Wednesday, December 2, 2015


The original 600+ page hard copy of the Jane monograph; in recent days I have produced the final 1,011-page draft, which needs to be edited down to the agreed-upon (with the publisher) 300,000 words, along with other additions and revisions (details below). Regardless, the final draft of the description is a significant step toward seeing this work to publication.
November 7, 2015

9:41 am: Back to the tibia.
11:00-11:13 am: Brief break. Returning to the muscle scars of the tibia.
11:41 am: Done with the tibia for now; I still have to make comparisons with the juvenile and adult specimens in the collections at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum (DDM; Kenosha, WI). It’s time to move on to the fibula.
12:07 pm: Time to make lunch.
12:52 pm: Back to the fibula!
2:24 pm: Goodness – 950 pages written!
2:40 pm: Reached the joint surface for the tibia on the shaft of the fibula; there’s a lot of detail for such a thin joint surface - time for a break.

November 8, 2015

10:28 am: Back to the fibula!

November 10, 2015

10:21 am: At the Burpee, time to wrap up the adult humerus!
11:03 am: Done with the humerus; moving on to the pelvic arcade.
~1:00 pm: Leave for lunch.
2:10 pm: Back from lunch; resuming the ischium.
3:21 pm: Done with pelvic arcade; going back to collections to work on the femur, I’ll start with the proximal end.
4:25 pm: Wrapping up for the day; finished the proximal end of the femur.

November 11, 2015

10:38 am: Resuming the fibula.
11:04 am: Lateral muscle scars done; have to stop.

November 13, 2015

7:03 pm: Tonight, on the infamous night of the Islamofascist attacks on Paris, another stab at the fibula.
7:44 pm: Stop.

November 14, 2015

9:22 am: Resuming the muscle scars of the fibula in posterior view.
9:37 am: Done with the muscle scars; I now have to give some time to a sauropod phylogeny project.
11:16 am: Done with the sauropod work, now back to Jane in a few minutes.
11:23 am: Moving on to the astragalus…

Music: Brahms, Symphony no. 1 in C minor op. 68, Symphony no. 3 in F major op. 90; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan.

12:12 pm: Time for lunch.
1:35 pm: Resuming, but skipping ahead to the pes.

Music: Brahms, Symphony no. 2 in D major op. 73, Symphony no. 4 in E minor op. 98; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan.

3:17 pm: Break time.

November 15, 2015

10:06 am: Resuming the pes.
11:20 – 11:43 am: Brief break. Back to the phalanges!
12:28 pm: Time for lunch.
10:09 am: Resuming work on the femur at the Burpee Museum.
12:23 pm: Time for lunch!
1:45 pm: Back from lunch.
3:34 pm: Done with the femur (for now); I have to re-photograph it with the proximal and midshaft parts of the right bone attached to each other.

November 16, 2015

10:31 am: Squeezing in a few minutes on the manuscript; focusing on the red ink in the earlier draft of the ms, which returns me to the introductory section of the pectoral girdle.

Music: Brahms, Symphony no. 2 in D major op. 73, Symphony no. 4 in E minor op. 98; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan.

11:15 am: Stop.

November 21, 2015

11:30 am: Just finished penning some revisions to a tyrannosauroid phylogeny article, penned with Brusatte; now back to Jane! I’ll resume with the red-ink revisions before I expand the description of the frontal and proximal tarsus.

Music: Brahms, Symphony no. 2 in D major op. 73, Symphony no. 4 in E minor op. 98; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan.

12:35 pm: Stop for lunch. Done with the red ink for the ilium and pubic, next to revise is the ischium.
1:45 pm: Back to Jane; for a change of pace, I’ll expand the description of the frontal!
3:20 pm: Done with the frontal! Now, back to making revisions to the ischium.
3:47 pm: Done with the ischium, now on with the femur!
4:11 pm: Stop.

November 22, 2015

10:16 am: Resuming red-ink edits of the femur.
10:32 am: Done with revisions to the femur, now the tibia!
11:22 am: Overall done with the revisions to the tibia, but I have to include DDM (Dinosaur Discovery Museum) specimens in a few sections. Now, on to the fibula!
11:41 am: Done with the fibula, now moving on to the astragalus.
11:46 am: Time for lunch.
12:22 pm: A brief return to the astragalus.
12:36 pm: Stop.

Music: Beethoven’s 5th.

