Thursday, January 14, 2016

By the way - that groove is also seen in...

the type specimen of Appalachiosaurus montgomeriensis, Bistahieversor sealeyi, the type specimen of Daspletosaurus torosus, the two Medicine tyrannosaurine, Raptorex, Alioramus, Tyrannosaurus bataar, and the type specimen of T. rex.

Also, the contact of the maxillary fenestra with the rostral margin of the antorbital fossa is seen in adult T. rex, not in Jane, Albertosaurus libratus or A. sarcophagus; and the ridge along the pneumatic recess of the ectopterygoid is seen in Jane and adult T. rex, but not in A. libratus or A. sarcophagus. The contact between the antorbital fossa and nasal is very long in Jane and adult T. rex, whereas in A. libratus and A. sarcophagus, if a contact is present, it is very short.

The medial postorbital fossa is in all tyrannosaurids, including adult T. rex.

No, I wasn't the anonymous reviewer!

Friday, January 1, 2016


Redescription of the Cleveland skull, circa 1995-1996: my original handwritten notes (left), measurements and sketch of occiput and basicranium (right), and printed manuscript (center). Thankfully, I've rescued this long-shelved work by incorporating it into the Jane monograph.
December 5, 2015

10:47 am: Late start; taking a second look at the section on the braincase before resuming the final pass of edits. I noticed last day that I did not check off the red ink; I’m not sure if that was an oversight on my part or if I haven’t actually made the changes.

12:28 pm: List for the Cleveland skull, continued: (17) length from basal tuber to basipterygoid process; (18) height of the postorbital region of the skull through the laterotemporal fenestra; (19) length of dorsotemporal fenestra; (20) width of dorsotemporal fenestra, (21) rostral margin of the dorsotemporal fenestra across the postorbital.

12:33 pm: OK – braincase taken care of – finally! Now, back to the final set of edits.

1:05 pm: Break for lunch.

2:05 pm: Back from lunch. The manuscript is 1,013 pages and 304,070 words in length.

3:17 pm: Still at 1,013 pages, but 304,222 words have been reached even though I am trying to delete as much as I can!

3:24 pm: Have to shower and run errands; I hate to leave this.

4:06 pm: Back to revisions!

5:12 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
Landscapes of fear, terror, & the tall wraiths
Torrential bloodshed
Savagery in gold leaf
Scissors, blood, & incisors
Ivory sockets sprout scarlet razors;
From your lawless skin
Wrought a flawless drape

December 6, 2015

10:26 am: Back to revisions to the section that compares the laterotemporal fenestrae of the articulated Cleveland, Jane, and adult T. rex (AMNH FARB 5027) skulls.

12:03 pm: Expansion of the description of the bony choana and addition of the palatine fenestra has brought the ms up to 304,908 words and 1,015 pages. This isn’t the desired trend, but it can be reduced. Going back to the choana to see if I can shorten things down.

12:32 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
All in silver
All in pearl
All in ice that melt unworlds

December 8, 2015

10:38 am: Another late start to bemoan; I’ll read over the choana and then proceed from there to the palatine and suborbital fenestrae. I’m starting with a page count of 1,016; I’ll try to reduce that by at least a page this morning.

11:57 am: Still at 1,016 pages, despite some additions. I’m done with the primary fenestrae, now I’m moving on to the primary cranial arches, starting with the postorbital bar.

12:24 pm: I just reached the dorsal temporal arch, and I’m losing the battle on page count – after adding to the postorbital bar, it crept up to 1,017 pages. Despite that, I am trimming along the way! Done with the dorsal temporal arch. Stopping for lunch.

December 10, 2015

~4:40 pm-5:00 pm: Today I started to print out hard copy of the Jane ms to proof and correct; made it to page eight!

December 11, 2015

~2:30-3:00 pm: Additional red ink to the new hard copy.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
The East is severed from its fingers
The North drowns in ink
The South is tarnished blight
The West dies upon a flowered knife

December 12, 2015

10:33 am: Resuming the trimming down of the manuscript, picking up at the ventral temporal arch.
Music: Mozart’s Requiem.
Missing data for BMRP 2002.4.1: (1) premaxilla, body, dorsoventral height. Started a list in Excel for loose threads.

12:47 pm: Time for lunch.

2:17 pm: Back to wheel & rudder the whale. I’ve reached the maxillary process of the premaxilla. Despite trimming, the monograph is still at 1,017 pages.

3:00 pm: Reached the nasals!

3:21 pm: Good grief – I found a gap in the description of the nasals: the joint surface for the premaxilla. Some text to add, which hopefully won’t push the manuscript above 1,017 pages!

3:47 pm: I tried to be brief, but the manuscript is now 1,018 pages in length.

