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The Paleontologist Punk!

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[ mood | aggravated ]

The proposed plan may be read at the following web site:

But, to save you time, the following is the important part from the proposal
bout rockhounding:

Rockhound State Park was originally established as a destination for
ock collectors. At the time, in 1966, rock collecting was a popular
astime. Visitors were encouraged to visit the Park in order to collect
ocks, and were allowed to take home up to 15 pounds of rocks.

Today the Division promotes a respect for the natural environment
hrough interpretive and educational programs. Not only does rock
ollecting in a public park contradict the principle of natural resource

There is only one state park in the United States that permits rock
ollecting: Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, which has a
8-acre plowed field set aside for collecting. Nearly all municipal,
tate, and national parks prohibit the removal of natural artifacts from
parks. The practice of rock collecting at the Park would need to comply
with NMSA 1978, Section 16-2-32:

“A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a petty
isdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of
ection 31-19-1 NMSA 1978:

A. cut, break, injure, destroy, take or remove a tree, shrub, timber,
lant or natural object in any state park and recreation area, except in
areas designated by the secretary and permitted by regulations adopted
y the secretary, such regulations shall only permit the removal of a
ree, shrub, timber, plant or natural object for scientific study or for
non-commercial use by an individual as a souvenir, the quantity of
aterial authorized for removal from any area shall be strictly
egulated by park personnel in order to minimize resource damage.”

If the Division were to continue to allow the public to collect rocks at
the Park, the EMNRD Cabinet Secretary would designate a specific area
nd adopt rules pertaining to the collecting of rocks on Park property
such as the amount and location).

The once popular hobby of rock collecting has declined significantly
ince the 1960s. There are local businesses that cater to rock
ollectors and can guide or direct them to similar opportunities outside
of the Park. Safety is also a concern with the public collecting rocks
n the Park, as there are steep and unstable slopes that are becoming
ore hazardous as the collecting alters the stability of the hillside.
here is also a concern that some visitors may go beyond the Park
oundaries in their quest for rocks.

Park staff has already begun the transition away from rock collecting
nd will need to educate the public about the need to respect the
atural resources. One crucial step is to modify all Park information
signage, brochures, website), so that this activity is no longer
ncouraged. All materials need to state that it is a prohibited
ctivity. The namesake theme can continue through educational programs
nd interpretive information about the rocks that occur in the Park and
he geology of the region.
Revise written materials by removing all mention of rock collecting
nd add a reference to the state statute which prohibits rock collecting
on Park property.

Written and oral comments on the plan will be accepted. Comment letters
an be dropped off at the park; mailed to P.O. Box 1147, Santa Fe, NM
7505; e-mailed to nmparks@state.nm.us or faxed to (505) 476-3361.

PLEASE, everyone reading this message, email, snail mail or fax a
ritten comment in opposition to the proposed plan to discontinue
ockhounding in Rockhound State Park. You have until April 18, 2011 to
ake comment, so please get on it today. Let's show the NMSPD personnel
that rockhounding has not declined since the 1960s and the park should
emain true to its namesake. Also, all you club members out there,
lease let everyone in your club know about this by mass email so we can
get all rockhounds throughout this country engaged in the battle to
ave yet another of our fleeting freedoms. This may be in far away New
exico now, but in your backyard tomorrow.



(2 bones to pick | classify)

March of Man, a collaborative paleo-art project [28 Oct 2007|11:21pm]


I recently launched this new website: marchofman.org

The goal is to create a gigantic collage that illustrates human (and chimpanzee) evolution through time and space. Paleo-artists can register and upload images of hominin figures. Once enough are collected, I'll provide tools for synthesizing large collages. More specific details can be found at the website.

(Note: The site's in an "alpha" stage right now, so there may be some quirks.)


back in time! [15 Jun 2007|03:34am]

dear readers,

you may not believe it, but our dear moderator, thepinkmanatee and i got sent back in time! we observed many amazing things. mostly rocks. check it out! Read more...Collapse )

(3 bones to pick | classify)

MY NAME IS STEGOSAURUS [09 Jan 2007|11:10am]

dude, nobody uses this community anymore. least of all myself.

however, i listened to a record i found at goodwill about three years ago entitled "i can read about dinosaurs." it had weird sound effects on it, and i presume it went with a book. has anyone seen this book? i would like to know.

