Monday, September 7, 2015


The mother ship: cast of the dentary of Jane compared with that of Scotty (RSM 2523.8). I'm always amazed at how truly enormous adult T. rex really are. This entry focuses on the long, agonizing process it took to complete the description of this not simple or strightforward bone.
August 28, 2015

10:28 am: Back to the ms; double checking some aspects of the palatine before moving on to the pterygoid.

1:10 am: Time to break for lunch.

1:55 pm: Resuming the pterygoid.

4:43 pm: It looks like the pterygoid is pretty much done! I haven’t been working on it constantly; there’s been numerous interruptions. Regardless, it’s been a worthwhile exercise, which included bringing aspects of Gilmore (1946) up to data as well as the discovery of some new ontogenetic characters!

769 pages written; revising page 352.

~5:00 pm: Starting the dentaries.

5:12 pm: Stop.

August 29, 2015

12:11 pm: Done with a sauropod project; now back to Jane’s dentary!

1:05 pm: Break for lunch.

1:55 pm: Lunch over; time to resume the dentary!

3:04 pm: Bad headache coming on; I need to take a rest.

4:55 pm: Rested, just took two extra strength Tylenols; hopefully the headache will abate. Back to the neurovascular foramina of the dentary!

5:49 pm: The headache is persistent; I need to take a break for a little while.

10:14 pm: Even after tylenol, dinner, and time away from the keyboard, I am still stuck with the headache; I’ll try to pen a few more sentences before I go to bed.

10:40 pm: Dammit, the headache…wins.

774 pages reached; revising page 359.

August 30, 2015

10:02 am: I took the last two extra strength Tylenols, which hopefully will tamp this headache down for a while. Back to the dentary!

11:30 am: Brief break.

9:27 pm: The headache never went away and became worse, to the point where I’ve felt dizzy and nauseous. About an hour or so ago, I took an acetaminophen and caffeine extra strength migraine pill, but no effect. Back in pain and feeling sick. OK – I’ll try to keep going for a little while.

10:17 pm: Not quite an hour, but I got past the lingual bar and made some good progress on expanding the section on the Meckelian groove.

August 31, 2015

3:16 pm: A late start, but several things have demanded my attention today. One important discovery: Advil migraine capsules have tamped down my headache so that I barely notice it’s there. However, I’m still nauseous; my head still feels like a rocking waterbed. Resuming the dentary, specifically the Meckelian groove.

3:48 pm: Done with the Meckelian groove; now to add the adult conditions!

5:06 pm: Break

780 pages written; revising page 361.

September 1, 2015

10:20: Back to the dentary; a couple of things to double check for the Meckelian groove.

11:34 am: Hunger gnaws; brief break.

12:10 pm: A snack and a few things to take care of; enough fooling around – back to the joint surface for the splenial!

12:59 pm: Reached the dentary alveoli; time for lunch.

2:10 pm: Back to the alveoli!

3:27 pm: Interdental plates are now in progress; time for a brief break.

9:08 pm: Not so brief after all; back to the interdental plates.

9:35 pm: Now, on to the caudal plate!

9:49 pm: 785 pages written, revising page 373.

September 2, 2015

8:45: Resuming the dentary; a very topographically- and structurally complex bone.

10:14 pm: A good run of it, but hunger gnaws; time for a break.

On the plate: salame vereno, garlic-stuffed olives; in citrus-skin bottle: Sanpellegrino chinotto. Time for spiced rum…

787 pages reached, revising page 374.

September 3, 2015

3:28 pm: Back to the dentary!

4:11 pm: The tyrant hunger strikes again; the remedy: tortilla rounds, sumpremely spicy Sabra hummus, Sanpellegrino araciata rossa. Also, the opening minutes of the Berlinski-Hitchens debate.

4:25 pm: Back to the manuscript.

5:15 pm: Phone call from colleague.

5:45 pm: Back to work!

