Welcome to the Boneyard #7 featuring the best of the last two weeks of blogging about the last ~3000 million years of life on our planet. Illustration for this edition has been kindly supplied by Dan McCarthy, prints, posters, paintings and more are available at www.danmccarthy.org, each image links to the site as well.
Let’s start with the oldest at top, those searching for geologic integrity can flip their monitors over…
Kevin at The Other 95% writes about the discovery of a Lower Cambrian crustacean, Yicaris dianensis, and its implications for the evolution of the most important group of animals on Earth: New Fossil Crustacean Pushes Back Arthropod Origins…you may know that this has direct implications for my dermis
In honor of last week’s much lauded International Cephalopod Awareness Day, Christopher from Catalogue of Organisms offers up not one but two absurdly large cephalopods: Day of the Tentacle and More giant cephalopods…along with a ‘buxom wench with a rapier.’
Also inspired by ICAD, Ben from Principles of Parsimony muses upon the tales told by one punctured ammonite: Cephalopods, mosasaurs, and Cretaceous parenting
Speaking of Cretaceous…Julia, the ethical palaeontologist, hopefully enjoying a tasty margarita under New Mexican skies as we speak, writes about one of many dinosaurs you wouldn’t want to get your arm stuck in: New Hadrosaur!
Gryposaurus has received a fair bit of attention across the blogosphere..here’s Dr. Ryan’s summary: New Hadrosaur, Gryposaurus monumentensis and Dr. Bridger’s elegy is here: R.I.P.
Elsewhere amongst Cretaceous dinos, Therizinosaurs are some of the weirdest of the lot and perpetual paleo-blogger Brian Switek wrote about the recently published Suzhousarus megatherioides at his brand new Science Blogs site: Suzhousaurus and its strange relatives…were they, in fact giant ground sloth analogues?
No! in fact they were giant arboreal sloth analogues climbing around giant trees and tearing into super proto-bee hives…you see it all has to do with the tensile strenth of lignin at high O2 concentrations…oh never mind…
Of course no K dino is as emblematic as T. rex, perhaps the only organism known familiarly by its abbreviated genus, and we all know T. rexo had two fingers right? Right? Zach from When Pigs Fly Returns copes with the unsettling news: Tyrannosaurus rex has three fingers?! while Brian posits atavism: A Tyrannosaurus with three fingers?
Wait a minute! Actually, the most important dinosaur post of the last two weeks is Hairy Museum of Natural History curator Matt’s post: A wish for coelophysis, which pushes us way back into the Triassic…I wish for world peace and a whole bunch of thalattosaur skulls, or maybe a Hupehsuchus with gut contents. Oh, nevermind.
Moving into the Cainozoic…
Vintage, collectors item Laelaps looks at hyperdentition among mammals: What big teeth you have
Greg Laden examines the overlooked animals that are in fact at the core of the modern petroleum defense cabal: Hyracoidea.
Zach lays out some core knowledge: Evolution for dummies. Not that you, dear reader, are in fact a dummy.
The Boneyard Sells Out:
Various gifty holidays are coming up, and those looking for presents in the paleo theme are in luck:
Cruisin’ the Fossil Freeway the new Kirk Johnson/Ray Troll book.
Dan McCarthy’s Website (prints, posters and t-shirts)