Monday, December 29, 2008

Paleo Predictions for '09

Well, I'm hopping on this bandwagon because it looks like fun. Ten things I believe (or would like to believe) will happen in the vert. paleo. world in the coming year. One of my predictions is totally a joke. Can you guess which one?

1) Zanno's prediction that therizinosaurs represent the basalmost maniraptor theropods (and do not form a sister group with oviraptors) will be validated by a basal new oviraptor, possibly from China, which shows a close relationship between Oviraptoridae and Paravia.

2) New rigorous studies on Silesaurus will show it to be the basalmost ornithischian dinosaur, rather than a non-dinosaurian dinosaurmorph.

3) An actual scientific description will be published on Dakota, that Edmontosaurus media darling (remember her?).

4) Fossil grasses will be discovered in Nigerian rocks of Middle Cretaceous age, thus giving Nigersaurus something to eat.

5) "Octoceratops" will recieve a 5-page description in Nature or Science at the end of the year.

6) A relatively complete noasaurid abelisaur will be discovered in South America. It will show broad similarities to Ceratosaurus and coelophyloids.

7) Large bones attributed to Therizinosaurus will be discovered. The bones will not be very exciting (things like isolated vertebrae and maybe a tibia) but will validate a therizinosauroid relationship. The animal will be compared to ground sloths in the following media frenzy.

8) More complete remains of Anchiornis will be described, including a mediocre skull, which will show a close relationship with Archaeopteryx.

9) A new Eocene whale will be found that has very reduced, but still functional, hindlimbs. Creationists will ignore the fossil or claim that it simply isn't a whale.

10) Jurassic Park IV will be officially announced, in memory of Crichton, but no further details will be revealed in 2009, aside from a possible male lead.


Christopher Taylor said...

One of my predictions is totally a joke. Can you guess which one?

I'm putting my money on the prediction of a formal description of "Dakota".

JJ said...

I see you're quite sensibly steering clear of predicting the publication of the Cetiosauriscus monograph in 2009...

Zachary said...

Hahahaha! Hadn't even thought of that one, Julia. I'm not very sauropod-minded! :-)

Brad said...

Your "Octoceratops" probably will be published, as Diabloceratops eatoni.

lantaro said...

Come on Dinosaurmageddon!

John Jackson said...

Can't guess which is the joke, but it wouldn't surprise me if some therizos turned out to be manirapt's and other not - and perhaps none of them particularly close to ovis! (I wonder where we're at now with some theriz. eggs being round and others long.)

I think we can expect more on "Dakota" this year.