Bert Macklin, raptor wrangler
Bert Macklin, raptor wrangler trailer screencap

Hello, dino-friends! It's been a while, I know, and we have much to catch up on.

First, can we talk about how excited I am about Jurassic World?! Shut it, haters. Look, everyone knows you don't turn to Jurassic Park for good science (in its own universe or in real life). Yes, these raptors are still naked. But they are also trained and running in a pack with Chris Pratt, and that is AWESOME. Also, Pratt's Macklinesque delivery makes me laugh uncontrollably every time I watch the trailer, which has definitely not been more than 100 times. There's a delightful Reddit thread speculating on the story arc for the raptors, which includes the inevitable heartbreaking death scene.

What you really need to do is go check out the official website, which has "cameras" trained on different areas of the park and other fun in-universe goodies. Plus, friend of TDN Brian Switek is the official dinosaur expert for Jurassic World!

Artist's rendering of what Qijianglong might have looked like. XING LIDA

Next, I'm sure you heard about the sauropod discovered in China... no? Okay, Qijianglong guokr, or "Dragon of Qijiang," was identified in January of this year from fossils found in 2006 by construction workers. The creature roamed the area near Qijiang City in the late Jurassic period. About 50 feet in length, it had an unusually long neck that made up nearly half its body.

"It is rare to find a head and neck of a long-necked dinosaur together because the head is so small and easily detached after the animal dies," said University of Alberta doctoral student Tetsuto Miyashita.

Qijianglong shows that long-necked dinosaurs diversified in unique ways in Asia during Jurassic times—something very special was going on in that continent,” says Miyashita. “Nowhere else we can find dinosaurs with longer necks than those in China. The new dinosaur tells us that these extreme species thrived in isolation from the rest of the world.”

More on Qijianglong here, here, and here. And here is the original publication in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

And finally, please enjoy the insanity that is Christians Against Dinosaurs. (Once, when I was in college, I worked with a woman who insisted that the devil had put fossils in the ground to test our faith. I just... I don't know where to begin.)

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