Phytosaur Skull Update

11 02 2009

Good tidings and well-wishes!

For the past three months, I’m glad to say that I’ve been engaged in my first major paleontological project: cleaning and describing the skull of a Rhedondasaurus, a phytosaur from the upper Triassic in the Southwestern U.S.

(My camera battery died while the video was uploading, so unfortunately it was cut a wee bit short. I’ll post a better one next time, I promise!)

I’m really excited about this project, even though whoever initially unearthed this specimen failed to catalogue it properly and didn’t apply the right kind of glue (making some sections devilishly tricky to clean).

Phytosaurs are pretty darn common here in Tucumcari, so much so that I actually initiated a campaign to nickname all Mesalands Community College athletic teams ‘The Phytosaurs’. Sadly, however, the president of the college wasn’t going for it and decided to revert to the cliched and vehemently imitative idea of ‘The Mesalands Community College Mavericks’ (as if everybody wasn’t already sick of the term after the last presidential election). What a blow for originality…

May the fossil record continue to enchant us all (and may I begin to produce better-quality videos!)




5 responses

11 02 2009
Matt Celeskey

That’s a fantastic phyto skull, Mark–I look forward to hearing more about it.

I’m sorry that Mesalands didn’t go for ‘The Phytosaurs’ (did you try “The Mesalands Phytin’ Phytosaurs”?)–but if they ever reconsider, I can think of an artist or two who’d be happy to design the mascot…

11 02 2009

I’d actually designed a logo previously…I’ll be sure to post it sometime! (Bear in mind that I’m an amateur artist, so it’s definately not of the caliber you’re used to!) I tried ‘the fighting phytosaurs’ (though I admittedly like your spelling of it better) and ‘the raging phytosaurs’, but the school president had already made up his mind about the issue before I launched the campaign. (*sigh*) Oh, well…

As for the skull, I’ll definately be posting more about it!


12 02 2009
Sarah Spears

There was a big movement in the paleo community to change the mascot of Dixie State College in St. George, Utah, from the Rebels (an homage to the confederecy) to the Dilophosaurs or the dinosaurs, mainly because of the nearby E. Jurassic Tracksite (, but it lost out to the “Red Storm,” which isn’t even a real mascot!!! I guess it’s a bull or something…
Anywho, nice blog, I’ll be following it!

14 02 2009

I’d actually read about that on ‘Laelaps’. I fully supported the ‘Dilophosaur’ campaign, but I guess college officials tend to gravitate towards cliched nicknames.
Many thanks for the compliment and I look forward to your patronage!

17 03 2009
Phytosaur skull update #2 « The Theatrical Tanystropheus

[…] the latest update on the great phytosaur project. Go here for part one (  and go here for a nice review of what exactly a phytosaur is […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: