Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

I’ve been away for two weeks with Fiona in Kefalonia, one of the Greek islands. While we were there, we ate this excellent meal: Excellent Greek meal. Back row: grilled octopus; middle row (left to right): sardines, shrimp saganaki;

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here’s Mike with the cast dorsal vertebra of Argentinosaurus that’s on display at the LACM. I tried to get myself equidistant from both Mike and the vert when I took the photo, but even I couldn’t quite believe it when I looked at it on my laptop.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

That’s FMNH PR 25107, better known as a the holotype of Brachiosaurus altithorax — the biggest known dinosaur at the time of its description (Riggs 1903) and still for my money one of the most elegant, along with its buddy and one-time genus-mate Giraffatitan brancai . I had a spare morning in Chicago two Tuesday ago, and Bill Simpson (collection manager of fossil vertebrates at the Field Museum) managed to fit it a collections

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

I spent last week bombing around Utah and western Colorado with Dave Hone, who was over from England to visit those states for the first time in his life. We did some fieldwork out at Brachiosaur Gulch and visited quite a few museums and quarries around the Dinosaur Diamond, in a sort of mini-recapitulation of my 2016 Sauropocalypse with Mike.

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

I was googling around some photos, confirming to myself that turtles don’t have cervical ribs, when I stumbled across this monstrosity (and when I use that word I mean it as a compliment): Softshell turtle Trionyx spinifera , cervicodorsal transition in ventral view, anterior to right. Copyright © Mike Dodd, used by kind permission.

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 Mike Taylor

I made this for my own amusement, and thought you guys may as well get to benefit from it, too. Melstrom et al. (2016:figure 4). Pectoral vertebrae of a juvenile specimen of Barosaurus sp. (DINO 2921) from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Utah, U.S.A., in right lateral view (red-cyan anaglyph made from stereopair). Enjoy! References Melstrom, Keegan M., Michael D. D’Emic, Daniel Chure and Jeffrey A. Wilson. 2016.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Mike Taylor

I was looking more closely at the turkey skeleton from my recent post, and zeroed in on the last two dorsal (= thoracic) vertebrae. They articulate very well with each other and with the first vertebra of the sacrum, with the centra and zygapophyses both locking in so that there can only have been very little if any movement between them in life.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Well, this is a very pleasant surprise on the last day of the semester: Tito Aureliano, Aline M. Ghilardi, Bruno A. Navarro, Marcelo A. Fernandes, Fresia Ricardi-Branco, & Mathew J. Wedel. 2021. Exquisite air sac histological traces in a hyperpneumatized nanoid sauropod dinosaur from South America. Scientific Reports 11: 24207.