Sunday, January 7, 2024

Review of 2023

Another quiet year for this blog, mostly consisting of conference trip reports, though I also found time to write about Prehistoric Planet Season 2 and a new post on alvarezsaur paleobiology (which is already demanding further followups—such is the nature of science!). Behind the scenes, I've made substantial progress on a variety of research projects, which I hope I'll get to discuss in more detail over the coming year. In addition, I've maintained work on New Dinosaur Alert and Through Time and Clades.

Those who follow me on Tumblr might have noticed that I've started posting a lot about Doraemon on there. It's been refreshing, to be honest, to simply share my thoughts and observations on a media franchise (especially one so extensive yet rarely discussed in English-speaking circles), as opposed to scientific writing where I may feel the need to double-check half a dozen references for every other sentence I write.

I have no intention of halting my scientific communications entirely though, so let's take a look at what 2023 had to offer in maniraptoran research. As always, my coverage of papers about modern birds is necessarily going to be incomplete, so I put more focus on those that have more direct connections to paleontology, such as studies on anatomy, ontogeny, and higher-order phylogeny.

General and non-paravian maniraptorans

Holotype of Jaculinykus yaruui (A–C), life restoration by Seiji Yamamoto (D), and phylogenetic diagram showing the known distribution of a bird-like sleeping posture among maniraptorans (E), from Kubo et al. (2023).

Depiction of an oviraptorid incubating its eggs (A) and schematic showing how the "inverted cone" shape of an oviraptorid nest would have increased surface area available for accommodating a large clutch of eggs (B–C), from Hogan (2023).
 General and non-neornithean paravians

Life restoration of Wulong by Bob Nicholls with coloration informed by analyses of preserved melanosomes, from Croudace et al. (2023).

Specimen of Jeholornis that preserves phytoliths as gut contents, suggesting leaf-eating behavior, from Wu et al. (2023).

General and miscellaneous crown birds

Suitability of modern bird casques as potential analogues for similar skull structures in extinct dinosaurs, from Green and Gignac (2023).

Phylogenetic distribution of foot dexterity in birds, from Gutiérrez-Ibáñez et al. (2023).

Correlations between habitat use and climate with bird coloration, from Delhey et al. (2023).

Depiction of a pelagornithid showing inferred beak structure, from Piro and Acosta Hospitaleche (2023).

Phylogeny of elephant birds based on ancient DNA, from Grealy et al. (2023).

Skull and vertebrae from the holotype of Anachronornis anhimops, from Houde et al. (2023).

Miscellaneous neoavians

Neck vertebrae of perplexicervicids, from Mayr et al. (2023).

Phylogenetic distribution of unorthodox feeding behaviors in hummingbirds, from Colwell et al. (2023).
Gruiforms and charadriiforms

Limb bones from the holotype of Charadriisimilis essexensis, from Mayr and Kitchener (2023).

Holotype of Clymenoptilon novaezealandicum, from Mayr et al. (2023).

Phylogeny of herons, from Hruska et al. (2023).

Foot bones of Dynatoaetus gaffae, from Mather et al. (2023).

Phorusrhacid tracks from the Río Negro Formation, from Melchor et al. (2023).

Holotype of ?Pulchrapollia eximia, from Mayr and Kitchener (2023).

Phylogenetic distribution of next architecture in tyrannidans, from Ocampo et al. (2023).

Phylogeny of larks, from Alström et al. (2023).

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