Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Last time I promised you exciting news about sauropod neck-muscle mass. Let none say that I do not fulfil covenents. And, as usual, when talking about sauropod neck muscle mass, I’m going to start by talking about bird legs. Look at this flamingo: Ridiculous, right? Those legs are like matchsticks. How can they possibly work. Where are the muscles? And the answer of course is that they’re on this ostrich: Check out those huge drumsticks!

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here are some cervical ribs of sauropods that show a spectrum of morphologies, from a low dorsal process that makes an obtuse angle with the shaft of the rib in Dicraeosaurus (upper right), to one that makes a right angle in Brontosaurus (center), to a prominent spike of bone in Apatosaurus (bottom left), to a […]

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Everybody(*) knows that the turiasaurian sauropod Moabosaurus has bifurcated cervical ribs: it was all anyone was talking about back when that animal was described (Britt et al. 2017). We’ve featured the best rib here before, and here it is again: (*) All right, but you know what I mean.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

A few sauropods have bifurcated cervical ribs. The most dramatic example that I know of is the turiasaur Moabosaurus (Britt et al. 2017). Mike and I got to see that material on the Sauropocalypse back in 2016, which is how we got the photo above.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Some quick backstory: lots of sauropods have long, overlapping cervical ribs, like the ones shown here in Sauroposeidon (diagram from this old post): These long cervical ribs are ossified tendons of ventral neck muscles, presumably longus colli ventralis.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Last time, I showed you a photo of the head and neck of the London Diplodocus and asked what was wrong. Quite a few of you got it right (including Matt when we were chatting, but I asked him not to give it away by posting a comment). The 100 SV-POW! dollars, with their cash value of $0.00, go to Orribec, who was the first to reply that the atlas (cervical 1) is upside-down.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

Last Saturday I was at a wedding at Holy Trinity Brompton, a London church that is conveniently located a ten-minute stroll from the Natural History Museum. As I am currently working on a history paper concerning the Carnegie Diplodocus , I persuaded my wife, my eldest son and his fiancée to join me for a quick scoot around the “Dippy Returns” exhibition.