Well another year has gone and another round of archosaur discoveries can be turned over. Time for a quick sampling of the year and some observations about things past and those to come. I used to do a more general roundup of the year from a personal perspective, but although this has been a full year, it’s not been riddled with the kind of excitement and trips that warrant a review. So, onto the archosaurs.
Most important new archosaur discovery
Yutyrannus might stand out, but I think a few people saw it coming and so too for the feathered ornithomimosaur and an older age for dinosaur origins with Nyasasaurus. Europejara and Guidraco are both very cool and have a lot to potentially tell us about pterosaur evolution and especially distribution so I’ll plump for those.
Best newly discovered archosaur specimen
Best named new archosaur
I really like Sciurumimus. Fun, memorable, sounds good. Great specimen.
Worst named new archosaur
Philovenator. Look, I appreciate the sentiment, honouring Phil Currie with a troodontid is great. But well, I think I’d be disappointed if I ever had something named for me and ended up with ‘Daveosaurus’…
The ‘Similicaudipteryx’ award for lest original archosaur name
Eoabelisaurus takes this one. The Eo-, Neo-, Pro-, Proto- thing is really annoying, not least when so many of the animals named like that don’t end up in the clade they are named for (Eopteranodon, Proceratosaurus) or aren’t especially basal (Protoceratops).
Most egregious media error on archosaurs
It’s bad enough when the media endlessly mix up all kinds of Mesozoic beasts with the dinosaurs. It really doesn’t help when an actual journal calls and icthyosaur a dinosaur.
Best media report
I’ve been rather busy myself recently, and to be honest I don’t keep up with the media reporting as much as I once did, so this is pretty tricky. Still, I’m still repeatedly impressed by the ongoing stuff by Charles Q. Choi.
Long time no see award
I last saw John Sibbick back in about 2004, so it was great to catch up with him at the Dinosaur Art launch and talk about his work and of course dinosaurs in general. I hope it’s not another 8 years till I next see him.
The ‘about time’ award for slow publication
That bloody pterosaur book. And the Burpee tyrannosaur one. Both hopefully out next year.
Ridiculous prediction for 2013
A completely crestless derived ceratopsian. Some kind of huge chasmosaurine with nary a frill, boss, knob or horn to be seen. Would be very cool and wonderfully odd.