4:50 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
You don’t read
You don’t need
You let time bleed:
Artisan of scrimshaw
Harvester of shagreen;
I want a triumph
A governance
A masterpiece
A sleeping Sun
To die in
A death to kill religion
(especially that one)
A tomb for the Song
To shriek in;
I wish your name
To fill every mouth with
Blood & adoration

December 13, 2015

11:55 am: Terribly late start. Tackling the nasal.

12:29 pm: Reached the maxilla!

12:36 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
I long for the bronze years when
Grief was freighted in warships
Of self mutilation

December 14, 2015

9:56 pm: Back to the maxilla.

10:35 pm: Some good progress made; I’ll have more energy for this tomorrow morning.

December 15, 2015

~10:20 am: Resuming the maxilla.

December 16, 2015

9:49 am: Resuming the maxilla.

10:37 am: Time to yield to other demands; reached the lateral alveolar margin of the maxilla.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
From the carapace crown
Wrought in Art Nouveau
From the lyre of the Cupid’s bow
To the bob and sway
Of the pelvic arcade;
The cradle of our grave
The mind of our sky
The constellation joined
By malice & inaction

December 17, 2015

4:43 pm:  A brief, brief return to the ms.

4:48 pm: I’ve reached the maxillary sinus system; but it is time to go – dammit.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
I just want to listen
I just want to learn things
I just want to burn gold
And make the decision before
The high noon wastes
Into long shadows
And I just want everyone
To shut up
So that I can hear the
Woman sing
About her stupid, stupid heart
On the daily main.

December 18, 2015

8:25 pm: Back to the ms!

9:39 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
The longest night
I don’t want to know anything
I don’t want to be anything
I don’t need to feel alive
I don’t need to be rich
Or aware
Or educated or brought
On board;
I’ll take the guillotine
I’ll take the firing squad;
The aftermath
Will glisten like bat teeth
Around the sonar shriek:
“All’s clear”.

December 19, 2015

11:00 am: A late start, but classes are over.

12:50 pm: Stop for lunch.

2:10 pm: Back from lunch. I have completed the pass through the maxilla and found a couple of gaps along the way, including the joint surface for the premaxilla on the nasal vestibule, and the entire intermaxillary process! I’ll wrap those parts up on a return visit to the Burpee once my entire proofread of the ms is done.
I still have not decreased the length of the ms by any amount, but it has not exceeded 1,018 pages. I now proceed to the lacrimal.

3:02 pm: I have several errands to run. Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
Become alien
Become fascinating
Become the thing that misled me
In the first instance
Pharyngeal jaws
Extracalvarial dome
Become beautiful
Become hideous
You be the shower of gold
I’ll be the tomb.

December 20, 2015

10:26 am: Back to revisions.

Music: Beethoven’s 5th.

11:29 am: Short break. Reached the medial pneumatic recess of the lacrimal.

12:33 pm: Back to the lacrimal, briefly.

12:38 pm: Time to go.

December 21, 2015

10:14 am: Good grief – a late start, but a start nonetheless. Resuming the lacrimal; at the supraorbital process.

Music: Mozart’s Requiem, followed by a return to Beethoven’s 5th.

12:00 pm: Found a loose thread in the description of the lacrimal: the neurovascular foramina that penetrate the rostral and caudal surfaces of the ventral ramus. I’ll take care of that after lunch. Stop.

1:09 pm: Back to work!

1:28 pm: Completed the new section on the foramina. The word count is 306,065, so I still have 
plenty of cutting down to do! I’ll now proceed onto the jugal.

Music: Beethoven’s 2nd and 4th.

1:47 pm: Stopping for an errand.

3:19 pm: Resuming the jugal, at its pneumatic recess. Criminy – I just bumped the ms up to 1,019 pages!

3:55 pm: A loose thread in the jugal spotted – I need to add the subcutaneous texture of the jugal for adult T. rex. Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
I think of you now and then
A little bit more than now and then
When we first met
I wasn’t your friend
I think of you now and then
A little bit more than now and then

December 22, 2015

11:00 am: A dispiritingly late start; resuming the medial surface of the jugal.

11:11 am: Deleted a redundant part of a paragraph – back down to 1,018 pages!

11:32 am: Perhaps there is an effective way of quantifying the length of the base of the postorbital process than comparing it with the length of the bone – suborbital height?

12:15 pm: Adult condition of the joint surface on the ventral quadratojugal process, orientation of the process, form of ventral margin, dorsal view, medial view.

12:19 pm: Done with the run through the jugal; time to eat. The next step is to take care of the loose threads for the jugal before proceeding on with the postorbital.

3:22 pm: Back to the Jane ms; I’m a bit fatigued, so I’ll start on the postorbital before taking care of the loose threads for the jugal.

4:13 pm: I have to stop for coffee.

4:16 pm: Back to it!

4:30 pm: Stop.

December 25, 2015

2:54 pm: Back to the ms, finally! I’ll back up to take care of all of the loose threads that are currently hanging over my head, which means back to the jugal I go!

