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

Just a quick post about the genesis of the Brachiosaurus rib paper (Taylor and Wedel 2023) that I wrote about at the very end of last year. Although this is in some respects a minor paper, I’m fond of it because it fell into place so quickly and easily.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

As we’ve often observed, it’s a funny thing that incredibly well-known dinosaur specimens can sit around for decades, or for more than a century, before someone notices something fascinating about them. One lesson to learn from this is the importance of collections — their creation, maintenance and accessibility. Another is of course to always look at the fossils we see.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

New paper out today: Tito Aureliano, Aline M. Ghilardi, Rodrigo T. Müller, Leonardo Kerber, Marcelo A. Fernandes, Fresia Ricardi-Branco, Mathew J. Wedel. 2023. The origin of an invasive air sac system in sauropodomorph dinosaurs.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Last night a thought occurred to me, and I wrote to Matt: If birds had gone extinct 66 Mya along with all the other dinosaurs, would it ever have occurred to us that they had flow-through lungs?

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week
Author Matt Wedel

Here’s a nice early holiday present for me: 51 weeks after our first paper together, I’m on another one with Tito Aureliano and colleagues: Aureliano, T., Ghilardi, A.M., Müller, R.T., Kerber, L., Pretto, F.A., Fernandes, M.A.,Ricardi-Branco, F., and Wedel, M.J. 2022.

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

For reasons that would be otiose, at this moment, to rehearse, I recently found myself in need of a hemisected turkey cervical. Happily, I own five skeletonised turkey necks, so it was with me the work of a moment to select a candidate. But now what? How to hemisect it? We have

Published in Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

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

Naturally I was grateful when Cary invited me to be part of the team working on Dolly, the diplodocid with lesions in its neck vertebrae (Woodruff et al. 2022; see previous posts on Dolly here and here). I was also intellectually excited, not only to see air-filled bones with obvious pathologies, but also for what those pathologies could tell us about Dolly and other sauropods. That’s the part of our new paper I want to unpack in this post.