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Re: Fwd: Dinosaur Nicknames

The following is posted on behalf of Paul Willis.  Please direct
replies accordingly!

Mickey Rowe     (mrowe@indiana.edu)

Date: Tue, 1 Jul 1997 19:46:07 +1100
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
From: pwillis@ozemail.com.au (Paul Willis)
Subject: Re: Fwd: Dinosaur Nicknames

>> > Speaking of which, does anyone know whether "Eric" the pliosaur has
>> > be described and named? From what I can tell from photographs it
>> > seems to be fairly complete, yet most captions simply read "pliosaur".
>> The most recent info I have, John Long's _Dinosaurs of Australia_, says
>> it was first described as Cimoliosaurus leucospelus. It was decided that
>> the remains were too incomplete to be assigned to a new species but were
>> tentatively assigned to Dolichnorhynchops.
>> - Stephen Dedman
>Yeah, that's the material from White Cliffs, but Eric came from
>Coober Pedy. There is no mention of this material in John
>Long's book. There are some photos on page 140 of "Wildlife of
>Gondwana". Eric is much more complete. Have they been assigned
>as the same species (or genus)?

Sorry about the delay on replying about this one and thanks to Mary who
posted it to me (I have been in the field and unsubscribed for the

I did all the prep work on Eric and gave him his silly name. As yet he has
not been officially named but I understand that Arthur Cruikshank has
expressed interest in the job. Of course, I would love a crack at it as
well but will so little time these days and no funding, this does not seem

My copy of Long's Dinosaurs of Australia makes no mention of Eric and it
can not be shoe-horned into any of the taxa he mentions there (however,
mine is a first edition and he may have updated in later editions). Eric
most closely resembles Pyramus from Africa.

ABC books do have a book "Letters to Eric" which is a conpendium of letters
send with donations toward purchasing him in 1993. There is also a bit of
the background on the finding and preparation involved (including me with a

Eric is one of the ost complete opalised skeletons ever found missing only
the distal limb elements and with most of the neck destroyed. It does come
from Coober Pedy in South Australia (not White Cliffs in New South Wales).

Hope this clears up some points.



Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd