It’s too early for Friday notes, or is it?

21 09 2007

Some time ago I confessed my overall ignorance when it came to pterosaurs, so I was definitely happy when a 1966 reprint of H.G. Seeley’s Dragons of the Air arrived yesterday. Being written in 1901 it’s bound to be a bit dated, and Seeley seems to focus on the European pterosaurs more than anything else, but it’ll make for an interesting and quick read. I hope to finish G.G. Simpson’s Attending Marvels and Simple Curiosity during the course of the weekend as well, which should be an easy task as I’m more than halfway through both.

I do make time for fiction every now and again, though, and I was definitely pleased to find that Terry Pratchett’s newest book, Making Money is now out. Being that Going Postal is my most favorite of the Discworld series to date, I am certainly looking forward to reading of the continuing trials and tribulations of Moist von Lipwig.

Lycaenops
Lycaenops at the AMNH

Tomorrow morning I’ll be hopping the train with some Rutgers students to the AMNH to teach them something about Deep Time and paleontology. The Big Bang, stromatolites, fossil horses, and whatever petrified critters they take an interest in will be covered, and I am definitely looking forward to using the 4th floor fossil halls as a sort of classroom. I’ve only got them for about 3 hours, however, so I’ll have ample opportunity to run around on my own for a bit afterwards. I have to start making up my PPT presentation for next week as well, so this weekend will be a busy one. If the weather is good I want to try to visit Haddonfield on Saturday to see the site where Hadrosaurus foulkii was discovered and see if I can’t find the chocolate marl from which it came, but that might have to wait.

Finally, although it only appeared in the news reports for a quick moment, a new paper in Science seems to show evidence of feathers on Velociraptor in the form of quill attachments. Unfortunately I can’t access the journal from home, but I am not glad that I was delayed in writing about another recent feathered dinosaur in the news so I can put them together in one post. Speaking of journals, I finally was able to get someone to sign my membership form for SVP as well, and I am looking forward to receiving the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology in the mail. My post on “wee little sauropods” is still in the works as well, but I have many more papers to read before I can be sure I’m actually making sense and not just writing fiction myself.


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4 responses

21 09 2007
Zach Miller

Brian, if I’m able to procure the velociraptor paper before you do, I’ll send you a copy. Also, have you read about the new Triassic pterosaur described in the Wellnhofer conference? Darren briefly talks about it in his latest post. MIND-BLOWING!!!!

Also, the reason that European pterosaurs are the focus of Dragons of the Air, I imagine, is because few North American taxa were known in 1901. But I could be wrong.

21 09 2007
laelaps

Zach; Thank you for the offer, but I did manage to snag the Science paper. I’m just waiting until I get home and I have my precious books at hand because I want to go a bit more in depth about dinosaurs, feathers, birds, nesting, and what it all means (being that everyone else has done such a good job with the basic story). It’ll mean another mega-post, that’s for sure. I have heard about the new Triassic pterosaur but I haven’t seen it; I definitely would love to have a better look.

There were some NA pterosaurs known prior to 1901 (Marsh and Cope found some out west) and they are mentioned in Dragons of the Air, but flipping through they did not seem to get as much attention despite being so different from the European forms. It might be that Seeley was primarily working with what was close at hand, being that Seeley died only a few years after the book was published. It’s still very interesting, and even though I’m only 30 pages in so far I’m sure the rest of it will be rewarding (in a historical sense if not in a purely scientific sense). So much to learn, so little time…

21 09 2007
Zach Miller

Julia was kind enough to direct me to the Velociraptor PDF. Great paper, and the authors hint that perhaps the quill knobs indicate a volant ancestry for the little raptor. Good paper overall, but disappointingly short (clocking in at a single page). Of course, if you’re only describing the bumps on a single ulnar bone, how much can you write?

Yeah, that Triassic pterosaur sounds too cool. Parasagittal hindlimbs, heterodont dentition, frontal crest, and a nasal horn? Very strange. I wish I could find a picture online, but I don’t even know it’s name (or if it’s been named at all). I begged Darren for a copy of the paper if he gets one, though.

I look forward to a review of feathered dinosaurs from you, brother. If you need any references, just ask. Feathered dinosaurs are my specialty, after all. Actually, I could whip up an illustration if you wanted something original.

22 06 2014
Creationism IV | theexfundie

[…] You can see real transitional fossils that Kirk claims do not exist here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Of course, there are MANY more you could read about, but I don’t have the time nor the desire to sit here for the next 7 days doing nothing but hyperlinking web pages. But, you get the point. […]

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