The Boneyard Lucky 13

<-- If you can tell me what this thing is, I'd be much obliged.

The Boneyard. This is approximately the 13th installment of The Boneyard Web Carnival, dated February 9th, plus or minus a week or so. In paleontology, we do not concern ourselves with trifles such as exact dates.

The Boneyard web carnival is about fossils, and bones, paleontology and taphonomy. It is about anything boney except actual boneyards, although actual boneyards would be of interest as well because we are a morbid, bone loving bunch.

The previous edition of the boneyard was at The Dragon’s Tales. Check the Boneyard’s home page for information on upcoming editions.
i-708d5bc7b50037662a93b1f1d5ac522c-bone01.jpgThis edition of The Boneyard is illustrated with fragments removed from a single mural by Bill Stout. The Bill Stout Murals are the subject of a post by Michael Ryan, at Palaeoblog.

The San Diego Natural History Museum has unveiled a series of new murals by William Stout. Bill tells me that a book about the production of these murals is in the works from Flesk Publications.The indefatigable Brian Switek of Laelaps has had two posts nominated by faithful admirers …

Potential Coevolution of Theropods in Cretaceous Gondwana

When I wrote about the new species of predatory dinosaur, Carcharodontosaurus iguidensis, this past December, I made a note of how interesting it was that in Cretaceous Gondwana there seems to be a certain triumvirate of predatory dinosaur groups. According to the data presented in Brusatte and Sereno (2007), remains of spinosaurids, carcharodontosaurids, and abelisauroids have been found near each other in various locations in a range of Cretaceous-aged strata on the African continent, perhaps reflecting a guild structure like that of extant mammalian African carnivores.

And this piece on Barnum Brown’s second Tyrannosaurs rex.


Zach Miller of When Pigs Fly Returns asks Are Rhamphorhynchoids Real?

Is “Rhamphorhyncoidea” a natural group? Supposedly it forms a sister group to the Pterodactyloidea, but what if pterodactyloids are derived directly from rhamphorynchoids?

You know, until I heard that, I was having a good day. Now I’m probably not going to get to sleep tonight. At least not until I read Zach’s post and find out what is going on here.

Bat evolution is very interesting, and in some ways, must be among the most interesting evolutionary stories among the mammals. I mean, they can fly, and they are not birds or anything. Anne-Marie takes a look at Solving mysteries with Onychonycteris!

one issue that has long been debated is whether flight evolved before location, or if echolocation predated flight, or if the two features evolved “in tandem.”

… and the answer is … Go read the post!


And now for a little anthropology and taphonomy. Archaeozoology, home of the “know your pathology index” (how many blogs have that?) reviews all of the uses and abuses of Astragali through Time

The astragalus, or talus, is also known as the knucklebone. Worked and unworked astragali have formed part of non-food material culture in many societies, being used as divination tools, gaming pieces, amulets, ‘worry beads’, dice, and other things (Dandoy, 2006: 131). They are depicted on ceramics, in statuary, on medallions and coins, in oil paintings and in the comic pages of Sunday newspapers (Dandoy, 2006: 131). In short, they are ubiquitous.

This isn’t exactly bones, but it is fun. Stop by at Christopher Taylor’s place and identify the round dot. This reminds me of a thesis I once read on spheroids. Spheroids are nearly perfectly spherpoidal stone tools associated with the Middle Stone age of Africa. The thesis cataloged thousands of them. They were photographed or drawn from three angles, front, side, and top … (or was it bottom)… Anway, check out Christopher’s Mystery Animal for Today.


The only thing that might be more interseting than Bat Evolution, among the boney creatures anyway, is Bird Evolution. Grrl Scientist of Living the Scientific Life does a little Blogging on Peer Reviewed Research with Rocks vs Clocks: When Did Modern Birds Really Appear?

There is a lot of controversy among scientists regarding when modern birds first appeared. The current fossil record suggests that modern birds appeared approximately 60-65 million years ago when the other lineages of dinosaurs (along with at least half of all terrestrial animals) were extinguished by a bolide impact. However, it is possible that modern birds were around much longer than that, although corroborating fossil evidence have yet to be found. … But scientists can also rely on another way to estimate the age of lineages: molecular clocks.


Riding the Dinosaurs toward Science Literacy: Interview with Gabrielle Lyon is one of a new series of interviews being run in A Blog Around the Clock.

Gabrielle Lyon is the Executive Director and Cofounder of Project Exploration. But the story is much longer. She went to grad school (U. of Chicago) with my brother and he thought that Gabe and I would be interesting to each other due to our shared interest in dinosaurs. So we got in touch and kept it over e-mail over many years. She sent me a vial of Sahara sand and a small plant fossil from the trip, Project Exploration materials and t-shirts, etc. and I promoted PE here at my blog. We finally met in person at Scifoo last summer and conversations we had there, led, through some circuitous routes, to the Nigersaurus paper getting published in PLoS ONE. At the Science Blogging Conference three weeks ago, Gabrielle started her first blog, after years of resistance, where, for now, she is exploring the tools by making fun of me.

And finally, I hope you will enjoy this: It is merely a repost of an older blog post I wrote, but one that keeps coming up again so I thought I’d move it from my old blog to my new blog. Its about the conflict between fossil evidence and DNA in relation to Mammals and the KT Event.. my argument is that the conclusion drawn from the DNA, in a recent paper, is wrong, because the fossils are telling us a different story. The bones rarely lie….

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