(1 bone to pick | classify)

The World's First Special Effect Dinosaur [29 May 2006|11:00pm]

[ mood | amused ]

Now here's a treat:

Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)

One of the first animated films, drawn by legendary cartoonist Winsor McKay (Little Nemo in Slumberland, Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend). A real charmer. McKay used to present this live, as if he were an animal trainer with a trained Diplodocus. He was a true visual/kinetic genius, and you can see it in the sophistication of the animation.

Interesting trivia: This was made before the invention of animation cels, so McKay and his assistant, John Fitzsimmons, had to redraw the background on every single frame.

(1 bone to pick | classify)

[07 Apr 2006|06:02pm]

"Newly Found Species Fills Evolutionary Gap Between Fish And Land Animals"

read it here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/04/060406100543.htm


Two New Dinosaurs: Gigantic Giganotosaurine and The Antarctic Shield [31 Mar 2006|10:55am]

Dinosauria Owen 1842 sensu Holtz vide Currie & Padian 1997
Saurischia Seeley 1888 sensu Holtz vide Currie & Padian 1997
Theropoda Marsh 1881 sensu Gauthier 1986
Tetanurae Gauthier 1986
Carnosauria Huene 1920 sensu Holtz and Padian 1995
Carcharodontosauridae Stromer 1931 sensu Sereno 1998
Giganotosaurinae Coria & Currie 2006
Mapusaurus Coria & Currie 2006
M. roseae Coria & Currie 2006

Coria, R. A. and P. J. Currie. 2006. A new carcharodontosaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina. Geodiversitas 28(1): 71–118. [PDF available online]

I used to get questions about this one almost weekly. "Has that new gigantic carcharodontosaurid been published yet? Has that new gigantic carcharodontosaurid been published yet?" This was back not terribly long after Giganotosaurus carolinii had deposed Tyrannosaurus rex as the largest theropod dinosaur. Reports had surfaced of a relative of G. carolinii that was even bigger and, moreover, known from a bonebed full of individuals of different ages. A family? A pack?

Well, years later, the research and preparation has been done and it's finally out: Mapusaurus roseae (named after the local Mapuche tribe's word for "Earth"). Unfortunately, Spinosaurus already beat it to the punch—new evidence was recently described showing it to be much larger than either G. carolinii or M. roseae (which are fairly similar in size). And before we start drawing packs of M. roseae taking down titanosaurs, we should consider that the authors find it possible "that this bonebed represents a long term or coincidental accumulation of carcasses" (2006:abstract).

They also name a new clade, Giganotosaurinae (2006:108), for the inital ancestor of M. roseae and G. carolinii which is not also ancestral to Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, plus all descendants thereof.

Dinosauria Owen 1842 sensu Holtz vide Currie & Padian 1997
Ornithischia Seeley 1888 sensu Holtz vide Currie & Padian 1997
Thyreophora Nopcsa 1915 sensu Sereno 1998
Ankylosauria Osborn 1923 sensu Carpenter 1997
Antarctopelta Salgado & Gasparini 2006
A. oliveroi Salgado & Gasparini 2006

Salgado, L. & Z. Gasparini. 2006. Reappraisal of an ankylosaurian dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous of James Ross Island (Antarctica). Geodiversitas 28(1): 119–135. [PDF available online]

Another goody we've been waiting a while for. Antarctic dinosaurs from the Mesozoic Era are pretty rare (or rarely discovered, anyway). To date, only a few theropods, the basal tetanuran Cryolophosaurus elliotti and the avians Neogaeornis wetzeli (?Gaviiformes) and Vegavis iaai (Anseriformes) have been named. Antarctopelta oliveroi, as the name ("Antarctic shield") implies, is an ankylosaur, the first Antarctic ornithischian to be named. (There is also supposed to be plateosaurid sauropodomorph material—maybe this will be named someday, too?)

