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Finally back for some discussion of saber-tooth cats, nimravids, and barbourofelids. There are two complementary articles that appeared almost simultaneously regarding the shape of the saber-tooth skull. Skull shape was examined by mapping various landmarks on different species’ skulls and measuring the change in position of these landmarks compared to average values.

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Ends up that my thesis revisions ate my brain too. That’s all finished now, but I’m leaving on vacation and am just out of time for writing! However, I will post on the saber-tooth papers on the 26th or 27th after I come back from vacation.

Who would have thought getting a Ph.D. would be so distracting? After dropping off the face of the earth, I wrote my thesis and successfully defended last Friday. I still have things to wrap up (revisions!) but will then take a couple weeks off before beginning a post-doc. I hope I can say that I’m back now, but probably will not be able to return to my previous posting rate for a while—perhaps I can incorporate some of the reading I’ll do getting up to speed for my post-doc into blog posts.

Yesterday I checked up on some of the paleontology journals that have had new issues come out in the past couple months and was elated to find not zero, as usual, or even one or two, but three papers on saber-toothed predators! I will be writing a post about these, and rounding up links to discussions on other blogs.