It is with great honor and I bring you The Boneyard #4! Brian Switek's much beloved blog carnival comes to When Pigs Fly Returns, and I aim to please. So without further ado, I give to you...the submissions:
The big paleo news this week was a paper by Sellers & Manning which uses computer models to estimate running speeds for various theropod dinosaurs. The biggest surprise is that Compsognathus, that smallest of Jurassic tetanurines, somehow manages to outpace us all at 40 mph. I'm skeptical, sure, but it's a good read nonetheless!
Sellers, W. I. & Manning, P. L. (2007) Estimating Dinosaur Maximum Running Speeds Using Evolutionary Robotics Proceedings of the Royal Society B: published online.
Julia Heathcote, that most ethical of paleontologists, has a nice little reaction to the article at Faster Dinosaur! Kill! Kill! She also has a fairly tongue-in-cheeck rundown of some famous songs involving everyone's favorite Mesozoic ornithodirs: Songs About Dinosaurs
Julia's husband's uncle has also posted his take on dinosaur running speeds and dinosaur intelligence. They're quite funny and hey, he brings up some good points!
Will Baird promises an excellent post about the little known Late Triassic mass extinction which arguably paved the way for the dinosaurs to take over and wiped therapsids off the planet. They will be missed! Head over to The Dragon's Tales for more.
Laelaps has two excellent posts this week. First he discusses a little known l carnivore with the wierdest dentition I've ever seen. That would be Thylacoleo carnifex, a critter I would not want to mess with. Laelaps also wrote this week about the downright laughable Aquatic Ape Hypothesis. I encourage everyone to check it out, as it's not only entertaining, but I use the term "sizeable swellings" on an almost daily basis now.
Pondering Pikaia has a wonderful, if brief, post about potential problems in sequencing a neanderthal genome. I wasn't even aware of this story, so kudos to Anne-Marie for pointing it out.
Over at Everything Dinosaur, there's a report of the oldest orchid fossils found preserved in amber--on an ancient bumblebee! Now if that's not direct evidence for active pollination by insects, I don't know what is. Head over to Everything Dinosaur for the whole story.
I know his latest post is a month old, but Mark Witton has obviously had pterosaurs on the brain lately. Click that link for some beautiful pictures and more information on some of the stranger species than you ever thought was out there.
Finally, I've prepared my own epic post about pterosaurs and their murky origins. Just scroll down for that giant post, and I apologize for the spacing issues. I'm probably going to add to the post tonight, as I forgot to mention Rupert Wild's theory about pterosaur evolution, which is just as good today as it was in the early 1900's.
Many thanks to Brian (Laelaps) for letting me host the Boneyard this week!