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Journal Abstracts

I have a subscription to Current-Contents-on-Diskette with Abstracts and 
have recently been browsing for articles of a dinosaurian nature. If people 
on this list would find it useful, or interesting, I can try to post such 
abstracts as the one below on a periodic basis. I can't promise complete 
coverage of your favourite journals or all of the issues (I do have to 
work), but I am willing to try. Send responses + or - via E-Mail.
A.R.I. Cruickshank,"Cranial Anatomy of the Lower Jurassic Pliosaur 
Rhomaleosaurus Megacephalus (Stutchbury) (Reptilia: Plesiosauria)", 
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B - 
Biological Sciences, February 28, 1994, 343, 1305, 247-260.
"An account is given of the skull of a large pliosauroid plesiosaur from the 
lowermost Hettangian (Lower Lias; Lower Jurassic) of Barrow upon Soar, 
Leicestershire, identified as Rhomaleosaurus megacephalus (Stutchbury, 
1846). It is proposed as the neotype of the species, as the holotype was 
destroyed in an air raid on Bristol in November 1940. Details of the skull 
allow emendation of the diagnosis of the genus Rhomaleosaurus. Comparison of 
R. megacephalus with the Upper Liassic species, Rhomaleosaurus zetlandicus, 
shows that the former has a more gracile snout and a shallower lower jaw 
symphysis, and lacks squamosal-quadrate foramina. There may also be 
differences in the number and nature of the palatal grooves associated with 
presumed underwater olfaction. Lack of iron pyrites in the matrix 
surrounding the specimen allowed computed axial tomography (CAT)-scan 
sections to be obtained, which in association with the little-distorted 
nature of the skull, permitted a confident reconstruction of the skull. It 
shows a complete ring of circumorbital bones, and a suborbital fenestra. The 
braincase can be reconstructed from sagittal break-sections allied with 
CAT-scan sections. A stapes is identified. A poorly preserved dentition 
comprises conical, striated, teeth with caniniforms on each premaxilla and 
at the front of each maxilla. Although very similar to the later species, 
this skull is not so well adapted for apprehending and dismembering large 
prey, as is R. zetlandicus."
                                                           Miles Constable
                                             Environment Canada, Edmonton
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