Well, I’ve managed to fail at my scicomm resolution for the year, which was to write at least one blog post a month. I missed out on September, but I’m back on it in October with an update on what I’ve been up to in the past few months. As some of you know, I’ve … More Early tetrapod feeding
I’ve just returned from a 2 week stint in California, where I had a bit of holiday visiting some family, and also attended Flugsaurier 2018, the semi-annual pterosaur conference. Held every 2-3 years, Flugsaurier focuses on the up-and-coming pterosaur research from around the world. It’s a small, specialist conference with 40-70 people typically who work … More Flugsaurier 2018 – Los Angeles
I’ve been a little bit busy and haven’t had a chance to blog about the most recent paper I was involved with, on pterosaur jaw disparity! This paper has been a long time coming, and was my lead by my first ever Master’s student, Charlie Navarro. This project came out of his MSc thesis at … More Pterosaur jaw shape – what does it mean?
…and that’s ok! I think it’s important to talk about what happens when we do make mistakes, and the importance of it. Sometimes you misinterpret data, or do the wrong analysis, or get something wrong. Normally these things are caught in peer review, but sometimes the mistake is so difficult to catch, that it even … More Sometimes scientists make mistakes…
In the series of 150 things about Canadian palaeontology, I haven’t touched on the one thing I work on very much: pterosaurs. This is for a few reasons, one is that I’ve kind of covered this before, but also because there really just aren’t a lot. For this reason, this post is going to be … More Northern pterosaurs – 150 things about Canadian palaeo, part 18
For some time it’s been known (or at least mostly accepted, aside from a few outsiders) that birds evolved from theropod dinosaurs. This is known thanks to a lot of anatomical features, and a good transitional sequence leading to avians. However, for a long time it wasn’t really known how feathers fit into this. Since … More Feathered dinosaur tail in amber!
Pterosaur biomechanics is something that I’m obviously very interested in, and the launch of pterosaurs is something that has been heavily debated. Traditionally, pterosaurs were thought to launch like birds, either running on their hindlimbs and jumping, or vertically launching into the air. However, it has been suggested more recently that they may have launched in … More PhD Opportunity – pterosaur launch
Apologies for the title… Anyone who was with me on my last trip to Romania will remember the discussion of the potential for small pterosaurs in the Late Cretaceous, which rapidly turned into the search for “ptiny pterosaurs”. While I’ve always liked giant pterosaurs (who doesn’t think they are cool?!), I’ve recently become interested in … More A ptiny pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous
My six week travels ended last week with a trip to Washington DC, where I attended the International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) for the first time. Held every 3 years, it is run by the International Society of Vertebrate Morphology to promote collaboration and discussion between researchers working on several aspects of vertebrate morphology. … More International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology
Although my work now is primarily on pterosaurs, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for ceratopsians after doing my (failed) work on Centrosaurus as an undergrad. So imagine my excitement when the most recent releases of new PLoS ONE papers included not one, but two new ceratopsids from the US! And … More A two new horned dinos kind of day!
My initial title for this blog was “Things that people thought were interesting fossils but turned out to be turtles”. Of course, I don’t mean that, I just have had a particularly frustrating few months reading the same undergraduate projects on turtle evolution, so they are not my favourite at the moment…. However… in the … More Misidentified fossils – Turtle edition
I’ve been living in the UK now for 4.5 years. The first year and a bit was on a student visa (very restrictive, not fun), but for 3 years now I’ve been on an Ancestry Visa which is much better. This means that at the end of my 5 year visa, I can apply for … More PhD of travelling! Holy moly
Skeletal pneumaticity is the presence of air within bones of animals. This is typically in the presence of sinuses (think of your face and your achey sinuses during a cold, caused by a build up of pressure in the air spaces), or in birds, when the respiratory system projects part of itself into the bones … More Earliest theropod abdominal air sacs?
While the west of Canada is known for Late Cretaceous dinosaur fossils, the east has a number of Paleozoic outcrops with some early terrestrial tetrapods. In 1845, before Canada was even a country, a fossil of an upper jaw and some teeth was found on Prince Edward Island, and was first described in 1854. As … More Dimetrodon is Bathygnathus? Or Bathygnathus is Dimetrodon?
I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog rambling about estimating mass in extinct animals, including talking about the “lightweight” skeleton in birds, pterosaur bone mass, and the likelihood of giant pterosaurs weighing as low as 70 kg. Now I’m going to talk a bit more about this problem, specifically looking at the relationship … More Skeletal mass in birds