Darren’s new indeterminate Wealden maniraptoran is inadequate

May 25, 2011

I’m pleased to announce that Darren has a new paper out (Naish and Sweetman 2011) in which he and fellow Portsmouth researcher Steve Sweetman describe a maniraptoran theropod from the Wealden Supergroup of southern England.  It’s represented only by a single cervical vertebra:

Indeterminate maniraptoran theropod BEXHM 2008.14.1, posterior cervical vertebra, in right lateral view. Sauroposeidon cervical vertebra 8 for scale.

This vertebra is described in seven and a bit pages, which means that it’s had nearly three times as much total coverage as Jobaria (Cf. Sereno et al. 1999).

Still, we can hope that Darren and Steve will return to their specimen some time and monograph it properly.

In the mean time, read all about it over on Tetrapod Zoology.


  • Naish, Darren, and Steven C. Sweetman.  2011.  A tiny maniraptoran dinosaur in the Lower Cretaceous Hastings Group: evidence from a new vertebrate-bearing locality in south-east England.  Cretaceous Research 32:464:471.  doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.03.001
  • Sereno, Paul C., Allison L. Beck, Didier. B. Dutheil, Hans C. E. Larsson, Gabrielle. H. Lyon, Bourahima Moussa, Rudyard W. Sadleir, Christian A. Sidor, David J. Varricchio, Gregory P. Wilson and Jeffrey A. Wilson.  1999.  Cretaceous Sauropods from the Sahara and the Uneven Rate of Skeletal Evolution Among Dinosaurs.  Science 282:1342-1347.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the Internet …

On Tuesday morning, a rather nice article about our recent sauropod-necks-were-not-sexually-selected paper appeared on the BBC web-site.  At the time of writing, it’s just topped 100 comments (athough fifteen of those are by me — I wanted to respond to the questions that people were asking).

Here it is, for those who are interested (maybe more in the Q-and-A’s than in the actual article): Evolution, sex and dinosaur necks

13 Responses to “Darren’s new indeterminate Wealden maniraptoran is inadequate”

  1. Taylor Reints Says:

    Wow! Naish’s and Sweetman’s paper is getting a lot of attention in the paleo-community. Did you know Matt Martyniuk has already illustrated it?

  2. Eric Says:

    Haha, very funny Mike.

  3. Heinrich Mallison Says:

    What is it with you British that you all keep making me spray me Hefeweizen all over my laptop?

    Oh, must be the Monty Phyton genes that you island-inbreds all share ;)

  4. Mike from Ottawa Says:

    Where’s Darren’s cervical. All I can see is a flyspeck on the image.

  5. And that’s it. Click it to embiggen. Mike’s showing off his biases with that photo!

  6. Mark Robinson Says:

    Hah! Obviously I should have read the caption. I was confused because the cervical looked (to my uneducated eye) like a sauropod one. Didn’t twig until I read Mike from Ottawa’s comment.

    Heinrich, thanks for reminding me. I must go and buy some more Weihenstephan Hefeweizen – it’s one of my favourite beers.

  7. Mike from Ottawa Says:


    I read the BBC article and the comments and you did a great job. I think the interaction with one of the scientists who did a paper is something we don’t see much. Really excellent science outreach.

    One of the things I liked was that in reading many of the questions/comments I was thinking ‘The SVPOWsketeers already got that covered!’ or ‘Mark Witton covered that.’ when it came to stinkin’ pterosaurs.

  8. Maija Karala Says:

    This is one of those jokes that doesn’t get better when you try to explain it to a sleepy computer scientist at 9 o’clock in the morning. Oh well.

    The BBC article and especially it’s comments are an awesome example of science outreach. Also, Mike’s comment 19. is the single most elegant example of arguing a creationist I’ve ever seen (and I’m not even a Christian). Cool.

  9. Mike Taylor Says:

    Thanks, MfO. It was a a lot of fun to do, unfortunately made a little painful by the BBC’s broken commenting system which (A) won’t work at all if you’re behind a web proxy, (B) hangs indefinitely with no error report if you give it too big a message; (C), sometimes gets into a mood where it randomly rejects comments of any size, and (D) even when it’s working properly refuses to let you post more than once until a three-minute timeout has elapsed. The combination of these failures makes it astonishingly difficult to post substantive information.

  10. David Marjanović Says:

    I so love that picture…

  11. […] to the OMNH in 2007. If you’re a regular you may recognize it from several older posts: 1, 2, 3. The bottom one was taken by Mike Callaghan, the former museum photographer at the OMNH, sometime […]

  12. […] (That’s been the basis for classic SV-POW! posts such as Your neck is pathetic and Darren’s new indeterminate Wealden maniraptoran is inadequate.) […]

  13. I thought the vertebra was a speck on my screen.

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