Plate tectonics of the far future

As we should all know, the earth's plates are on the move. The theory of plate tectonics is a well-supported mechanism for the movement of the continents in deep time. It explains many prior observations about geology and biogeography, and can be directly observed today via GPS. It makes sense that therefore plate tectonics will … Continue reading Plate tectonics of the far future

Cladistic ontogeny of Jiufotang tapejarids

As you probably already know, Sinopterus is a genus of tapejarid pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation of China. The holotype of Sinopterus dongi was first named by Wang and Zhou (2003). Since then, a bunch of other species of tapejarid from the Jiufotang Formation have been named (incl. Li et al. 2003, Lü et al. … Continue reading Cladistic ontogeny of Jiufotang tapejarids

The Dinosauroid sheds its feathers on our culture

Ah, the dinosauroid. At once loved and hated, the idea of troodontids evolving into sapient, even humanoid beings has probably piqued many of our interests at some point. Paleontologist Dale Russell's "lizard man" dinosauroid is the most infamous and well-known expression of the concept, but there are many other instances of the idea being explored, … Continue reading The Dinosauroid sheds its feathers on our culture

A Turonian pterosaur turnover?

The early Cretaceous had a great diversity of pterosaurs. All four major groups of pterodactyloid - Archaeopterodactyloidea, Dsungaripteridae, Pteranodontoidea, and Azhdarchoidea - are present, and very diverse (Barrett et al., 2008). Even a few anurognathids were still present until at least the Aptian. By the end of the Cretaceous, this diversity had been reduced to … Continue reading A Turonian pterosaur turnover?

On the paratype of Santanadactylus brasiliensis

Santanadactylus brasiliensis is one of the many Romualdo Formation pterosaurs, named by P.H. de Buisonje (1980). The holotype is University of Amsterdam M 4894, an associated humerus and scapulocoracoid. The humerus looks pretty standard for Anhangueria, and it likely belongs to this clade (in fact I would not be surprised if it is within Anhanguera … Continue reading On the paratype of Santanadactylus brasiliensis