Rewind back to last winter:
So on top of all of my own research and presentations, in the past year I’ve gotten to do some scientific illustration! The above image is a line drawing of the vertebral column of Pakasuchus, or “Cat croc” in Swahili + Latin. Pakasuchus has gotten a lot of press in the past few months (and consequently, so has my illustration!). It’s now famous for having mammal-like dentition. If you’ve ever seen a crocodile, you’re probably aware of its extensive row of peg-like teeth. Pakasuchus, on the other hand, is doing something very, very different. Let’s just say that if you were looking at your cat yawn, you’d see a variety of teeth, all specialized for puncturing and slicing. If this were 65 million years ago, you would see the same teeth if Pakasuchus were yawning. In fact, “cat croc” is similar to your house-cat in other aspects: it’s about the same size and height, and has a very flexible back bone for maneuverability! Pakasuchus was discovered by one of my advisors, Dr. Patrick O’Connor, also of Ohio University Biomedical Sciences, and the rest of the Rukwa Rift Basin Project team, including my PhD advisor, Dr. Nancy Stevens.
You can read more about Pakasuchus at these websites: