It’s that time of year…

December 22, 2017

This year Santaposeidon comes to you courtesy of OMNH vert paleo head preparator and 20th-level fossil conservation wizard Kyle Davies, who took the photo, composed the card, and gave me kind permission to share it here. Needless to say, we’re happy to pass on the happy holiday wishes to all of you, wherever you are and whenever you are reading this.

For previous Santaposeidon sightings, please see:

 

This is how Vanessa’s SO, Lane Medina, wraps a Christmas present. The young man shows promise!

The Magi present gifts to the Christ child

Here comes Santaposeidon!

December 22, 2009

Ever since we started working on Sauroposeidon, Rich Cifelli and I dreamed of seeing the reconstructed neck on display. That vision has come to fruition.

The Oklahoma Museum of Natural History opened a totally new building in 2000. Coincidentally, the opening ceremony for the new digs was held the same week that the paper naming Sauroposeidon came out in JVP. The exhibits in the new building were pretty cool right out of the gate, but the exhibit people have not been idle, and if you haven’t been there in a year or three you will find many things that you have not seen before.

My favorite upgrade is the new orientation gallery, which introduces museum visitors to the functions of the museum and the kinds of work that go on in the research wing, including most of the traditional -ologies. The reconstructed neck and head of Sauroposeidon hang from the ceiling, spanning most of the length of the gallery and extending out into the museum’s great hall.

The beast was reconstructed by Research Casting International. I got to visit their workshop in Ontario, Canada, a little over a year ago to see how things were coming along. The people there were extremely serious about getting things right (how refreshing!). We spent quite a while talking about how Sauroposeidon was different from Giraffatitan (RCI remounted the Humbolt dinos) and sketching out what the missing bits might have looked like, especially the skull.

Of course we don’t have any skull material from Sauroposeidon, but we do have skulls and partial skulls from several other basal titanosauriforms. Together with one of the people working on the Sauroposeidon project, I filled up a couple of pieces of paper with sketches showing what a slender mid-Cretaceous brachiosaur might have looked like. In particular, and in keeping with the gracility of the cervical vertebrae, we narrowed the skull a bit to get rid of the dreaded Giraffatitan Toilet-Bowl Head.

The completed neck and head were already mounted in the OMNH when I visited last Christmas, but the gallery wasn’t open yet so all I got–and all I could pass on to you–was this teaser. The new orientation gallery opened in the middle of this spring, so Sauroposeidon has been hanging out there for a while. This is just the first chance I’ve gotten to go see my baby.

What a fine present. Merry Christmas from the SV-POW!sketeers!

Update from Mike

Here is my Christmas card to you all.

Happy Christmas from Mike Taylor and brachiosauridae incertae sedis BMNH R5937, “The Archbishop”, coalesced dorsal vertebrae 8-9 (in right lateral view, like you need me to tell you that). ┬áImage in part copyright (C) the Natural History Museum, but it’s the season of goodwill so they probably won’t sue you even if you send copies to all your friends.

The ghost of Christmas past

December 25, 2008

santaposeidon-480

But also of Christmas future.

Or, perhaps, the spirit (pneuma) of the season.

Merry Christmas to all! We’ll see you back here in 2009.

Cheers,

The SV-POW!sketeers

Merry Christmas from SV-POW!

December 24, 2007

soaring-sauropod-500.jpg

The famous (infamous?) AMNH Barosaurus, from an angle you may not have seen before. There’s a very subtle problem here–both this skeleton (the “mommy”) and the juvenile hiding behind it (the “baby”) are reconstructed with 17 cervicals, although to the best of anyone’s knowledge, Barosaurus only had 16. Nitpicky? Sure. But to me, making an already ridiculously long-necked dinosaur even more outrageous by sneaking in an extra vertebra is–at the risk of offending the British 2/3 of the SV-POW! creative team–just not cricket.

Stay tuned during 2008–we’ll see if the three of us can keep this up for an entire calendar year.

Cheers,

Matt (and Mike and Darren)