Thursday, January 8, 2015


Early Thursday morning, January 8, 2015 - I am examining the lacrimal sinus for an optimal place to measure its internal width. The process of revising a manuscript is best done with the specimen on hand in case details were missed the first time around. Photograph by John Scannella.

This week has been very busy and I have been left exhausted at the end of each day, which has delayed me in posting my accomplishments. Here is my summary of the past few days of tyrannosaurining.
January 6, 2015
Today is the day of revisions to the manuscript and I reached page 58 of 627. Along the way I decided on some minor reorganization so that the description follows a logical ontogenetic sequence; I had penned it in a different order initially, but it wasn’t sufficiently straightforward to follow. I’m a bit disillusioned by my slow progress, but the changes and additions are necessary and they have greatly improved the text and information content. I reached 1,226 pages in the digital manuscript today.
January 7, 2015
Today I resumed with the revisions to the maxilla. Although I did get past the maxilla, there’s a specimen that must be brought out of the gallery for me to examine before it is done. Also, the maxilla of the subadult needs to be flipped over so that I can photograph the medial surface. 1,236 pages reached.
January 8, 2015
This morning I began with the lacrimal and from there I've made my way through the braincase section, and I have reached the palate; I've made it to the 308th page of the 627-page hard copy manuscript. In the meantime, the revised and expanded digital version has reached 1,248 pages.
My incremental progress over the past few days was the result of making comparisons with other taxa, from which I drew upon my many excel spreadsheets of data. That approach had greatly slowed me down; since I can make those comparisons without being here, I decided to focus on the immediate revisions that I had specifically marked in red ink for this visit.
Despite the recent breakthrough, it is clear to me that the revisions will continue into the weekend; hopefully I'll start the line drawings at the latest on Monday.
At the end of the day I became unfocused and frazzled with fatigue, which motivated a productive departure in using the last minutes to add some characters of Peck's rex axis to my cladistic dataset of T. rex ontogeny.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaur skeletons:
To the curtsy of the swan neck/the wolf head yields
To wisdom kept/the gorgon to her shield
To separate bled/the constancy of years

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