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ANGATURAMA AND NEW REFS



The following just in:

MARTILL, D., FREY, E. & SADAQAH, R.M. 1996. The first dinosaur from the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. N. Jb. Geol. Palaont. Mh. 1996 (3): 147-154

A description of a bone fragment from the marine Phosphorite Unit of the Balqa
Group (Maas). Diagnosed as the proximal portion of a right tibia, probably from
an ornithopod.

FREY, E. & MARTILL, D. 1996. A reappraisal of _Arambourgiania_ (Pterosauria,
Pterodactyloidea): One of the world's largest flying animals. N. Jb. Geol.
Palaont. Abh. 1996 (2): 221-247

Historic review of the specimen (long known as _Titanopteryx_, a name
preoccupied by a fly [Enderlein 1934]) - a lost cervical vert (3 plaster
replicas exist though) - from Phosphorite Unit of Balqa Group (Maas). Also
describes new material and speculations on wing span (may have been as big as
_Quetzalcoatlus_).

A printing error means that the name _Titanopterxy philadelphiae_ [sic] has been
created.

I've also just gotten the abstracts to the 'Exceptional Preservation of Fossils:
Processes and Perspectives' seminar (held on 20-3-96 at University of
Portsmouth, England). Of interest to this list is Unwin's 'Soft tissue
preservation and its significance for pterosaur palaeobiology' bit. He basically
reaffirms his opinion that 'Pterosaurs had extensive wing membranes which
attached to both the fore and hind limbs'. Also includes list of soft parts thus
far reported, and has good ref list (including Bakhurina's 1995 paper on
Russian-Mongolian pterosaurs, which I've yet to see [Historical Biology 10:
197-245]). Martill presented 'Exceptional Preservation of Ichthyosaurs'. I'm a
little surprised to find that he believes ichthyosaurs 'flew' with their
forelimbs. Best line: 'Some ichthyosaurs were brown (Whitear 1956)'.

[Brown staining of _Archaeopteryx_ feathers has been interpreted as pigment. I'm
not saying that it's in the same boat as the ichthyosaur examples however.]

ANGATURAMA AND SPINOSAURS

Once again I went to the time and trouble of contacting Dave Martill regarding
the relationships of _Irritator_, _Angaturama_, _Baryonx_ and _Spinosaurus_.
Martill disagrees strongly with Kellner et al's opinions, and has said that
_Angaturama_ should remain as Archosauria indet. - lacking as it does any
dinosaurian synapomorphy. He does not see any of these taxa as necessarily
related, and insists that the _Baryonx_-_Spinosaurus_ link remains imaginary,
based on Taquet's error.

There is more, but I shouldn't paraphrase off the top of my head. Unfortunately,
Kellner and Martill are being very rude about one another and there seems to be
a lot of politics involved here. I'd best say no more!

"The jury had each formed a different view (long before the indictment was
read), and they all spoke at once, so that none of them knew one word that the
others had said."

DARREN NAISH