Archive for June, 2009

A pelvis at the front – the notarium

Time to continue the general lesson in odd bits of pterosaurian anatomy and here we have a real specialisation: the notarium. This is unique to larger pterodactyloids and is essentially a fusion of the vertebrae that make up the spine where the shoulder articulates with the back to produce something that looks rather like a pelvis at the front. It has some interesting connotations for pterosaur evolution and ecology, and that of the development of bone in general.
Continue reading ‘A pelvis at the front – the notarium’

Guest Post: Shark toothed theropods in Asia – introducing Shaochilong

ResearchBlogging.orgSteve BI may be headding off to sunny Inner Mongolia, but have left the keys to the Musings behind in the hands of theropod specialist and memeber of the worldwide Bristol mafia, Steve Brusatte to talk to you about a new paper (and a new taxon) we have described with our colleagues (though I honestly and non-self depreactingly didn’t do much of it apart from coming up with the name). Take it away Steve:
Continue reading ‘Guest Post: Shark toothed theropods in Asia – introducing Shaochilong’

More advice

Mike Taylor has a great write-up over at SV-POW! on chosing where to publish your academic research papers. It’s worth a good read through when you have time and covers a lot of ground that I never did when writing about how to get a paper published as part of my ‘famous’ and ‘successful’ how-to series.

Sail-backed iguanodontids – Ouranosaurus

IMGP0754The giant theropod Spinosaurus gets all the attention for being properly and dramatically enhanced with a huge bony sail on its back, but it’s far from the only dinosaur with them. Most intriguingly it’s far from the only dinosaur from the Cretaceous of North Africa with one: both the sauropod Rebbachisaurus and the iguanodontid Ouranosaurus also had sails. Continue reading ‘Sail-backed iguanodontids – Ouranosaurus’


CIMG1091As (vaguely) promised, here are some photos of this wonderful ornithocheirid pterosaur. However the damned thing is so big (the slab it is on is close to a metre on each side as I recall) that it was hard to fit in the frame of the shot, even from on top of a chair so it doesn’t quite fit as you can see, hence the inclusion of a second ‘angled’ picture below to show it off better and a close-up of the jaws.

Continue reading ‘Ludodactylus’

OK, fine, I’ll talk about that pterosaur / albatross paper

The title here might give you the impression that I’ve been deluged with e-mails about this paper, and although I was away when it came out and thus missed most of the online discussion I‘ve not really spoken to any of my colleagues about it and not had a single request to talk about it. The title here more refers to my own mental battle as I have been determined not to comment on it on the blog and save anything I’d want to say for a formal publication (if I ever do one).

I have made a conscientious effort on the Musings to try to avoid criticising academic colleagues, papers or organisations directly (not that I have always succeeded mind) and I’ll try to keep that up here. That might sound odd given that there is only really one paper I could be referring to here and thus any comments are going to be fairly obviously related to it, but what I will do is hold it up as another example of the failure of peer review.

Continue reading ‘OK, fine, I’ll talk about that pterosaur / albatross paper’

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