I have a soft spot for sabertooths. I’m not just talking about the formidable cats with long canines from the last 25 million years or so. The “saber-toothed herring” Enchodus; the knobbly-headed uintatheres; funky, herbivorous cousins of ours from a time before there were mammals; and more – I adore them all. No surprise, then, that I picked a sabertooth theme for this month’s edition of The Boneyard – the science blogohedron’s monthly fossil carnival.
Before diving into the paleo-goodness, though, a brief note of apology. I was supposed to post this carnival last week, but, because I forgot to look at my calendar when I said “Yes” to hosting (*headdesk*), I forgot that I was going to be out in the field looking for Late Triassic fossils at Dinosaur National Monument. (It was hot, dirty work in which sunburn, rattlesnakes, and heavy thunderstorms were regular companions – I loved every minute of it.) Being that The Boneyard is a paleo carnival I started a few years ago and that David Orr has done a splendid job managing, I feel a little chagrined at screwing up the schedule, and I appreciate David’s patience with me as I go through fieldwork withdrawal.
So what have we got this time around?
For starters, Life As We Know It has a primer on sabertoothed critters through time. Early synapsids, mammals, dinosaurs… the post is a semi-technical collection of greatest hits and b-sides from sabertooth history. I was especially glad to see one of my favorites – the marsupial sabertooth Thylacosmilus – get a nod.
David Bressan, on the always fascinating History of Geology blog, steps up with a post titled “The sabre-toothed moonrat from the island of the sabre-toothed prongdeer.” That might be a little wordy for a direct-to-dvd b-movie, but the real creatures David describes were more wonderful than most fictional beasties you care to name.
The rest of the review is at The Boneyard 2.11 | Wired Science | Wired.com.