Welcome welcome 2017, I wonder what fossil finds you will have in store for us. I thought I'd make a few predictions, trying to present some finds I'd love to see but think are also within the realm of plausibility.
- at least two or three giant sauropods (25-30+ metres), at least one from relatively complete remains
- something odd among basal sauropodomorphs, probably either another clearly-carnivorous Buriolestes-style animal or one with feathers
- North American titanosaur[iform]s, either more and better Alamosaurus or something new
- feathers on a large, derived tyrannosaur
- feathers on a basal theropod, like a coelophysoid
- some new carcharodontosaurs
- some new megaraptorans, complete enough to nail down their relationships with more certainty
- new Late Cretaceous North African spinosaur material, hopefully complete enough to sort out the Spinosaurus/Sigilmassasaurus/quadrupedality mess
- naturally, a whole slew of terrifically-preserved weird small feathery maniraptors from China, plenty of which will be variously grouped as avialans or as nonbird dinosaurs to no one's great surprise (this is probably not even worth predicting, it's gonna happen)
- specimens that extend modern bird lineages further back into the Cretaceous
- more feathery ornithischians
- something neat with Psittacosaurus, hopefully publication of some of those rumours floating about for ages now (really large weirdo P. sibiricus specimens, specimens mostly covered in quills, etc)
- probably about six or seven new ceratopsids, that don't look wildly different from existing ceratopsids and make everyone quietly mumble something about generic oversplitting but not really do anything about it
- something regarding Torosaurus and Triceratops, supporting their validity as separate animals but probably bringing up questions about diversity (more Torosaurus species than we thought, or To. utahensis should be Tr. utahensis, or something like that)
- a really well-preserved giant hadrosaur like a huge old Edmontosaurus or a Shantungosaurus showing some wacky soft tissue features
- some pterosaur ancestors, hopefully a little more pterosaury than what we have now
- more basal ichthyosaury things
- a protomammal with good soft tissue preservation
- new primitive whales, either Pakicetus-type semiaquatic things or basilosaurids, and probably also really basal members of surviving groups
- a really well-preserved soft tissue-bearing specimen of a mammoth that isn't M. primegenius
Just a few thoughts I rattled off. Leave your own predictions for 2017 fossil finds in the comments if you want to, I'd love to read them.
Happy New Year all!