Special Episode: The new dinosaur Hesperornithoides

This is a special breaking news episode of On the Fossil Record podcast, where Dean gets to talk about some newly published research he’s been involved with and has the chance to say all sorts of things he wouldn’t normally get to say in an average interview, just like with our first episode back in February about his work on Protoichthyosaurus, though this time we’re able to publish the episode on the same day the paper goes public. It’s an exciting first for the podcast.

The new paper, titled A new paravian dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of North America supports a late acquisition of avian flight, describes the new maniraptoran dinosaur Hesperornithoides miessleri, goes to great lengths to find its position in the dinosaur family tree, and has some interesting implications for understanding the evolution of flight in birds. The paper is open access, so anyone can read it.

Full skeleton of Hesperornithoides miessleri (from Hartman et al. 2019) (c) Levi Shinkle, Wyoming Dinosaur Center
Full skeleton of Hesperornithoides miessleri (from Hartman et al. 2019) (c) Levi Shinkle, Wyoming Dinosaur Center

You can listen to us talk about this new study below or through our PodBean page. It can also be found on popular streaming sites like Spotify and iTunes. And please give us a follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Dean mentions the excellent book Wyoming’s Dinosaur Discoveries by co-author on the paper Jessica Lippincott (with a foreword by fellow co-author Dave Lovelace), which can be ordered online.

Lead author Scott Hartman runs the website Skeletal Drawingwhich is well worth checking out, especially if you love skeletals like the one below. And another co-author on the paper, Mickey Mortimer, runs The Theropod Database Blogwhich is chock full of posts about theropod phylogenetics.

Skeletal reconstruction (c) Scott Hartman.
Skeletal reconstruction of H. miessleri (c) Scott Hartman

During the episode, Dean also mentioned the funding website Experiment.com and you can view the page for this particular project here, where you can see everyone who backed the project.

Hopefully, this is the first of many breaking news episodes.

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