Some say that the people involved in palaeontology are all a bit mad. Of course, I don't know whether this is true or not, but - on a completely unrelated note - here are some of the Christmas e-cards that are winging their way around cyberspace right now. Because I can't get the pictures into the exact configuration I have in mind (despite copious mucking around with the html) I'm having to shrink them right down, so please click to enlarge (do we ever really need to say this?).
My card is the big one at the top (and, yes, that IS a hellboy reference). I just showed it to Toni (my wife). "Oh", she said. The enigmatic one featuring the vertebra is from sauropod worker Mike P. Taylor; the festive dromaeosaur is from (... who else) Luis Rey; the hat-wearing Mantellisaurus is from Simon Clabby (Mantellisaurus is the iguanodont dinosaur formerly known as Iguanodon atherfieldensis. It was finally given its own genus by Greg Paul this year: I am fairly confident that this is its first appearance on a Christmas card). The vertebra on Mike's card is a particularly interesting one and has been sort of alluded to in a previous post (see Lots of sauropods). Rest assured I will have a lot more to say about it in the near future.
The image at left is from Mark Witton. An earlier version was first seen here on Mark's flickr site - he didn't send me a copy (sob, the rejection: maybe this is because I still owe him comments on a pterosaur manuscript we're supposedly collaborating on), so I initially nicked... err, borrowed it. I needn't have worried, as I later received a personally emailed version: it's different from the older version, and is the version shown here. Anyway, it features everyone's favourite pterosaur: that ridiculous antlered nyctosaur described by Chris Bennett (2003). Note the fact that Mark depicts the posterior prong of the crest as far longer than is normally shown. Why? Because this is apparently correct, that's why. I'm going to be blogging about nyctosaurs soon, by the way, as I've recently done reading the Muzquizopteryx paper.
Next we have a most worthy contribution from he of dead fishes fame, my huge pal Graeme Elliott. It's a very nicely done composite of student still life, cutting-edge computer wizardly, outstanding humour, and giant robot dinosaurs. The odd creature at far right (it's wearing lots of denim) is owl specialist Richard Hing. Again, I borrowed the image from Graeme's flickr site (go here)... in fact, Graeme has produced a second Christmas image featuring what might be a cryptid, the elusive black dog of Bickwell (go here). I found it hilarious. Anyway, I'll add further cards to this post as and when they arrive.
Kimmeridge Clay dinosaurs coming next (update: I lied), though the possibility remains that a certain mysterious Bornean mammal might get covered instead... For the latest news on Tetrapod Zoology do go here.
Ref - -
Bennett, S. C. 2003. New crested specimens of the Late Cretaceous pterosaur Nyctosaurus. Paläontologische Zeitschrift 77, 61-75.