Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brilliant New Anchiornis, the Bone Wars, and More

A few quick news items while I finish up a post exploring the extent and structure of beaks in theropods...

"Dinosaur Wars" on PBS's American Experience
I haven't had a chance to check out this new PBS special on the Bone Wars (darn you, unreliable internet connection!) but the whole thing can be seen here.

"Dinomorphosis" on National Geographic's Naked Science
Airing next week, this special explores current knowledge of feathered dinosaurs. You can see the trailer here (not bad, aside from the rampant bunny hands and baffling statement that all feathered dinosaurs were carnivorous), and a related article from the magazine with photo gallery.

Be sure to check out the image of an undescribed Anchiornis specimen in the photo gallery. The preservation is utterly phenomenal, and even the previously-described color pattern is visible to the naked eye.

Also exciting is a new paper on sexual dimorphism and reproduction in the pterosaur Darwinopterus. Check out the great article summarizing the findings at New Scientist, and this skimpier Discovery article highlighting an awesome new restoration of male and female specimens by Mark Witton.


  1. The Oviraptor on Dinomorphosis also lacks wings (I wonder how it's supposed to brood eggs like that), but it's good to see the paternal care and the ring-tailed Sinosauropteryx on screen.

  2. One thing that always irks me is how findings about a single species are almost always extrapolated to therefore apply to all members of a vast and varied group. Even if the young of Darwinopterus and related species were precocial and received no parental care, this does not mean that all pterosaurs just dumped their eggs and bolted.

  3. Wow, that Anchiornis really is gorgeous...

  4. Holy crap, look at that Anchiornis!