How have I only just recently heard about the palaeontology themed comic, Corkboard of Curiosities? Given my obsession with both palaeontology and cabinets of curiosity... I'll blame my lack of awareness on working too hard on my PhD.
Now, enjoy their primer on Pterosaurs: how they aren't dinosaurs, and they certainly didn't have bat-like wings, and more! And click this link to go to the Corkboard of Curiosities website and enjoy more of their palaeontological comics.
Images via Corkboard of Curiosities
Here's what has been making headlines this week (28th September - 4th October):
New experiments prove that colour can be fossilised
Colour preservation has been found in fossil feathers before (in the form of structures called melanosomes), but this is the first time they have been shown to potentially preserve in other soft tissues. The journal paper can be found here (paywalled).
Dinosaurs with little heads and giant bodies: why did sauropods get so big?
Being gigantic has its advantages: you're harder to eat, tend to live longer, and can regulate internal body temperature with much more ease. But if you grow a gigantically long neck, you can't have a gigantic head attached at the end.
Palaeolatitude calculator - how far has your continent drifted?
If you travelled back in time, but moved with the land your currently standing on (thanks continental drift!), where would you end up? Click anywhere on the map, and you can how far that location has moved over the course of 200 million years! The journal paper backing this up can be found here (open access).
Maiasaura life history determined from 50 slices of bone, the largest study of its kind
A new study of Maiasaura, the "good mother lizard", indicates they grew to 2.3 tonnes over eight years, reached sexual maturity in its third year, and had similar bone structure to modern large warm-blooded mammals. The researchers plan to learn even more about Maiasaura over the coming years thanks to 'The Maiasaura Life History Project'. The journal paper can be found here (paywalled).
About the author
Dr Caitlin Syme is a palaeontologist who recently finished her PhD at The University of Queensland, studying the taphonomy (preservation state) of fossil non-avian dinosaurs, crocodiles and fish from the Winton Formation, Queensland, Australia. Think forensic science or CSI for fossils, and you're on the right track!
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