November 23, 2015

3:21 pm: Day largely lost to uncontrollable extrinsic factors; presently I am at Carmax to have the tires switched, the headlight and oil replaced, etc. Resuming the red ink corrections to the astragalus.
3:27 pm: Done with the astragalus, now on to the red ink for the calcaneum.
3:36 pm: Done with the clacaneum, now on to the red ink for the distal tarsals!
3:47 pm: Done with the distal tarsal, now on to the pes!
4:13 pm: Pretty unbelievable, I’m pretty much done the red ink for the description of the skeleton; however, there are several loose threads to go back and take care of, as well as bringing the description of the astragalus and calcaneum to a close with the bones and relevant literature at hand. In the meantime, I’ll polish up some aspects of the description of mtt V before proceeding to the red ink for the Ontogeny section.
4:47 pm: Done with the red ink to the final sections (ontogeny & discussion); still have to take care of loose threads in the description, especially the proximal tarsals and pes. I’ll be off to the Burpee Museum tomorrow to take care of those sections. Stop.

990 pages written.

November 24, 2015

10:03 am: Back at the Burpee Museum to take care of loose threads in the description of the hindlimb. Resuming the fibula.
10:35 am: Done with incorporating the fibula of BMRP 2007.4.1; moving on to the distal tarsals, of which one of BMRP 2007.4.1 is preserved.
~1:00 pm: Lunch.
~2:10 pm: Back from lunch and in the gallery exhibit to examine Jane’s pes.
~5:32 pm: Leave for Kenosha.

998 pages reached!

November 26,  2015

10:32 am: Finally – it’s time to revise and expand the description of the proximal tarsals, the last major block of description left to complete! Beginning with the astragalus.
11:51 am: Done with astragalus, now moving on to the calcaneum!
12:22 pm: Done with the calcaneum, but I have some finishing touches to make to the astragalus.
12:30 pm: Done with the astragalus!

1001 pages reached!

November 27, 2015

11:11 am: A late start; the bulk of the description is nearly done, where in the short term I have to complete (1) the description of the articulated skull, (2) add the pedal phalanges of ‘Petey’ (BMRP 2007.4.1), and (3) take care of the descriptive loose threads that I had left to take care of at a later time. I also have to read through the text to correct any spelling or grammatical errors and edit it down to size.

After all of that, I then have several other tasks:

(1) complete the photographic plates of the teeth, hemal arches, cervical and dorsal ribs, and gastralia;

(2) add all of the figure citations to the text;

(3) add the table citations into the text;

(4) make sure all of the literature citations are correct and complete;

(5) make sure the literature cited section is correct and complete;

(6) draft the table of contents;

(7) draft the index;

(8) draft the rest of the figure captions;

(9) photograph the assembled 3-D print of the skull;

(10) draft the color plates; and

(11) draft the suggested cover illustration.

~5:30 pm: Resuming revisions – taking care of as many loose threads as can, based on the red-ink to the hard copy of the ms. It already is clear that I have to make a return visit to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History to obtain a host of measurements from the Cleveland skull.
7:17 pm: Stop.

November 28, 2015

10:47 am: Another late start; resuming the loose threads of red ink revisions in the hard copy.
List for this Tuesday’s Burpee Museum visit: (1) pedal phalanges of BMRP 2007.4.1, (2) medial mandibular fenestra of BMRP 2002.4.1, (3) dimensions and form of the ventral temporal arch, (4) check to see if either of the 13th maxillary teeth are identifiable among the isolated teeth, if not , include a note in the ms that they might be preserved but cannot be distinguished from the other teeth;

List of data required for CMNH 7541: (1) snout length from caudal edge of lacrimal, (2) skull height through the postorbital bar, (3) rostrocaudal length of dorsotemporal fenestra, (4) mediolateral width of dorsotemporal fenestra, (5) rostrocaudal length of postorbital bar at midheight of orbital fenestra, (6) rostrocaudal length of postorbital bar at midheight of laterotemporal fenestra, (7) length of the ventral ramus of the lacrimal at its midheight, (8) length of the dorsal temporal arch, (9) height of rostral end of dorsal temporal arch, (10) height at midlength of the dorsal temporal arch, (11) height at the caudal end of the dorsal temporal arch, (12) dimensions of the ventral temporal arch, (13) length of the dorsotemporal fossa of the frontal, (14) length of the sagittal crest, (15) length of basicranium from basipterygoid process to basal tuber, (16)  

1:06 pm: Stop for lunch.
1:56 pm: Resuming the description of the ventral temporal arch. After adding needed description, the ms is now 1007 pages; the word count is 302,530, which I have to edit down to at least 300K.
2:36 pm: Stop.

November 29, 2015

10:37 am: Resuming the loose threads of red ink.
12:36 pm: Stop.

November 30, 2015

9:15 am: Taking some time to edit down the Jane ms and start a checklist of references and institutional abbreviations.
9:41 am: Stop.

December 1, 2015

10:00 am: Arrival at the Burpee museum and starting with D III PH 1 of Petey (BMRP 2007.4.1). Resaving the manuscript file as December.

