Welcome, fellow boneheads, to the 2nd edition of The Boneyard!
– Some titanosaurs, among the largest sauropods that every lived, had osteoderms along their backs, and a new preliminary poster from Thiago da Silva Marinho in Nature Precedings suggests that while the osteoderms probably didn’t provide huge adults sauropods much protection, they were likely much more closely packed in newborn titanosaurs, offering important protection along their back. Paleontologist Julia Heathcote (the Ethical Paleontologist) has the scoop on the little armored sauropods.
– Michael of the Dispersal of Darwin has graciously pointed out some of Charles Darwin’s thoughts on the “position of the bones of Mastodon (?) at Port St Julian.” I just can’t get enough of that old-time paleontology.
– Just about any picture that you’ll ever see of a Deinonychus features it as part of a well-coordinated pack, disemboweling some poor Tenontosaurus or other ornithiscian dinosaur. But how realistic is this picture? Zach Miller of When Pigs Fly Returns fills us in on some new research that contradicts the popular conception of pack-hunting dromeosaurids.
– The wonderful blog Prehistoric Pulp has a review of the recent book Dinosaurs in Fantastic Fiction, which has appeared (somewhat serialized) in the last few issues of Prehistoric Times magazine. Definitely give this one a look if you want to keep up on paleo-inspired fiction!
– The extant coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is one of the great iconic creatures of evolution and paleontology, and Julia fills us in on some recent discoveries involving not only living coelacanths, but fossil ones as well.
– The subject of whether Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis ever interbred continues to be controversial, and Afarensis points us to a new paper covered by National Geographic that claims to be evidence for such canoodling of the two species.
– The hydrothermal vents of the deep sea have been thought to hold clues about the evolution of life on earth since their discovery along the Juan de Fuca Ridge off the Galapagos Islands in the 1970’s, and now some new research has come out about Precambrian “black smokers.” Chris of Highly Allochthonous has the details on the newly published research.
– One of the classic paleo-art images is of a pterosaur skimming the water’s surface, trying to catch a fish. New research shows that this is likely more fantasy than reality, however, as outlined over at microecos (with a spiffy old picture of a “ropen” attack, to boot!)
– The recent flooding in England made headlines, but recent research has shown the importance of more intense past flooding during the Pleistocene to parts of Europe. Not Exactly Rocket Science has the summary.
– One of the most famous head-scratchers in paleontology has been how saber-toothed cats and their relatives could have used their massive fangs to kill prey. The Raptor’s Nest offers some insights on this based upon some up-and-coming research.
That about wraps up it for the 2nd edition of The Boneyard. The next edition will be coming up the Saturday after next, moving over the the Hairy Museum of Natural History and The Ethical Paleontologist in the near future, too. If you’d like to submit to the next edition or host sometime, you know what to do.