Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Utahraptor is a “giant” dromaeosaurid from Utah, described by Kirkland et al. (1993). Famously, its existence was part of the reason that the people making Jurassic Park felt at liberty to make their “Velociraptor” individuals not only much bigger than the turkey-sized Velociraptor proper, but also than than sheep-sized Deinonychus.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

In the last post, we looked at some sauropod vertebrae exposed in cross-section at our field sites in the Salt Wash member of the Morrison Formation. This time, we’re going to do it again! Let’s look at another of my faves from the field, with Thuat Tran’s hand for scale. And, er, a scale bar for scale: And let’s pull the interesting bits out of the background: Now, confession time.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

I had an interesting opportunity when I was in Utah and Colorado a couple of weeks ago. At Dinosaur Journey in Fruita, Colorado, I went looking for a cast of the Potter Creek Brachiosaurus humerus.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Nothing too serious here, just a fun shot I got while in the collections at BYU this past week. The Brachiosaurus element is metacarpal 1 (thumb column) from BYU 4744, the Potter Creek material. I highlighted my own metacarpal 3. There is a metacarpal 3 from this specimen, but I didn’t see it on the shelf. According to D’Emic and Carrano (2019), the MC3 is 60cm long, vs 57cm for this MC1.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

I keep wishing there was a single place out there where I could look up Jensen’s old BYU specimen numbers for Supersaurus , Ultrasaurus and Dystylosaurus elements, and find the modern equivalents, or vice versa. Then I realised there’s no reason not to just make one. So here goes! The first column shows the specimen numbers as used in Jensen (1985), and last column contains Jensen’s own assignments except where noted.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

One of the strange things about Jensen’s 1985 paper is that the abstract implies that he informally considered the Ultrasauros scapulocoracoid to be the type specimen. Cast of BYU 9462, scapulocoracoid referred to Ultrasaurus macintoshi (possibly intended to the be the holotype), at Brigham Young Museum. This photo is one of a series in which I turned the cast in place to obtain photos for a photogrammetric model.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Poor Dystylosaurus . Always the bridesmaid. No-one seems to care much about it, yet the one and only vertebra that bears that name is the single most diagnostic elements out of all the individual bones that have been assigned to Supersaurus over the years. A nice drawing of the “ Dystylosaurus ” dorsal vertebra in anterior and right lateral views.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Having surveyed what we know from the published literature about Jensen’s Big Three sauropods, and what Matt and I concluded about its big cervical BYU 9024, and having thought a bit more about the size of the BYU 9024 animal, we’re getting to the point where we can consider what all this means for Jensen’s taxa.