Rogue Scholar Posts

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Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Last Thursday I gave a public lecture for the No Man’s Land Historical Society in the Oklahoma Panhandle, titled “Oklahoma’s Jurassic Giants: the Dinosaurs of Black Mesa”. It’s now on YouTube, on the No Man’s Land Museum’s channel. There’s a point I want to make here, that I also made in the talk: we can’t predict the value of natural history collections.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here’s OMNH 1330, another vertebra from the big Oklahoma apatosaurine. Based on the size and shape of the transverse process, and the large pneumatic chambers on either side of the neural canal, I think this is probably a 4th caudal, but it could plausibly be a 3rd or a 5th. The centrum is 33 cm tall by 36 cm wide.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

I have used this photo in loads of talks, but as far as I can tell, this is the first time I’ve put it up on SV-POW! (I am certain that, having said that, someone will find a previous instance – if so, consider this an extremely inefficient and lazy form of search.) The vert is OMNH 1670, the most complete and nicest dorsal of the giant Oklahoma apatosaurine, probably a D5 or D6. That’s me back in 2004.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Anterior view. Dorsal is to the upper right. The neural spine and left transverse process are missing. Here’s a closeup of the condyle. The outer layer of cortical bone is gone, allowing a glimpse of the pneumatic chambers inside the vert. The erosion of the condyle was probably inflicted post-excavation by relatively unskilled WPA workers, whose prep tools were limited to chisels, penknives, and sandpaper.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here’s the “Clash of the Titans” exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, featuring the reconstructed skeletons of the giant Oklahoma Apatosaurus – which I guess should now be called the giant Oklahoma apatosaurine until someone sorts out its phylogenetic position – and the darn-near- T. rex -sized Saurophaganax maximus , which may be Allosaurus maximus depending on who you’re reading.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here’s an update from the road–get ready for some crappy raw images, because that’s all I have the time or energy to post (with one exception). Here’s OMNH 1331. It’s just the slightly convex articular end off a big vertebra, collected near Kenton, Oklahoma, in 1930s by one of J. Willis Stovall’s field crews.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

In the recent post on OMNH 1670, a dorsal vertebra of a giant Apatosaurus from the Oklahoma panhandle, I half-promised to post the only published figure of this vertebra, from Stovall (1938: fig. 3.3). So here it is: And in the second comment on that post, I promised a sketch from one of my notebooks, showing how much of the vertebra is reconstructed. Here’s a scan of the relevant page from my notebook.