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Re: Aussie dinos + other stuff

>Firstly, I keep hearing vague references to dinosaurs being found in
>Australia (Victoria to be exact) that are only known from the other side
>of the planet and nowhere in between.i.e. Evidence of Ceratopsians in
>southern Australia, when they are only known from North America and
>Mongolia. By my figuring (consults mental map of Earth 80,000,000 BC) they
>would have to have trotted across from mongolia to the middle east, swum
>or island-hopped across what was left of the Tethys, down through Africa,
>and across Antarctica to Australia (or originated in Australia and gone
>back the other way!). It seems to me that claims like this are pretty
>extraordinary, so they would need some extraordinary evidence. Is this
>yet another media beat-up, or is there reasonable evidence for claims
>like this, and if so could someone please give references to it, or
>post/mail a summary to the list/me. Thanks in advance.

First off, I would suspect a route down SE Asia is more likely (appealing
to the facts that a) paleogeography of southeast Asia is currently
problematic, b) the Thailand species of Psittacosaurus is the closest
ceratopsian to Australia and c) with the very questionable exception of
Notoceratops, no ceratopsian has been found in South America, Africa,
Antarctica, or India.

Secondly, the Aussie "ceratopsian" is known only from the ulna, which does
in fact resemble Leptoceratops.  However, I wouldn't be surprised at all to
find out it was some other facultatively bipedal small ornithischian.  A
good skull (or even an isolated os rostralis) would be a lot stronger
evidence for the ceratopsian nature of the beast.

Thridly, I don't have the ref with me at the moment (I'm in the midst of
moving to U Maryland) but I know that it was in National Geographic
Research & Expeditions, about a year or two ago.

                 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                  Phone: 703-648-5280      
                 Vertebrate Paleontologist         Fax:    703-648-5420
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov ------------>       th81@umail.umd.edu
U.S. Geological Survey          ------------->       University of Maryland
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy ---->       Department of Geology
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092               ------------->        College Park, MD  20742