Profile: Jon Tennant
Although primarily a geologist, I took the daring leap to Life Sciences to develop a multi-disciplinary background to pursuing a career in Palaeontology research. This has successfully led me to a PhD position (beginning October 2012) in vertebrate macroevolution during the Mesozoic, focusing specifically on dynamics over the Jurassic-Cretaceous boundary.
NoteStreams By Jon Tennant
T. rex is probably the most notorious and infamous dinosaur of all time, and somewhat of an icon in both the scientific and public spheres. After all, it was a pretty fearsome and impressive carnivore, and arguably worthy of such admiration. But there were actually a lot of other dinosaurs similar to T. rex, together forming a group known as tyrannosauroids.
The nesting grounds of sauropod dinosaurs where absolutely astonishing, covering hundreds of square miles in cases, forming vast playgrounds to rear their young. Some of the most exquisitely preserved sauropod hatcheries are from Jabalpur in India, and offer a unique window into investigating the reproductive and parental behaviour of these magnificent giants.
Gaining insight into mass extinctions in the past is becoming increasingly important as we are now well into the sixth mass extinction, thanks to the global damage humans are causing.
Body mass is probably the most important physiological features for all animals. It corresponds strongly with a range of life features, including metabolic and growth rates, population density, diet and dietary strategy, locomotion style and mechanics, and mode of reproduction. It comes as perhaps no surprise then that body mass is one of the most widely explored features of extinct organisms by paleontologists. Last year, a slew of papers explored the evolution of body size in dinosaurs, including birds.