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Showing posts from June, 2010

New paper: media response

I was originally going to post more on the science in my new paper on theropods, but I thought it would be a good opportunity to present my observations on the media response to my paper (or whatever media coverage there was).
The Proceedings of the Royal Society releases their own press materials before the official online release, the abstract for which, I actually wrote myself (200 words) when I submitted the final corrected version of the manuscript. Following the said press release (but before the online release) I got contacted by two journalists, one for Discovery News and another for Australia's ABC News. I was quite impressed by both journalists' questions; they were very good questions. So I did my best to answer as much as I can in the limited time I had (I was in London visiting the Natural History Museum).
The resulting articles that came out on the day of the online release of the paper were quite good. I was pleasantly surprised. If you haven't already, y…

New paper: jaw biomechanics and the evolution of biting performance in theropod dinosaurs

My new paper on theropod jaw biomechanics was finally published as an early online edition of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It became available on Wednesday, 9th June, but I was busy studying cat skulls at the NHM in London and I didn't have much time to comment on it until now. It is a modified version of the study I presented at SVP 2009; although I don't know how many people remember my talk. I made a few revisions to the analyses afterwards (as a response to my reviewers), but the main points are pretty much the same.
This study is pretty much a revamp of my MSc thesis where I compared biting efficiency using a novel numerical method. In my MSc thesis, I looked at how the crushing component of the bite force is affected by jaw margin morphology and how they compare across different theropod taxa. Since it was back in my early days of quantitative comparative analyses, I had no idea (or never occurred to me) how I would go about and compare them numerically (e.…