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the Benevento theropod is named!
Dinogeorge just wrote:
>As soon as I get a copy of the paper in last week's _Nature_ on the
>_Mononykus_ relative _Shuvuuia_ (spelling probably correct), that will become
>DGL entry #821--even though it was published a day earlier than _Rahona_.
Well, get ready for #822!
I guess I don't have to sit on this story anymore, since its gone out over
the wires, and I was just on Aussie radio live...
The really, really well-preserved Benevento theropod (southern Italy, Albian
age) which has been described briefly in the past has been described in a
paper in the latest Nature:
Dal Sasso, C. & M. Signore. 1998. Exceptional soft-tissue preservation in a
theropod dinosaur from Italy. Nature 392: 383-387.
It is named _Scipionyx samnaticus_, after the discoverer of the Pietraroia
Plattenkalk (the formation in which it is preserved) Scipione Breislak (and
also for Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, the famous Roman general) and
after Samnium, the ancient name for this region of Italy.
I would like the opportunity to be the first to publically call it Skippy
the Dinosaur. :-)
It is considered a maniraptoriform of no certain affinity: looks pretty
compsognathid-like, although differs from Compy & Sinosauropteryx in manual
features. It's got a furcula (no big surprise). It's a baby (had not gone
through the first wave of tooth replacement, HUGE skull size, gigantic
hyoids (as long as the forearm), etc.), only 24 cm from tip of premax to
caudal 9 (the end of what is preserved).
Mineralized internal features are present, including muscle fibers, and 3D
preserved intestines! The small intestine is present in the anterior half
of the abdominal cavity, while the colon extends through the pelvic canal
and down subparallel to the ischium.
Unfortunately, no external integument is preserved: no sign of skin nor
anything (scale, protofeather, hair, loofa, sandpaper, etc.) on it.
So, we've had Rahona, Shuvuuia, and Scipionyx this year so far. Any other
new dinosaur genera? Come on, ornithischian and sauropod workers: you're
slacking off! :-)
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661