6:30 pm: Stop.

9:50 pm: Back to the dentary!

10:26 pm: Hunger, again.

September 4, 2015

10:45 am: Back to the dentary.

12:00 pm: Lunch.

12:22 pm: Back to the dentary; seeking to more fully incorporate AMNH FARB 5050 and CMNH 7541.

1:45 pm: Break time (nap).

September 5, 2015

1:53 pm: Back to the dentary!

3:55 p.m.: Brief break. “Knowledge for its own sake” is a disingenuous strike at scientific inquiry; every new fact of Nature is a piece of the great mosaic of the history of life, which is brought infinitesimally closer and closer to completion & comprehension by their continued discovery no matter how distant in connection from each other they at first might appear.

4:20 pm: Resuming the dentary description.

5:25 pm: Another break.

5:39 pm: Back to it!

7:10 pm: Time for dinner; reached the Meckelian fossa.

~10:25 pm: Back to the dentary; done with the Meckelian fossa; now, on to the joint surface for the surangular.

11.37 pm: Almost done with the dentary; I’ll wrap it up tomorrow!

787 pages reached; revising page 388; I find it hard to believe that I haven’t even added a full page over the past couple of days.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
When death arrives
The living light from there to here
Curl, pleat, & frond
Chrysalizing bonnets
Cindering the loom

September 6, 2015

10:15 pm: A late start; last sections for the dentary – immature bone grain and lesions.

10:27 pm: Reached the splenial!

11:30 pm: Enough.

Hm – it’s not giving me the total pages reached automatically, but scrolling down tells me I’ve reached 799 pages; revising page 391.


  1. I thought I saw the words "...sauropod project..." but I must have been mistaken!

    1. Hi Mark! No, you were not mistaken; I've had the privilege of being invited onto an exciting sauropod project by the Museum of the Rockies' resident sauropod expert, Mr. Cary Woodruff. You can read the abstract of our joint work in this year's abstract volume of the annual meeting of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

  2. Dear Mr. Carr - - I hope this gets to you, and that my inquiry finds you well. In my rudimentary research thus far, I came across your blog, and thought I'd pose this question to you: I recently saw an artist's rendering of a T. Rex, which had a row of several bumps on the bony brow above the eyes, and I didn't think that this could be a true T. Rex due to this feature; it looks to be a tyrannosaurid, but I'm unable to find this feature on any of the skull pictures I've found online. I expect that the artist took some liberties here, but I'd appreciate it if you might be able to assist me further - - given this limited description, could this be an actual dinosaur species, even possibly a T. Rex?

    If I might better ask this question of another authority, please direct me to him. I may be reached directly at if you like, else I'll check back on this blog at a later time to see your reply.

    Thank you very much for your assistance.

    Christoffer Anthony

  3. Hi Christopher,

    Cephalic ornamentation is an area that paleo-artists take an interest in, but seldom render accurately. There is a specimen of adult T. rex (MOR 008) that has a row of spikelets along the brow-like ridge that extends between the lacrimal and postorbital. However, I'd have to see the image in question to assess its accuracy.


    1. Thank you so much for your helpful, and prompt, reply, Thomas. I'll see if I can send a pic of what I saw; in trying to find it online, the closest I could come up with is the center pic at (, only in the pic I saw the bony protrusions on the ridge above the eye sockets roughly resembled the rounded horns that one might find along a ceratopsian's frill, evenly spaced, and of course much smaller. In viewing the MOR 008 online, I am unable to see the skeletal basis for what we're discussing, but then I'm quite the novice; still, what you described in your reply sounds like what I saw. Anyway, I'll see if I can send a pic, perhaps in the next few weeks (it was at my daughter's school, on a friend's shirt).

      Thank you again for your help in unraveling this very small mystery... and point of curiosity.


    2. Thomas - - I have a .jpg file of the pic I saw. I'd love to send it to you. What's the best means to do so?