Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

I have a new paper out in Acta Paleontologica Polonica, with Guillermo Windholz, Juan Porfiri, Domenica Dos Santos, and Flavio Bellardini, on the first CT scan of a pneumatic caudal vertebra of a rebbachisaurid: Windholz, G.J., Porfiri, J.D., Dos Santos, D., Bellardini, F., and Wedel, M.J. 2024.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

As described in the last post, Jessie Atterholt is presenting our poster on this project today, at the 14th Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota (MTE14) in Salt Lake City, and the related paper is in the MTE14 volume in The Anatomical Record.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

In the last post I showed the Brachiosaurus humerus standee I made last weekend, and I said that the idea had been “a gleam in my eye for a long time”. That’s true, but it got kicked into high gear late in 2021 when I got an email from a colleague, Dr. Michelle Stocker at […]

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Over on Mastodon (sign up, it’s great!), Jim Kirkland posted a baby Utahraptor caudal vertebrae for #FossilFriday. Here it is: And after a bit of virtual prep work: My first reaction was just “That’s pretty!“. My second, which I admit should have been my first, was “Wait a sec — how the heck do those things articulate?” The issue is that both the prezygs and the postzygs overhang the centrum by so much.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Long-time readers will recall that I’m fascinated by neurocentral joints, and not merely that they exist (although they are pretty cool), but that in some vertebrae they migrate dorsally or ventrally from their typical position (see this and this). A few years ago I learned that there is a term for the expanded bit of neural arch pedicle that contributes to the centrum in vertebrae with ventrally-migrated neurocentral joints: the

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

This is a lovely cosmic alignment: right after the 15th anniversary of this blog, Mike and I have our 11th coauthored publication (not counting abstracts and preprints) out today. Taylor, Michael P., and Wedel, Mathew J. 2022. What do we mean by the directions “cranial” and “caudal” on a vertebra?

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

This is the first 3D print of a dinosaur bone that I ever had access to: the third caudal vertebra of MWC 8028, the ‘new’ Haplocanthosaurus specimen from Snowmass, Colorado (Foster and Wedel 2014, Wedel et al. 2021). I’ve been carrying this thing around since 2018. It’s been an aid to thought.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Among the numerous weird features of MWC 8028, the Snowmass Haplocanthosaurus , is the extreme biconcave profile of the caudal vertebrae, in which each centrum is basically reduced to a vertical plate of bone separating two cup-shaped articular surfaces. All four available caudals — found in different parts of the quarry, in different orientations — have essentially the same cross-section.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Science doesn’t always get done in the right order. In the course of the research for my paper with Mike this past spring, “Why is vertebral pneumaticity in sauropod dinosaur so variable?”, published in Qeios in January, I had a couple of epiphanies. The first was that I had collated enough information to map the sites at which arteries and veins enter and exit the vertebrae in most tetrapods.