So, this morning, I woke up to some excellent news. PeerJ had accepted our* new manuscript to their journal, & it was formally published this morning.
*Whaddya mean "our"? Well, this manuscript was not just my own doing. This is a project started all the way back in late 2010/11 as an SVP abstract/presentation, and a few years back I re-visited it with
We've worked very hard though, since December, to get this pushed out finally this year. That means... technically we're published scientists now!
This paper is on the enigmatic Ruyangosaurus
, a poorly known lognkosaurian (yes, that hypothesis is correct) from the mid-Cretaceous of China. And yes, it likely is China's biggest dinosaur, given that it would outmass "Mamenchisaurus" sinocanadorum substantially, and that the latter is apparently known only from "a couple of cervicals" since GSP's confession. The dataset we assembled references the data matrices from a number of recent papers including Gonzalez-Riga et. al., 2016 (the Notocolossus paper), and so far the characters for Ruyangosaurus put it firmly in lognkosauria. The previous assignations of this giant to "Andesauridae" or "non-titanosaur somphospondyli" were based on a very limited number of basal characters common to most titanosaurs and/or most titanosauriforms, but there was very little mention of the derived characters of Ruyangosaurus.
Here's a taste of the goodness: the second dorsal in glorious high-resolution-
The full citation, as well as the link, is below: (2017) The Chinese colossus: an evaluation of the phylogeny of Ruyangosaurus giganteus and its implications for titanosaur evolution. PeerJ Preprints5:e2988v1 doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprint…
We've already received comments, & any more are always welcome to help out!
**So why did I say technically? Well, this was published as a preprint, which means it's not formally peer reviewed yet. It is, however, a valid piece of the scientific literature and contains a literal mountain of data, & therefore valuable nonetheless.