My new paper on Haplocanthosaurus is out

December 16, 2014

Foster and Wedel 2014 fig 3 - dorsals

Fig. 3. MWC 8028, Haplocanthosaurus dorsal vertebrae. A. Lateral view of dorsal centrum with bottom edge of lateral pneumatic fossa preserved. B. Dorsal view of same centrum as in A, showing the median septum between the paired lateral fossae. C. Lateral view of dorsal centrum with smaller segment of the lateral pneumatic fossa margin preserved. D. Dorsal view of same centrum as in C, again showing the median septum and paired lateral fossae. E. Lateral view of dorsal centrum with partial pleurocoel preserved. F. Cross-sectional (posterior) view of same dorsal as in E. G. Dorsal neural spines in lateral (top) and anterior or posterior (center, bottom) views. Scale bars = 10 cm.

Right on the heels of Aquilops last week, my paper with John Foster on the new specimen of Haplocanthosaurus from Snowmass, Colorado, was just published in Volumina Jurassica. I’ll have more to say about it later, but right now I am up against a deadline on a big project and I need to go work on that. I’m only popping up here to note two quick things.

First, if you’re not familiar with Volumina Jurassica – and I wasn’t, before this project – it’s a free-to-access* journal that publishes papers on all aspects of the Jurassic. The current issue is specifically dedicated to the Jurassic formations of the American West. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there, but of special interest to SV-POW! readers will be the paper by Cary Woodruff and John Foster on the legendary and possibly apocryphal Amphicoelias fragillimus.

* But not truly open access since the journal claims to retain exclusive rights to distribute the papers. That seems like a quaint affectation now that the internet is here, but whatever – at least they let anyone download the PDF for free, which is primarily what I care about.

Foster and Wedel 2014 fig 4 - sacrum

Fig. 4. Sacra of Haplocanthosaurus.  A. MWC 8028, sacrum in right lateral view. B. MWC 8028, close-up of S4 and S5 centra highlighting pneumatic fossae. C. MWC 8028 with divisions between the vertebrae overlaid. D. CM 879, sacrum in right lateral view with divisions between the vertebrae overlaid. E. CM 572 in right lateral view, after Hatcher (1903c: plate 4). B–E are not shown at the same scale, scale bar for A = 20 cm. Note that the neural arches in CM 572 were restored during preparation, and the sacral neural spines as shown here are probably lower than they would have been in life.

Second, the figure resolution in the PDF of the Haplocanthosaurus paper is not stellar, so as is the case with almost all of our papers, the full-color, high-resolution figures are available at the paper’s page on the sidebar.

Gotta run.

For our previous posts on Haplocanthosaurus, go here; for those on Amphicoelias, including Mike’s very popular, “How big was Amphicoelias fragillimus? I mean, really?”, go here.


15 Responses to “My new paper on Haplocanthosaurus is out”

  1. Mike Taylor Says:

    Dammit, Wedel, will you please stop pumping out publications? It’s making me look bad.

  2. brian engh Says:

    oh hell yah this post is that good stuff we come to this site for!!! mmmm look at those sacra!

  3. Mike Taylor Says:

    In telling my wife about this paper I had to be honest with her, and described these as vertebrae that only a mother could love. Sorry, Wedel, but it’s true. These are Shards Of Excellence par excellence.

  4. brian engh Says:

    Haha agreed. They’re kind of the perfect follow-up to a paper on a pretty decently preserved cute little ceratopsian skull with no post cranial remains: a paper on a gnarled array of verts from a headless genera totally unknown to the general populace. It’s almost like he’s allergic to something like Aquilops and it forced him to hack up a chunk of sauropod vert in order to restore his internal equilibrium.

  5. Mike Taylor Says:

    Yes! Exactly! :-)

  6. Matt Wedel Says:

    The physical appearance is just a test. The true connoisseur has to look past the superficial and appreciate the Platonic purity on display here: no skull, no appendicular elements, just vertebrae. Incomplete, as all the best specimens are (2 links!). And they’re even shattered in such a way that you can see the internal structure. Broken pneumatic vertebrae are the best vertebrae.

    Oh, who am I kidding. There are beautiful Haplocanthosaurus vertebrae out there in the world, but these particular examples are too ugly for radio.

    I love ’em anyway.

  7. Mike Taylor Says:

    Right. And that is the true love. Anyone can love a beautiful vertebra. It takes a man(*) to look an ugly vertebra right in the lateral fossa, see its ugliness, and love it anyway.

    (*) or a woman.

  8. ijreid Says:

    I think that Volumina Jurassica actually publishes under CC-by 4.0, as it mentions at .Is your paper under the same license, as wikipedia is running low on skeletal pictures, even though we have an excellent illustration?

  9. Matt Wedel Says:

    Huh, this is weird.

    First, I am now getting 404 errors for all the links to the Volumina Jurassica site that I put in the post. Is anyone else having that problem? Maybe my browser is horked. Surely they didn’t all decay in just three months.

    Second, even though the page you linked to does say that the content is CC-BY-SA, this page says,

    Copyright. Submission of a manuscript implies that the work de­scribed has not been published before (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a lecture, review or thesis) and that is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If and when the manuscript is accepted for publication, the authors agree to transfer the copyright to their work to the publisher. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the work, all translation rights as well as the rights to publish the work in any electronic form.

    I wonder if the journal just recently switched to CC-BY-SA and no-one remembered to update the copyright language?

  10. Matt Wedel Says:

    Update a few minutes later: I went though and updated all of the Volumina Jurassica links to the new URLs, and linked to my local, permanently-addressed copy of the paper instead of their distant, unstably-URLed version. Hopefully that fixes the dead link problem. The copyright-vs-CC thing is going to take some more digging. I’m writing to the editors for clarification – I’ll keep you posted.

  11. […] no one size fits all solution. I have no idea how John Foster and I could have turned the Snowmass Haplocanthosaurus title into a sentence that wouldn’t have been a disaster. ‘Concise, accurate, and […]

  12. ijreid Says:

    Just another question. Do you know the height of the seventh dorsal vertebra of H. priscus CM 572? After hours of searching, all I could get was the 1/10th natural size in plate 1 of Hatcher, with no idea how large pages were then and now idea the size.

  13. […] course the real reason I was at Dinosaur Journey was to see the Snowmass Haplocanthosaurus that John Foster and I described back in 2014. You may remember that its caudal vertebrae have wacky neural canals. You may also […]

  14. […] say you had a critter with weird neural canals and super-deeply-dished-in centrum-ends, and you wanted to digitally […]

  15. […] this weird little duck that my destiny seems to have become intertwingled with (exhibits A, B, C, D, E, and […]

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