Sunday, January 3, 2016

Crystal ball for 2016

Welcome to 2016! I trust you have arrived safely; this darn travel through time only goes one way. 2015 was all right, as years go. I crossed a couple of fossils off the "see in the wild" list (tabulate corals and conulariids, plus I finally got the hang of horn corals), plus for my job I got to sleep under the stars at Death Valley and see part of the Grand Canyon by small plane. All in a day's work, I say. Having had some good luck in the Platteville this year, I plan to pay more attention to it this year. My "white whale" would be finding an equivalent to the old "Johnson Street Quarry" echinoderm locality; I've been looking out for Hidden Falls Member exposures lately. I'd love to see an edrioastroid or a "cystoid".

I continue to update the Compact Thescelosaurus; if you have something you'd like me to correct, just let me know. Here's a few things I expect for dinosaurs in 2016 (nothing too serious, of course):

Another picture of the conulariid. I can't express what it was like to find this.

There will be a new "that group". By "that group", I mean some group of dinosaurs that inexplicably produces new genus after new genus in a short period of time, to the point that humble chroniclers like myself experience a certain feeling when they see another one. It goes kind of like this: "Hey, a new—oh, another one of those." Currently, the "that group" is non-hadrosaurid iguanodonts. In the past month alone there has been Zuoyunlong, Morelladon, Datonglong, and Sirindhorna. A few years ago titanosaurs had an extended run. Ceratopsids and basal ceratopsians have done pretty well too. I suspect that basal ceratopsians are about to go on another run, but who knows? Troodontids? Basal sauropodomorphs?

After a quiet couple of years, we get something new from the Cedar Mountain Formation. It could be practically anything, given the number of rumored forms, but I'm holding out for an armored dinosaur.

One of the dinosaurs in this post will be published. Which one will it be? I'm going to guess one of the daspletosaurs, or perhaps "Lori".

It will be revealed what evil magic Ornithomimus edmontonicus has been using to make researchers forget that it is the least senior name available for the Dromicieomimus/Ornithomimus complex.

Something something Spinosaurus, something something Tyrannosaurus, something something humbug. Actually, probably lots and lots of something something Tyrannosaurus. Well, that's the divine right of kings.

Another oviraptorid will be described from a formation that already has three or more named oviraptorids. Apparently if you order one, you get a sampler pack (see also Barun Goyot Formation, Djadokhta Formation, Nanxiong Formation, Nemegt Formation).

No one will describe a stegosaurian. For shame!

There hasn't been a Triceratops/Torosaurus paper in a while; we're probably due.

Anatosaurus will get the Brontosaurus resurrection treatment. This just seems inevitable at this point.

Somebody will name a lambeosaurine. It won't have an intact crest, even though aesthetically speaking what's the point of a lambeosaurine without the crest?

What I'd *like* to see: more on clubless armored dinosaurs. The clubbed wing has done pretty well for itself of late (c.f. Victoria Arbour over at Pseudocephalus), so let's see more about their cousins. I'd also love to see a detailed specimen-level study of Stegosaurus.


  1. Sounds like you probably got at least one of these right:

    Lori just finished getting funded, it's gonna be named this year!

    1. Archbishop will also be named by time SVP rolls around according to Mike Taylor.

    2. That's good! I already lost a point for the stegosaur crack (Alcovasaurus), although in my defense I intended it as a reverse jinx and Alcovasaurus is a renaming of a previously described species.