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Re: IGUANODONTIDAE



In a message dated 97-03-28 15:02:02 EST, dino@revelation.unomaha.edu (John
Schneiderman) writes:

<< > Heterosaurus neocomiensis (Cornual, 1850 partim)/ fossilsite and horizon
 
 Is it a crocodile or dinosaur (some say theropod, some say Iguanodon) >>

The type specimen was recently analyzed by European workers. Here's a short
excerpt on it from my ornithopod article for Gakken:


England turned out to be positively littered with disarticulated _Iguanodon_
specimens, which British paleontologists collected, (mis)identified, and
catalogued with gusto during subsequent decades. Owen's species _Cetiosaurus
brachyurus_ (1842), _Streptospondylus major_ (1842), _Streptospondylus
recentior_ (1851), and _Streptospondylus meyeri_ (1854) were all based on
_Iguanodon_ material more or less indeterminate at the species level. (At the
time, _Streptospondylus_ itself was misidentified as a crocodilian; it is
actually a theropod dinosaur.) France, too, entered the fray with remains
unearthed by paleontologist Jacques Cornuel and described by him in 1850 as a
new genus and species of dinosaur, _Heterosaurus neocomiensis_ ("different
lizard from the Neocomian": so called because its teeth differed from those
of _Iguanodon_, _Hylaeosaurus_, and _Megalosaurus_ and supposedly required a
new genus; Figure 8). These he had found in a quarry in the marine Calcaire ŕ
Spatangues (Hauterivian) near Wassy, Haute-Marne province. Mixed with
plesiosaur teeth--the nondinosaurian "different" teeth--were the scattered
bones of a medium-size _Iguanodon_ skeleton, to date one of the
best-preserved dinosaurs ever found from the Early Cretaceous of France.
Briefly noted by G. Corroy in 1922, _Heterosaurus neocomiensis_ remained
largely forgotten as a doubtful taxon with a composite type specimen for more
than a century, until 1968, when it was tersely redescribed by Albert F. de
Lapparent and Vladimir Stchepinsky. Now stored at the Saint-Dizier Museum,
Cornuel's material, as well as other French _Iguanodon_ material, was
thoroughly and completely redescribed in 1992 by Valérie Martin and Eric
Buffetaut of the Université Paris. They concluded that _Heterosaurus
neocomiensis_ most closely resembles _Iguanodon atherfieldensis_ among the
currently valid species in that genus. Should this suggested synonymy be
accepted, the trivial name _atherfieldensis_ would have to be abandoned in
favor of _neocomiensis_.