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NEW HELL CREEK DROMAEOSAUR!
A new dromaeosaurid has been named from the Hell Creek of eastern
Montana (you can calm down now Peter;)), and the odd thing is that it
looks just like _Velociraptor_. And the crazy thing is, it's been
given a name so like _Velociraptor_ that it'll cause untold confusion
(witness _Arambourgiania_): _Veliceraptor_. OK, I'm kidding: it's a
'?_Veliceraptor_ sp.' [sic] occurs on p. 378 (in a table that lists
Hell Creek fauna) of:
ARCHIBALD, J.D. 1996. Testing Extinction Theories at the Cret-Tertiary
Boundary Using the Vertebrate Fossil Record. _IN_ MacLEOD, N. &
KELLER, G. _Cretaceous- Tertiary Mass Extinctions: Biotic and
Environmental Changes_. W.W. Norton & Co. (NY-London), pp. 575.
Here at the SOC we've just received a pile of brand new palaeo
books. This one, despite having Mark Hallett's Aussie dinosaur
painting on the cover, is largely concerned with foramanifera and
molluscs. Archibald's paper on the vertebrate record is truly
essential reading. Hengst, Rigby, Landis and Sloan's paper on
respiration in _Apatosaurus_ is in the same volume.
But back to _Veliceraptor_ [sic]. The name _Veliceraptor_ sp. [sic]
ALSO appears as part of a caption to a diagram (p. 111), and also (as
'?_Veliceraptor_' [sic]) on p. 35, in:
ARCHIBALD, J.D. 1996. _Dinosaur Extinction and the end of an era: what
the fossils say_. Columbia Uni. Press (NY), pp. 237.
The chapter with the theropod skulls is called 'Who's who of the late
Cretaceous'. It's perhaps the best review of Maastrichtian vertebrate
faunas I've yet seen, and - thankyou! - deals with fishes, amphibians,
lizards, crocs and chirostoderes as well as the big guys. Oh, and if
you thought _Velociraptor_ was only a Mongolian taxon (ignoring the
issue of synonymy with _Deinonychus_ and/or _Saurornitholestes_),
Weish-Dod-Os lists numerous 'cf. _Velociraptor_' and '_Velociraptor_
sp.' as coming from North American Maastrichtian sites (same goes for
_Dromaeosaurus_ in fact).
Another new tome I've seen for the first time today is kind of a
tribute volume to late great Bev Halstead. It deals with agnathan
fishes, dinosaurs in our culture and early discoveries (excellent
article by David Norman on the 'Mantel- piece' - an _Iguanodon
atherfieldensis_ that, if examined critically, would have prevented
the 'giant fossil lizard' theme of the late 1800s), marine reptiles
(hooray!), and, err, mammals. I haven't got enough info on it to be at
all useful, but I did have a good look at a paper in there on a new
Triassic ichthyosaur where one flipper is bigger than the
WHO BIT THE CROCODILE?
Just the other day I heard of a newly discovered Jurassic croc skull,
somewhere here in England, that showed that the animal had been bitten
to death by another animal. What - by another croc? By a dinosaur?
This is too vague - anyone heard anything on this?
Horner's book 'Digging Dinosaurs' has a nodosaurid captioned as a
ankylosaurid. Tsk tsk.
"You have learned much, young one" [But you are not a Jedi yet. -- MR]