Sunday, December 28, 2014

Year-end accounting

Hello, everyone, at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. There isn't a whole lot going on, so I thought I'd check in on a couple of things. First of all, how did Equatorial Minnesota do this year? To the surprise of absolutely no one, the most-read articles were those involving dinosaurs. The champion was "A brief history of dinosaurs on the Internet". Quite astonishingly, the second favorite was... "Fossils of the St. Peter Sandstone". This is not a knock on its quality, or the subject matter, or... well, I suppose it is, after all. The only explanation I can think of is that it is linked somewhere I can't find, perhaps on a forum or class website. A few personal favorites:
"Platteville Follies: a crushed giant rodent from Hidden Falls"
"Where to see metro geology, part 5: Shadow Falls Park"
"Sponge detective: when faunal lists go bad"
"Designasaurus II"
"Thescelosaurus: hello old friend"

Dinosaur Genera of 2014

So, after all of that back in the summer, how many genera did we end up with? The answer is...'s hard to tell.

[you're welcome]

Not only do we have the usual electronic preprints (some things have been lingering for years in this state), we've also got the Kulindadromeus/Kulindapteryx/Daurosaurus escapades, an ornithomimid named informally years ago that briefly showed its head and went back to playing coy, and a raft of self-published armored dinosaurs (eight genera and four additional species). I just don't know how this last group will play out. There is certainly a long history of self-publishing or publishing in journals that act as self-publishers (hello, Cope and Marsh). Personally I've never felt comfortable with self-publishing. I could do the same thing tomorrow with all of the species of Omeisaurus and Mamenchisaurus, which certainly deserve a spring cleaning, but the fact of the matter is I've never seen any of the material in person and my expertise is minimal, and the world would be entirely justified in ignoring me even if I satisfied every technical requirement. I know I would have precisely zero business doing this, and yet I'm supposed to think everything is great if someone else does the same thing in a technically correct way. Forgive me for not offering unconditional support. Ah, well, nobody asked my opinion. Anyway, if you just go to the Dinosaur Genera List and highlight "2014", it turns up 46 names. If we remove the armored dinosaurs, "Saltillomimus", the two extra fuzzy Siberian ornithischians, and genera named in electronic preprint years ago, it's 32. Either number is reasonably close to the two previous years (36 for 2012 and 40 for 2013), and after a slow start, publication rebounded.

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