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Spinosaur paper, at last



I haven't seen anyone mention the following yet, so here is the newest
dinosaur paper out there:

Russell, D.A.  1996.  Isolated dinosaur bones from the Middle Cretaceous
of the Tafilalt, Morocco.  Bulletin du Muse'um national d'Histoire naturelle
(4e se'r.) 18:349-402.

Abstract:  The "Gr`es rouges infrace'nomaniens" of southern Morocco,
possibly of Albian age, contain evidence of one of the most diversified
dinosaur assemblages known from Africa, including a relatively long-necked
species of _Spinosaurus_ and abundant but isolated bones of a peculiar
theropod ("_Spinosaurus_" B of Stromer 1934).  Also preserved are the oldest
records of abelisaurids and among the oldest records of titanosaurids in
Africa. Bones of infantile dinosaurs are present, one of which was derived
from an individual weighing less than 4 kg.  The assemblage resembles that
of the Bahariya Formation more closely than that of Gadoufaoua, possible
because of a trophic dependence upon large, freshwater fishes.  It was more
closely linked zoogeographically to South America than to North America.

Comments:  Includes the following new taxa:

Spinosaurus maroccanus n. sp., known from three median cervical vertebrae,
two dentary fragments, and a dorsal neural arch.  Dentary seems to have been
only 3/4 the size of the type of S. aegyptiacus, but cervicals are longer.

Sigilmassasaurus brevicollis n. gen. et sp. (short-necked Sigilmassa lizard,
named after Sigilmassa, former capital of Tafilalt and a former centre of
commerce in the western Sahara), formerly known as Spinosaurus B.  Known
from some (very short) cervicals, dorsals, and caudals.  Made the type of
the new family Sigilmassasauridae.

Sigilmassasaurus sp., posterior cervical centra and distal caudal vertebra.

Other material:

New fragments of Carcharodontosaurus saharicus, dentary fragments of a small
abelisaurid, a very long (60 cm fragment of a possibly 65 cm long bone)
humerus of a theropod (only Therizinosaurus' and Deinocheirus' were longer),
a big allosaur-like (Carcharodontosaurus?) metatarsal IV, several manual
theropod claws, and elements of Rebbachisaurus garasbae (teeth, cervical spine,
anterior dorsal vertebra) and an andesaurine titanosaurid (teeth, caudal
centra, astragalus).

These specimens, some of which were orignally collected by private fossil
hunters and were on display at the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show, are now in
the collections of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661

"There are some who call me...  Tim."
-- Tim the Enchanter, "Monty Python and Quest for the Holy Grail"

"Tim?!?  They called me TIM?!?!"
-- me, on seeing the credits to "The Ultimate Guide to T. rex"  :-)