Checklist for this Tuesday’s Burpee Museum visit:

(1) pedal phalanges of BMRP 2007.4.1 [11:43 am]

(2) description of the medial mandibular fenestra of BMRP 2002.4.1 [11:50 am]

(3) dimensions of the ventral temporal arch [11:58 am]

(4) check to see if either of the 13th maxillary teeth are identifiable among the isolated teeth, if not , include a note in the ms that they might be preserved but cannot be distinguished from the other teeth [12:25 pm]

(5) in caudal vertebra #1, check for foramina between the transverse process and the prezygapophysis: present

(6) in caudal vertebra #10, get the length of the process ahead of the joint surface of the prezygapophysis

(7) Check fossil for dorsal ribs with complete ventral tips; if there is one, note which it is

(8) get length of pubic tubercle

(9) get height of pubic tubercle

(10) get max width of pubic boot

(11) clarify unexpanded form of the ridge that extends ventrally from the fibular crest onto the diaphysis of the tibia

(12) check contact between distal tarsal IV and the adjacent mtts.

2:30 pm: Back from lunch; in the gallery to take care of loose threads that require direct study of the fossil.
3:00 pm: Done in the gallery; double-checking a couple of loose threads pertaining to a rib and a gastralium.
3:33 pm: Done for the time being!

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs

The book of the nine hours
From flowered western gate
to Center Night: death, mirror,
& rattlesnake
The elements of Caiman hour:

When I saw the totality
Without day
Without night,
Without death
Without life,
Without dream
Without memory,
Without love
Without conscience;
When I saw the totality;
Without time
Without motion
Without flower
Without grass
Without eagle
Without caiman
Without dog
Without deer
Without water
Without direction
Without vulture
Without obsidian;
When I saw the totality;
Without rabbit
Without turkey
Without house
Without blood
Without gold
Without sliver
Without calendar
Without mirror;
When I saw the totality;
Without rattlesnake
Without lizard
Without birth
Without murder
Without teeth
Without energy
Without bones
Without skin
Without planet
Without star;
When I saw the totality;
Without fire
Without cold
Without body
Without void
Without layer
Without flow
Without division
Without apoptosis
Without extinction
Without speciation
Without fury
Without expectation
Without shove
Without embrace
Without ice
Without blaze;
When I saw the totality;
Without endurance
Without sensation
Without stone
Without water
Without expanse
Without gutter
Without generation
Without decay
Without rage
Without pollen
Without flight
Without pinion
Without grief
Without skeleton
Without flower
Without desiccation
Without universe
Without nature;
When I saw the totality;
Without eyes
Without terror
Without agony
Without song
Without shoe
Without barrier
Without weakness
Without power
Without breathing
Without blade
Without gratitude
Without favor
Without ghost
Without sable
Without cobalt
Without scarlet
Without disease
Without garden
Without mind
Without space
Without ally
Without nightmare
Without sequence
Without signal
Without eon
Without sun;
Without pleat
Without harpoon
Without self
Without aperture
Without Medusa

With Sutekh.


  1. Thomas Carr in 2001 (when Thomas Carr was a PhD student) told a college student that Thomas Carr would not talk to or help the student until the student achieved a "doctorate" as a way to punish the student out of Thomas Carr's jealousy and vindictiveness because the student gave an opinion to another paleontologist about a dinosaur topic without Thomas Carr giving the student permission to give the student's opinion. In other words, Thomas Carr likes to blackball people when he has the power to do so. Watch out!

  2. Very intriguing poems, here. I'm especially curious as to what "caiman hour" might refer to...given how much I like caimans.

    I was really happy to see your Tyrannosauroid phylogeny with Brusatte published! It's a shame there isn't enough analysis of Megaraptora to have it included yet, but I hope that such research will be coming soon.

    It's a shame on how little data there is on Laramidia, too. I'm intrigued to know if any large-bodied tyrannosaurids existed there, or if it was only tyrannosauroids. It also makes sense that longirostrines may artefactually group together and not reflect a true phylogeny. Very interesting work.

    1. Hi Leandra! I plan to publish the Jane Diaries as a book with the Night Thoughts intact and unedited. The NIght Thoughts themselves will form the basis of a separate book of poems, which is in progress. The Night Thoughts book will be structured following the Aztec nine hours of night, and the "Caiman Hour" is one of those.

      We're happy to have the tyranno phylo paper out! We've held off from the megaraptorans until we actually see the fossils.

      I don't think tyrannosaurids will ever be be found in Appalachia, because they are a product of the WIS transgression and arose (almost certainly) in Laramidia and from there dispersed to Asia. There was no opportunity for tyrannosaurids to get from the west to the east until late into the late Maastrichtian, according to most paleogeographic maps that show the end of the Cretaceous. It's an interesting thought to consider the possibility of an encounter between T. Rex and Dryptosaurus!

      Regarding longirostrines - the only true ones are Quianzhousaurus and Alioramus. Even the most long-shouted tyrannosaurid juveniles don't have their proportions!