Where did all the tail clubs go?

Today is a New Paper Day! This time, we’re talking about the evolution of tail weapons!

(Two Ankylosaurus duke it out with their tail clubs. (c) Jack Mayer Wood, used with permission)

Readers of this blog will not be surprised to know that I find ankylosaur tail clubs quite interesting. I’ve been lucky to get to study their biomechanics and whether or not they were plausible weapons, how their morphological variation helps us identify different species, and how they evolved in a stepwise manner, with the stiff handle evolving before the enlargement of the osteoderms at the tip of the tail. Occassionally it’s good to step back and just think about how *weird* it is that ankylosaurs modified their tails in this fashion, and how weird it is to have a weapon on the tail. Continue reading

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SVP in SLC

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This year’s SVP in Salt Lake City was chock full of exciting dino stuff. My first visit to the Natural History Museum of Utah since its move to a brand-new building (I last visited in December 2008, just prior to its move) during the conference’s opening reception was a real treat. Utah has such a great fossil record for dinosaurs, and it was awesome to see new takes on old classics like this Ceratosaurus – take note of the osteoderms running down the midline of the spine! Continue reading

SVP Pseudo-Live Blogging

SVP talk accomplished! Now I can relax!

I will hopefully post some photos of the excellent welcome reception at the Carnegie Museum later this week once I have some time and sanity.

Also, I am now the proud owner of a patriotic Uncle Sam Stegosaurus. Thank you, Carnegie Museum.

Also also, why weren’t there any ankylosaurs in the Dinosaurs in Their Time exhibit? *sad*

More fun at the lab.

We’ve had a couple of really nice sunny days in Hwaseong, the first properly sunny days since I arrived in Korea. So, you get some nice outside pictures today!

Construction on a boardwalk out to the egg site is moving along very quickly, and I suspect the boardwalk will be finished later this week or next. The boardwalk will provide a nice dry and non-muddy surface to walk on, and will also protect the surrounding marsh.
Continue reading