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Sexual dimorphism, Triceratops and the media and misc.
For a scintillating discussion on sexual dimorphism in
dinosaurs there is an extraordinarily wonderful review paper
in the 2nd DINOFEST volume, you'll laugh, you'll cry, it'll
be a total experience for everyone.
OK, I was the senior author on it and its basically a
straight-forward review of the current state with many links
to the literature and some general discussion on theoretical
If people need copies of this or other of my papers - also
if I owe some people copies and somehow messed up and didn't
send - please send a note TO ME ONLY - NOT THE LIST! NOT THE
LIST! - and I'll get stuff mailed out by the end of
September. Am away to Connecticut this Saturday to relax a
On other news, the Triceratops project is running quickly
ahead. We have the full virtual model established and
walking in the old mount posture - not correct obviously but
a starting point - and are now working on the articulations
joint by joint using the virtual Mr. T and a 1/6 scale
prototype we are generating - we will have a complete
skeleton in wonderfully accurate 1/6 scale complete soon.
Working the articulations with the small bones is wonderful
and is already suggesting that Mr. T could lock his knees
and that we should make great progress in the functional
morphology of ceratopsians, with lots of help. Kent Stevens
was through and we had a great time with him looking at the
knees and he will be working with us on some stuff and vice
versa. Pete Kroehler and Steve Jabo have been invaluable in
this from the specimen side. Art Andersen will give a
plenary talk for us at SVP, and I'll talk about the project
a couple days later.
We were on NBC Nightly News on Friday (and the MSNBC web
site now) with this, along with Brent Briethaupt, the VBP,
and Neffra Matthews talking about their 3-D imaging of their
Middle Jurassic footprint site material. It was originally
scheduled 3 weeks ago but massive numbers of snipers,
natural disasters (couple of hurricanes, tornados in Salt
Lake, earthquakes) and topical-mania delayed things. I
figure if they ever film me for prime time the world with
slide into global war before I get on. But it was OK and yet
another step ahead as we try and do more dinosaurs. We are
also assembling a large group of mechanical engineers to
work with us on various dinosaur projects, including
Triceratops, based on an article that we had in Mechanical
Engineering magazine about the Triceratops project (nice
cover shot as well). The response has been overwhelming and
I'm trying to catch up while also getting the redo of the
pachy chapter of the Dinosauria finished up.
Matt Bonnan and Tracy Ford were through lately, and we had
nice discussions. Cathy Forster as well, and she is serving
as the main outside reviewer of the redo of the ceratopsian
part of the Dinosaur hall.
We have a first set of plans done and they look great to me
with more on relationships of the ceratopsians than our hall
Hope to see you all at SVP and apologize for being so quiet
lately - too few hours in the day these days, although they
are tending to be nicely dinosaurian in nature, with some
trilobite stuff thrown in.
I also want to highly recommend George McGhee's new book on
Theoretical morphology (Columbia) which is wonderful - just
finished a review of it for PALAIOS.
Ralph Chapman, NMNH