Thursday, 14 October 2010

SVP 2010 - A Brief Review

Now that the 70th SVP meeting in Pittsburgh has drawn to a close (very successful as well I’m told), I thought I’d mention a few things that came up during the meeting and that I’m looking forward to hearing more about in the coming weeks and months.

This year’s abstracts were full of goodies covering a wide range of subjects but there were some highlights. Starting off with the in vogue ceratopsians and there was yet more on the morphology, ontogeny and homology of these totally fascinating dinosaurs. And yet still more, as well, on Triceratops and, yes, Torosaurus – things keep rumbling on.

Certainly synonymy and, the latest buzz-word, anagenesis featured highly at this years meeting and there is continuing discussion, at all levels, regarding these very high profile subjects.

Ankylosaurids got some deserved attention this year as did the sauropods which included work on titanosaur evolution and rates of teeth replacement within the group. Hadrosaurs got a bit of attention, again mainly anagenesis and morphological issues and there was an interesting report on a particular edmontosaur bone bed in Wyoming.

I’ve become more interested in micro vertebrate sites during the last year and there were yet more interesting presentations including anthill sampling and other work in the Hell Creek formation. There were also a couple of detailed posters for preparators’ that I’m interested in and the preparators’ session, in general this year, was very well received.

Tyrannosaurids were well represented with detail mainly concerned with ontogeny, evolutionary trends and morphological data as well as some very cool information on their palaeogeographical distribution and what appears to be a couple of new taxa.

Other theropods were well represented including work on a new basal theropod, a new dromaeosaur and ongoing research into abelisaurs. Other bits and pieces included a new pachycephalosaur and some fascinating insight into hypsilophodont feeding techniques.

Not so many presentations on marine reptiles this year although mosasaurs and pliosaurs were represented and there was some detail concerning ichthyosaur extinction. However, the one presentation that fascinated me above all others was about cryptocleidoid plesiosaurs and the fact that there appears to be evidence of a tail fin! I hope to discuss this, and many other issues mentioned above, further in the not too distant future.

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