4:14 pm: Phew – done with the jugal! Now, on to the postorbital to first take care of the loose threads accumulated so far.

4:25 pm: Hunger’s forcing me upstairs; brief break.

December 26, 2015

10:38 am: Just answered a question about privately owned specimens left on my "Nanotyrannus isn’t real, really" post. Now, back to the postorbital section of the monograph to add in the information on the joint surface for the frontal for adult T. rex.

Music: Mozart’s Requiem.

11:15 am: Crumbs – the manuscript is 1,020 pages long!

11:51 am: Finally reached the cornual process of the postorbital, which means that the adult conditions will have already been included!

12:22 pm: Lunch break.

1:48 pm: Back to work!

2:10 pm: Done with the joint surface for the squamosal, now proceeding with the jugal process of the postorbital. The bad news is that the monograph has reached a page count of 1,021. I have to find ways to cut this down without sacrificing content.

2:28 pm: Stop.

December 27, 2015

10:52 am: Back to the jugal process of the postorbital; hopefully, I won’t be adding too much.

Music: Mozart’s Requiem.

11:40 am: A few additions made that have brought the monograph up to 1,022 pages; I am now at the subocular process of the postorbital, which shouldn’t require any new text since comparisons with adults have been made.

11:46 am: Made it to the squamosal!

12:24 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
In night thought
In light sought
From heights dropped
Into sight brought
From might fought
In right caught
A flight wrought
From blight flock.

December 28, 2015

12:51 pm: Back to the ms. Heavy snow and wind storm today, so I am at home unexpectedly early. Resuming the proofread of the squamosal!

1:43 pm: Time for lunch; stop.

~2:15 pm: Back to work.

2:52 pm: Errand to run; stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
How many cities
Do your hands hold?
How many sunsets
Must you pluck
To cherry rum?
Head for tail
Tail for head
Regret surfaces
& serpents the
Whatever you drink
It’ll be too much
Whatever I drink
It’ll be too little
& what separates us
is the electron thread
painted  in gold
on the chest
of a black flesh eater.

December 29, 2015

11:41 am: Dismally late start, with an immanent departure. Regardless, I found two loose threads in the squamosal: the description of the quadrate cotyle and joint surface for the otoccipital. I also found a loose thread regarding the skull frame, namely, the secondary laterotemporal fenestra. Squamosal: page 203+.

11:50 am: Stop.

4:30 pm: Resuming with the secondary laterotemporal fenestra.

4:59 pm: The secondary laterotemporal fenestra is completed! Now, on to the quadrate cotyle.

5:18 pm: Done with the quadrate cotyle, now on to the joint surface for the otoccipital and prootic.

5:42 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
Tyrants, lizards, kings
Then as the whale do not breath
Then as the crocodile do not spare
Then as the mantle do not sheave
Then as the deity do not appear
Then as the night do not reveal
Then as day do not fail;
“I can’t work anymore at night.”
Why not?
“I have no motivation, my mind’s off
the task; sleep looks so much better
in her leaden sunder; and I sit will-less
& wasting.”

December 30, 2015

10:02 am: Resuming the joint surface for the otoccipital and prootic of the squamosal.

10:10 am: Section completed! Now I can proceed to the quadratojugal! Unfortunately, the additions have brought the ms up to 1,026 pages.

10:40 am: Errand to run; stop.

11:06 am: Back to the quadratojugal!

11:44 am: Errand to run. Stop.

12:17 pm: Resuming the quadratojugal.

12:54 pm: Done with the quadratojugal! Now on to the quadrate! Stopped at page 236.

1:04 pm: Shifting gears by giving my attention to the corrected hard copy.

1:57 pm: Red-inked the premaxilla; time to print the description of the nasals!

2:12 pm: Have some errands to run. Stop.

2:33 pm: Back to red inking the hard copy!

3:08 pm: Finished red-inking the nasal; I’ll now print the maxilla!

3:10 pm: I just caught a gap in the description of the maxilla – the joint surface for the premaxilla on page 105. I’ll take care of this before resuming the quadrate.

3:13 pm: Section of the maxilla description printed out; I have to head home to eat something for lunch. Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
Tyrant lizard king
Cradle descending
Magisteria burned through at the neck
It’s not me that you shear
It isn’t you that I hear
It’s the Corinthian pillar leafing song
The blossom & bloom of the Chorus of Deaths;
The welt & weal of Dawn’s topaz scald

December 31, 2015

3:14 pm: After another catastrophic delay I am taking a step backward to complete the descriptions of the joint surfaces for the nasal and premaxilla of the maxilla.

3:37 pm: The rostral end of the joint surface for the nasal is done! Now, on to the joint surface for the premaxilla.

4:00 pm: Finished with the joint surface for the premaxilla; by this addition, the monograph has been nudged up to 1,027 pages. Now, on to the quadrate!

5:18 pm: Stop.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
No, no commitment
No, no revision
No, no evasion

No, I’m no example.