Welcome to the first edition of The Boneyard, a blog carnival devoted to all things paleontological.
The big news that everyone has been talking about this week is a new paper in the journal Science announcing evidence that groups of animals present in the Late Triassic of New Mexico (including those who shared recent ancestors with the dinosaurs, like Dromomeron romeri announced in the paper) did not simply vanish the moment dinosaurs came on the scene. A squad of accomplished paleo-bloggers have provided excellent commentary on the new paper;
Matt – Dinosaur precursors found in New Mexico
Julia – Real Dinosaurs in Northern New Mexico
Darren – The surprising and hitherto undocumented late survival of non-dinosaurian dinosauromorphs
Dr. Vector – Undeserved self-promotion and the protracted rise of dinosaurs
Will – Rise of the Dominace of Dinos Slower than Originally Thought
There was another interesting paper that didn’t receive as much attention this week, however; a new study in Biology Letters suggests that some dinosaurs may have been able to mate before becoming fully mature. You can download the paper for free at the Biology Letters website;
Growth patterns in brooding dinosaurs reveals the timing of sexual maturity in non-avian dinosaurs and genesis of the avian condition
Livescience – Dinosaur Sex Started Young
Also in terms of shake-ups, Zach has the dirt on a ornithiscian dinosaur that may make us have to revise our ideas about the origins of ceratopsians. The little “troublemaker” is called Yinlong downsi, and be sure to check out Zach’s analysis of it.
While this week’s new studies are certainly exciting, dinosaurs are creatures of mass media as much as anything else, and Julia treats us to a review of the novel Tyrannosaur Canyon over at The Ethical Paleontologist.
As any good paleontologist knows, though, fossils don’t begin and end with dinosaurs. Darren covers the impressive (and often overlooked) caseids, and Dr. Vector provides some excellent supporting photographs.
What would a paleontology carnival be, however, without something a little more “vintage”? Various papers by O.C. Marsh have been available for free online for some time, so check them out if you have not already!
Addendum the 2nd: Bora has rightly pointed out that I forgot to include Anne-Marie’s wonderful post tying together science and fiction; if you’re a Harry Potter (or paleo) fan, you have to check out her post on Dracorex hogwartsia.
That about does it for this first “issue” of The Boneyard. The next one will be coming up two weeks from today, so submit any good paleontology-related articles via the blog carnival form or send them to evogeek AT gmail DOT com.