaguz and Powell’s (2015) hot-off-the-press paper describing the morphology and pneumatic features of the presacral column of the derived titanosaur Saltasaurus. (Thanks to Darren for bringing this paper to my attention.) Now, as everyone knows, titanosaurs don’t have epipophyses. In fact, they’re the one major sauropod group where Matt has not […]

The equivocal epipophyses of Cf. Quetzalcoatlus

It’s well known that there is good fossil material of the giant azhdarchid pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus out there, but that for various complicated reasons it’s yet to be published. But as part of our ongoing quest for pterosaur epipophyses, I have obtained these photos of a pretty well preserved single cervical, probably C3, which is either Quetzalcoatlus […]

Further exciting developments in the field of non-sauropod epipophyses

Many thanks for the various people who chipped in, both in comments on the last post and in this thread on twitter, where I asked a bunch of pterosaur experts for their thoughts on epipophyses in pterosaurs. I now know more than I previously knew about epipophyses outside of Sauropoda — and especially outside Dinosauria. […]

Epipophyses, for forgotten apophyses: not just for sauropods!

Matt’s last post contained a nice overview of the occurrence of epipophyses in sauropodomorphs: that is, bony insertion points for epaxial ligaments and muscles above the postzygapophyseal facets. What we’ve not mentioned so far is that these structures are not limited to sauropods. Back when we were preparing one of the earlier drafts of the […]

The epipophyses of Qijianglong and other sauropods

Introduction and Background I have three goals with this post: To document the range of variation in epipophyses in the cervical vertebrae of sauropods. To show that the “finger-like processes” overhanging the cervical postzygapophyses in the newly described Qijianglong are not novel or mysterious structures, just very well developed epipophyses. Show More Summary

The “finger-like” parapostzygapophyseal processes of Qijianglong

There’s a new mamenchisaurid in town! It’s called Qijianglong (“dragon of Qijiang”), and it’s the work of Xing et al. (2015). As far as I can make out, the life restoration is also due to Xing Lida: at least, every instance of the picture I’ve seen says “Credit: Xing Lida”. If that’s right, it’s an amazing display […]

Sideshow Apatosaurus sans background

I made these for my own use in talks, and then thought, why be selfish? Like everything else on this blog, these images are now released to the world under the CC-BY license. Have fun with them. You can read my review of the Sideshow Apatosaurus here; the TL;DR is that it’s awesome. And if […]

What have you done with Aquilops!?

Awesome things, that’s what. In a previous post I asked people to make cool things with Aquilops. And you have. In spades. Here’s a compilation of the best things so far. First, a blast from the past. As far as I know, the first life restoration of Aquilops was actually this sketch by Mike Keesey, […]

Aquilops wants to play

Here are three fun things to do with Aquilops, in descending order of how much gear they require. 1. Print your own Aquilops fossil. Got access to a 3D printer? Download the 3D models of the holotype skull, OMNH 34557, that we published as supplementary info with the paper, and rock out. Here’s a test […]

My neck-cartilage angle paper is out!

Arriving as an early Christmas present, and coming in just a week before the end of what would otherwise have been a barren 2014, my paper Quantifying the effect of intervertebral cartilage on neutral posture in the necks of sauropod dinosaurs is out! You can read it on PeerJ (or download the PDF). Yes, that posture […]

My early Christmas present: a dead corn snake

A friend’s daughter owned a pet corn snake, and a hamster. About a month ago, the former got into the latter’s cage — and in a reversal of the usual course of such events, sustained some nasty injuries. As snakes often do, it struggled to recover, and the wound seems to have necrotised. This morning […]

My new paper on Haplocanthosaurus is out

Right on the heels of Aquilops last week, my paper with John Foster on the new specimen of Haplocanthosaurus from Snowmass, Colorado, was just published in Volumina Jurassica. I’ll have more to say about it later, but right now I am up against a deadline on a big project and I need to go work […]

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