New article on jaw mechanics published

6 November 2009. Edmonton, AB, Canada.

A new study on the mandibular biomechanics of the extinct hyena-like Dinocrocuta gigantea has been published online (advance of print) in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. The authors are Zhijie Jack Tseng from the University of Southern California and Dr. Wendy Binder from Loyola Marymount University; both are associates of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

This new paper is complementary to an earlier one on the cranium of Dinocrocuta published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society.

Main findings combining data from both studies suggest that the cranium of Dinocrocuta matches that of modern spotted hyena Crocuta in its performance even at a sub-adult stage. However, the same is not true for the jaws; the sub-adult Dinocrocuta dentary is structurally weaker compared to a sub-adult Crocuta, and may present evidence of differential ontogenetic trajectories in the two carnivorans.




Red Rock Canyon Family Trip

29 October to 1 November, 2009. Red Rock Canyon State Park, Mojave Desert, CA

It's that time of the year again.

Enthusiastic kids and adults joined a 14-member museum staff for a beautiful weekend in Red Rock Canyon State Park for fossil prospecting.

This year was more productive than our last trip, in part thanks to winter rainfall in the park during the past season. We found remains ranging from mole to beardogs, from pronghorns to camels.

We will post specimens from this past trip as they are prepped and curated in the LACM Vertebrate Paleontology Collection!