|A view of one of my work tables, where casts of Jane (BMR P2002.4.1) are set out for reference.|
Sunday, October 5, 2014
THE JANE DIARIES, ENTRY #2
October 4, 2014
I managed to work on the monograph at home this afternoon for a couple of hours. In my final phase of writing the description, I have been expanding it by adding relevant information from the literature.
I am doing this in three waves; in the first, I am adding the phylogenetic characters of Brusatte et al. (2010) and Loewen et al. (2013) to the description, without which the manuscript is static and lacks some depth. In the second wave, I’ll add the characters of Holtz (2001) and Currie et al. (2003); those four cladistic works will adequately capture the specimen’s phylogenetic spectrum for the time being.
This process inevitably adds hundreds of anatomical details; even if some of those characters were already in the description, explicitly stating their phylogenetic nature will most benefit readers, and will shorten their search time when they are skimming for characters to add in their own data matrices. Also, this will assist readers in searching the photographic plates for hard-to-see characters.
In the third wave, I will add the ontogenetic characters of Carr (1999) to give a full profile of the skeleton’s relative maturity. This retrospective approach will also help me to refine the actual attribution of some characters, a detail that at times gets lost from work to work.
Today my writing efforts added five new pages, where I finished adding the vertebral and hemal arch characters to the description, and I started on the pectoral girdle.
Throughout this process I have been color-coding the plesiomorphic (red highlight) and apomorphic (green highlight) states so that later I can easily find them. The result of this chromatic tagging (which will not appear in the final ms, of course) will be summarized in the Discussion, where I will describe the ontogenetic context for the phylogenetic constellation of characters that are seen in Jane. Mundane aspects, such as loose threads (e.g., features I need to double check, ratios to obtain, etc.) are highlighted in yellow; I look forward to the day when the manuscript is back to black and bone.
Carr, T. D. 1999. Craniofacial Ontogeny in Tyrannosauridae (Dinosauria, Coelurosauria). Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 19:497-520.
Currie, P. J., J. H. Hurum, and K. Sabath. 2003. Skull structure and evolution in tyrannosaurid dinosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 48:227-234.
Holtz, T.R. 2001. The phylogeny and taxonomy of the Tyrannosauridae. In D.H. Tanke and K. Carpenter (editors), Mesozoic Vertebrate Life: 64–83. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Loewen, M. A., Irmis, R. B., Sertich, J. J. W., Currie, P. J., and S. D. Sampson. 2013. Tyrant dinosaur evolution tracks the rise and fall of Late Cretaceous oceans. PloS ONE 8:1-14.
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