Apparently the new species has a mosaic of anylosaurid and nodosaurid traits, so it can't be classified further than Ankylosauria incertae sedis. Unfortunately the authors don't perform a cladistic analysis—it would be really interesting to see what this taxon does for ankylosaurian topology.


bipedalism&byebyemammoths [20 Mar 2006|10:05am]
the family that walks on all fours:
i dont believe the one gene thing.

mammoth extinction due to meteor?

(3 bones to pick | classify)

Prehistoric pics [08 Mar 2006|10:23am]

[ mood | anxious ]

I randomly got the urge to create a massive gallery of paleo pictures on my computer. I'm picky, so I only have those that are anatomically correct or close to it. It's still a work in progess, (I only have around 200-250 now, and know of a few huge websites I have yet to go through.) but if anyone needs pictures of something, post and I'll be happy to send.

(2 bones to pick | classify)

[07 Mar 2006|11:10pm]

since no one's posted it yet:
jurassic park coming to a town near you:


(12 bones to pick | classify)

[13 Feb 2006|09:18am]

Hey, Ive been trying to scrounge up all the info about Deinocheirus (only the 8ft long arms have been found) that I can, but theres very little information available on the net. Can anyone give me some?

(2 bones to pick | classify)

Earliest Tyrannosauroid Found ... With Crest! [08 Feb 2006|10:53am]

Early Version of T. rex Is Discovered

NEW YORK - Scientists say they've found the earliest known tyrannosaur, shedding light on the lineage that produced the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex. The discovery comes with a puzzle: Why did this beast have a strange crest on its head?


The researchers named the creature Guanlong wucaii, from the Chinese words for "crown" and "dragon," referring to the crest, and for "five colors," from the multi-hued badlands where the creature was found.

Neat! Didn't expect such a thing to have a crest. Now this can be compared to other putative Jurassic tyrannosauroids (Stokesosaurus, Tanycolagreus).

(7 bones to pick | classify)

New Archaeopteryx specimen! [01 Dec 2005|12:39pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

This doesn't happen very often:

Oldest bird had dinosaur feet

Very cool that this specimen is finally coming to light.


Culled from the Paleo-News [13 Oct 2005|11:22am]

(apologies for cross-posting)

Makovicky, P. J., Apesteguía, S., and Agnolín, F. L. 2005 Oct. 13. The earliest dromaeosaurid theropod from South America. Nature 437.1007–1011.

This names Buitreraptor gonzalezorum, a remarkably long-snouted eumaniraptor from the Cenomanian (early Late Cretaceous) of Argentina. Pictures can be found here: Little meat-eater is no bird, but close. (The restoration should probably show feathers along the second manual digit, since this is the condition in all maniraptors which feathers are known for. Also, the pose of the skeleton is awful, especially the curiously straightened legs.)

I've wondered for along time why there are no Mesozoic heron analogues. When I saw this thing's snout, I thought, "Aha! There it is!" The teeth are even serrationless and recurved—good adaptations for fish-eating. But, of course, this is all speculation on my part....

The authors find a clade of Gondwanan (southern hemisphere) deinonychosaurian eumaniraptors including "Gonzo" as well as the later Argentinian Unenlagia and, most interestingly, the even later Malagasy Rahonavis, a flying form. Were "Gonzo" and Unenlagia secondarily flightless, or did Rahonavis develop flight independently? Since there are other flying deinonychosaurs (Microraptor), I think the former explanation is more likely ... which would mean that flight is an ancestral trait for eumaniraptors ... which would mean that our old favorites like Velociraptor and Deinonychus are secondarily flightless! (Of course, the real story may be more complex, but....)

More Hobbit Bones Found (I don't have the exact citation.)

