Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pachyrhinosaurus teaser

Yesterday, I got the Pachyrhinosaurus monograph in the mail! Well, I actually had to go to the post office to pick it up--the Canadians package books in a strange way. Anyway, you would think that book is enormous. After all, it's the first ceratopsian monograph in over a century. However, this is not the case. I flipped through the book last night, and while I hadn't actually read it yet (Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia also came out yesterday...priorities, y'know), I can tell you a few things about it:

1) It's a scant 140-some pages long;
2) It is divided into three sections: Cranial osteology, taphonomy of the bonebed, and a detailed CT scan and description of the brain and inner ear;
3) The book does not cover post-cranial osteology, despite the fact that the introduction boasts that virtually every bone of the skeleton is known;
4) Juveniles look a whole lot like Brachyceratops and Monoclonius before transforming into what looks like a completely different animal upon reaching adulthood;
5) Whether the nasal and orbital bosses held keratinous horns (like rhinos) or rugose structures (like musk ox) is still a matter of debate.
6) Mike Skrepnick did a wonderful cover painting, but also a gorgeous life restoration within--he drew two possible head shapes: one with a traditional bony boss, and one with a gigantic keratinous horn on the nose and two smaller horns over the eyes. And I gotta say, although it looks a little odd, that giant horn is awfully cool.

I'll have a more adequate summary after I've gorged myself fully on Pachyrhinosaurus. I'm a little disappointed that there's no post-cranial osteology, but maybe that'll be in a second book...?

1 comment:

ReBecca Foster said...

Mine has come also, but it is still at the post office (drat being sick!). I saw the book at SVP but did not get to look at it that close. Bummer to hear there is not postcranial description, but I am not surprised. Almost no one includes one for ceratopsains saying they are all the same (wrong, my paper next month will point that out). I am looking forward to the taphonomy section.

Unfortunatly I am still mucking though "The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality" and just bought "A Lion Among Men: Volume Three in the Wicked Years" so it might no get read for a few weeks entirely. Bummer. So much to read so little time to do so