Friday, January 25, 2019

Whale-Lizards of the Triassic III: Revenge of Eretmorhipis


You might fondly remember the two previous posts in this series: Part I and Part II which describe a particularly bizarre group of basal ichthyosauromorphs called hupehsuchians. Known for their "bony body tubes" and wide, toothless mouths, hupehsuchians are a surprisingly diverse group that includes five monospecific genera: Nanchangosaurus, Hupehsuchus, EohupehsuchusParahupehsuchus, and EretmorhipisEretmorhipis is the most recently-described hupehsuchian (Chen et al. 2015) but also one of the more mysterious, as the holotype does not include a skull or even cervicals. I should mention this is also the case with Parahupehsuchus although it's missing most of the tail, too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Big Finish to 2018

Despite Sergey Krasovskiy's gorgeous art, it is not Crittendenceratops.
First of all, sorry for not writing anything in December. We spent half the month on vacation and the other half madly trying to finish things before the vacation and playing catch-up after the vacation. It was a good vacation; we went to Kauai. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Kauai but it’s the complete opposite of Alaska, especially during December. I did some writing while on vacation but nothing serious and besides I didn’t have any of my reference material on-hand. However, I did work on a longer-term project that's been on my mind for awhile now. Details as they emerge.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thanos Deserves Better

Thanos, the Mad Titan, disappointed with his namesake.
A new dinosaur was published today in Historical Biology: Thanos simonattoi, named after Sergio Simonatto, who discovered the specimen, but more visibly Thanos, the Marvel villain. It might not shock you to known that Rafael Delcourt's name is on this paper. A few months ago, he gave us the Etrigansauria, an unnecessary name that has designs on replacing the perfectly-good Neoceratosauria. Delcourt & Vidoi lori (2018) identify Thanos as an abelisaurid close to Brachyrostra. This all seems fine until you see the holotype:

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

They Might Be Giants

Ingentia prima by Jorge Gonzalez
Two recent news stories perked my interest recently—the descriptions of two new non-sauropod sauropodomorphs: Ingentia prima from the Late Triassic of Argentina and Ledumahadi mafube from the Early Jurassic of South Africa. Together, these animals (and two others which I’ll get to) form a clade of non-sauropod sauropodomorphs that achieved gigantism independently from true, blue sauropods, which is intriguing for a number of reasons.

Friday, September 7, 2018

An Update on Stem Turtles

The beaky noggin of Eorhynchochelys by...IVPP?


Couple things I need to talk about. First, it's been a very long time since I've blogged, which was not my intention (it never is). I hit a rough patch of writer's block, which was followed up by a 9-day stint at the hospital where I got a CF-related tune-up. Taxonomy Tuesday is not proving to be the rich well of inspiration I was hoping for, so while I still intend to write up Taxonomy Tuesdays, they almost certainly won't be weekly. Now then, right before I was admitted, I wrote this short post about a new stem turtle. I wrote about turtle origins way back in 2015 and I'm always excited when a new one pops up. Thankfully, in addition to this post, I'm halfway through essays about mesosaurs and tanystropheids, so regular blogging will commence soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Taxonomy Tuesday: Hyenas Are Not Dogs

The spotted,  or "laughing" hyena
Yes, I know it's Thursday. I got busy mid-week. Today's #TaxonomyTuesday is about hyenas, which, contrary to popular belief, are not related to dogs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Taxonomy Tuesday: Snakes are lizards

Snek
I'm trying something new in an effort to post more often then once a month.

Once a week, on "Taxonomy Tuesday," I'll write a short post about some taxonomic weirdness that people might not think about. On this maiden voyage of "Taxonomy Tuesday," we'll talk about snakes...which are lizards.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

We Can't Have Nice Things

Sinoceratops vs. Carnotaurus
Against all better judgement, I saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last night. It was terrible. Until last night, I’d never seen a movie that didn’t have a single original idea—Jurassic World 2 is a mish-mash of previous Jurassic Park/World concepts thrown into a blender and pureed. While there will be massive spoilers in this review, I kind of agree with John Conway that Jurassic World 2 is almost incapable of spoilers because you’ve seen this movie before. In fact, if you’ve seen the trailers, you know everything that happens; there are no surprises.

Hold on to your butts...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Faux Theropods

The skeleton of Effigia
Bit of a shorter post this month, as I'm prepping a photo-heavy review of the Creative Beast raptor toys that I just received. This month I’ve decided to tackle one of my absolute favorite groups of Triassic weirdos: shuvosaurids! They are a fairly obscure clade outside of paleo circles, consisting of only three (used to be four) named genera but shuvosaurids should be poster children for the concept of convergent evolution. These things are pseudosuchian theropod mimics, and not just theropods but ornithomimosaurs. Ostrich dinosaurs in the Triassic...but suchians!

Monday, May 14, 2018

One More Strange Reptile


Remember my post from last year about azendohsaurs and trilophosaurs? Well just the other day, paleoartist extraordinaire Gabriel Ugueto posted a sketch of something called Teraterpeton. I had no idea what this zany-looking reptile was, so I looked it up and was flabbergasted to find that it's a trilophosaur that is quite unlike Trilophosaurus. You'll notice that I did mention Teraterpeton in passing in that post, which must mean I didn't think it was a trilophosaur or at least was not unambiguously a trilophosaur. Turns out I'm incorrect--Teraterpeton is a perfectly good trilophosaur, and therefore an allokotosaur!