Further fossils of the Indonesian hominin Homo floresiensis have been found. The individuals are literally hobbit-size. Their brains are relatively small, but there is evidence of stone tool use. They lived alongside a bunch of other oddly-sized island animals: a pygmy Stegodon (elephant relative), giant rats, and giant monitor lizards. Frustratingly, they persisted until only about a dozen millennia ago, but seem to be solidly extinct.

While the original publication posited that this species is a pygmy offshoot of Homo erectus, other researchers have claimed that they are everything from microencephalic Homo sapiens to an Australopithecus-grade species. Perhaps the new fnds can help sort this out. (Personally, I don't see why they couldn't be a Homo habilis offshoot--"habilines" were quite short and small-brained, but used stone tools.)

More here: New "hobbit" bones bolster separate species claims

Feduccia, A., Lingham-Soliar, T., and Hinchliffe, J. R. (in press). Do Feathered Dinosaurs Exist?: Testing the Hypothesis on Neontological and Paleontological Evidence. Journal of Morphology, Published Online: 2005 Oct. 10 (DOI: 10.1002/jmor.10382).

After openly displaying complete ignorance about the case for birds as coelurosaurian theropods and (seemingly deliberately?) taking quotes out of context, the authors submit that the feathers in some of the Liaoning fossils are actually subcutaneous collagen fibers. This paper gets ripped a new one here: Feduccia et al. (2005) Critique

For a more enlightened discussion of the origin of birds, see:

Chiappe, L.M. (2005). The closest relatives of birds. Ornitologia Neotropical 15(Suppl. S): 101–116.

(7 bones to pick | classify)

Velocirapter was really a pussy! [13 Oct 2005|01:40pm]

[ mood | amused ]

The Velociraptor dinosaur made famous by the Hollywood movie Jurassic Park may not have been quite the super-efficient killer we all thought.

We can now sleep safe at night...phew!


Happy Birthday to Tyrannosaurus! [05 Oct 2005|02:58pm]

A century ago today, Tyrannosaurus rex was first published by Osborn (alongside Dynamosaurus imperiosus, now considered a synonym of T. rex, and Albertosaurus sarcophagus, a somewhat smaller, earlier relative of T. rex).

Also in the reptilians-are-neat department: Python Bursts After Trying to Eat Gator
I've come close to that state on a few Thanksgivings....)

(5 bones to pick | classify)

SVP Scheduler [04 Oct 2005|08:26am]

Just launched this:
SVP Scheduler

Finally, a way to choose between all the talks!

(4 bones to pick | classify)

Tiniest [Mesozoic] dinosaur eggs may be found [30 Sep 2005|12:09pm]

[ mood | impressed ]

One of the dinosaur eggs, being held by Dr. Buffetaut's 16-year-old daughter, Isabelle. (Copyright Eric Buffetaut)

World Science article

The four eggs, two of which contain remains of embryos, come from a [non-avian] dinosaur that may also turn out to be the smallest known, the researchers said: it may have been the size of a goldfinch or slightly bigger.... The eggs come from a theropod, [paleontologist Eric Buffetaut] said, a type of dinosaur that included the famous Tyrannosaurus Rex [sic] and is also believed to be the group from which birds descend. Indeed, the newfound eggs seem to come from a sort of tiny dinosaur-bird who lived at the cusp of the transition between the two forms, Buffetaut said.

(1 bone to pick | classify)

Parry & Carney [27 Sep 2005|10:55am]

I've just launched a regular weekly comic strip to do with dinosaurs: PARRY & CARNEY: FRIENDS FOR LIFE. Here's the first strip:

Some Cartoonish GoreCollapse )

I'll be accompanying the strips with essays relating the strip to some paleontological issue. For example, today's strip features a Carnotaurus chomping a Giganotosaurus's head off, and there's an essay about megafaunal turnover through the Cretaceous Period.

Come for the mindless violence, stay for the science!

P.S. There's a Livejournal feed, too: parryandcarney

P.P.S. Comments can be left at the Parry & Carney website.


SVP '05 Abstract Volume is online! [23 Sep 2005|09:23am]

[ mood | geeky ]


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