22 April 2015

Roll Up For the Roadshow

On Saturday, I participated in the kickoff of the Cambridge Science Festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Myself and one of the other student employees at the Beneski were asked to help run a booth showing fossils collected from western Massachusetts. The booth was organised by a group called the Jurassic Roadshow, who collect fossils and educate people about our geologic past, often at events such as this one; they kindly invited Beneski Museum docents to get involved with the event.

Jurassic Roadshow fossil fish.
[photo by the author]

08 April 2015

Day of the Diplodocids

Welcome, true believers, to a Very Special installment of Noah's Ravens. As you have no doubt seen while scrolling through Facebook or Twitter or while idly surfing the web, yesterday marked the appearance of a new (very long) paper reviewing the diplodocid sauropods, 'A specimen-level phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision of Diplodocidae (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)' by Emanuel Tschopp, Octávio Mateus, and Roger B J Benson, published open-access in PeerJ. Although I'm certain you've all had time to read it, pore lovingly over the cladograms, savour each and every word about each and every specimen, and completely lose yourself in the figures depicting small chunks of bone, I thought it might be nice to have a brief(ish) round-up post that covers some of the big ideas of the paper in a condensed(ish), hopefully-easy(ish) read.

It was nice knowing you, Diplodocus longus, but all good things
must come to an end. Read on to find out why. Legs belonging to
The Sauropod Formerly Known As
Diplodocus longus at centre.
[photograph by the author]