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The Jehol-Wealden International Conference, 2013

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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This Friday and Saturday (20th and 21st September, 2013), the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, is hosting the Jehol-Wealden International Conference. This event – titled Celebrating Dinosaur Island – features an impressive list of talks and events relating to the Lower Cretaceous biota of Europe and Asia. More info (and booking advice) here.

Items on the schedule include Hugh Torrens on the early history of dinosaur research (newsflash: a crucial historical specimen will be present at the meeting), Pascal Godefroit on Jehol iguanodontians, Mark Witton and Michael O’Sullivan on pterosaur faunas, Paul Barrett on the overall diversity of Jehol dinosaurs, Mark Young on another(!) new metriorhynchid, Pam Gill and Steve Sweetman on Wealden mammaliaforms, and much, much more.

Regular readers may know that I specialise on the Wealden: this is the famous Lower Cretaceous lithological unit, deposited across a series of connected floodplain environments, and best known for its exposures on the Isle of Wight and in the Weald of south-eastern England (must-have volumes for those interested: Martill & Naish 2001 and Batten 2011). I’ve published extensively on the Wealden’s theropod dinosaurs. As a Wealden-jockey, much of this meeting looks especially awesome to me. My own talk is on the Isle of Wight tyrannosauroid Eotyrannus. We named this animal back in 2001 (Hutt et al. 2001) and additional bits and pieces of information have been trickling out ever since (Naish et al. 2001, Naish 2011). The promised monograph has yet to appear but is now complete (co-authored with Andrea Cau). More on that in time.

Oh – I’m hoping to livetweet from the conference (ha. I’ve promised this so many times but have never been able to do it… a consequence of technological and financial constraints). If you’re on twitter, follow #JeholWealden2013.

Of course, I also have a paper out today in Nature Communications (I think. I haven’t seen it yet). But no time to blog about it. No time to do anything. Time time time. Did I mention that time is an issue? ARGH. Back to work…

For previous Tet Zoo articles on Wealden animals, see…

Refs – -

Batten, D. J. 2011. English Wealden Fossils. The Palaeontological Association, London.

Hutt, S., Naish, D., Martill, D. M., Barker, M. J. & Newbery, P. 2001. A preliminary account of a new tyrannosauroid theropod from the Wessex Formation (Early Cretaceous) of southern England. Cretaceous Research 22, 227-242.

Martill, D. M. & Naish, D. 2001. Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association, London.

Naish, D. 2011. Theropod dinosaurs. In Batten, D. J. (ed.) English Wealden Fossils. The Palaeontological Association (London), pp. 526-559.

- ., Hutt, S. & Martill, D. M. 2001. Saurischian dinosaurs 2: Theropods. In Martill, D. M. & Naish, D. (eds) Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight. The Palaeontological Association (London), pp. 242-309.

Darren Naish About the Author: Darren Naish is a science writer, technical editor and palaeozoologist (affiliated with the University of Southampton, UK). He mostly works on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs but has an avid interest in all things tetrapod. His publications can be downloaded at He has been blogging at Tetrapod Zoology since 2006. Check out the Tet Zoo podcast at! Follow on Twitter @TetZoo.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. David Marjanović 7:14 am 09/18/2013

    Whoa. Why didn’t I know about this conference half a year ago?

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  2. 2. Halbred 7:59 pm 09/18/2013

    “Five-winged” dromaeosaur? Is the tail considered a wing now?

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  3. 3. naishd 3:31 am 09/19/2013

    “half a year ago”. Err, I’m not altogether sure that it had been arranged half a year ago…

    Re: ‘five-winged’ — the large tail frond generates lift and functions as a wing, so description of this animal as ‘five-winged’ is (so I understand) justified in aerodynamic terms. Incidentally, the tail feathers of quite a few extant birds generate lift.


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  4. 4. Mark Young 11:19 am 09/19/2013

    Thanks for the: (!) Darren!

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  5. 5. naishd 11:43 am 09/19/2013

    Mark Young: Metriorhynchid Master.


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