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Pararhabdodon (was Re: MAASTRICHT CONFERENCE PT. 2)

> Unfortunately this talk doesn't seem to have happened. Shame because 
> they refer to new skull material of _Pararhabdodon_ which proves that 
> it is a hadrosaurid, and not a basal iguanodontian as originally 
> described. 

... and thus exemplifying one of the potential pifalls of naming new genera 
simply by tacking things like "Para-" or "Proto-" or "-oides" onto existing 
names.  _Protarchaeopteryx_, _Parasaurolophus_, _Protiguanodon_, 
_Dryptosauroides_ ....  I guess they seemed like a good idea at the 
time, but all these names now look increasingly inappropriate.   
(Thank the gods _Protorosaurus_ bit the dust!)

Come on!  Let's tax our imaginations a little when christening our 
new discoveries.  ;-)


> Perhaps the best talk was Mark Goodwin's on UCMP 15442, a baby 
> _Triceratops_ skull discovered by Garbani in the Hell Creek Fm, 
> Montana. It's the smallest ceratopid skull yet found, and has huge 
> orbits and a frill about the same length as the face. Parietal and 
> squamosal borders are strongly scalloped and Mark had a lot to say 
> about the ontogeny of 'epocippitals': a complex story that I can't do 
> justice here. He bought along a cast of the skull (much of the face 
> is restored).
> There were three pterosaur talks. Andre Veldmeijer spoke about the
> Leiden specimen of _Coloborhynchus_ and argued that _Tropeognathus_ 
> and _Criorhynchus_ can be sunk into this genus. I do not agree (it's 
> more complicated than that), but I can see that the taxonomic 
> situation with _Anhanguera_, _Tropeognathus_, 
> Criorhynchus_,_Coloborhynchus_ and perhaps _Arthurdactylus_ really is 
> a mess. Lorna Steel reviewed pterosaur head crests and the 
> functions that have been proposed for them. Basically they 
> are so varied that she concluded (1) pterosaur head crests vary a 
> great deal and (2) they probably had different functions. 
> David Martill gave a talk on a smallish pterosaur from the Santana, 
> represented only by a wing. It has some azhdarchid characters (e.g. 
> T-shaped cross section of wing phalanges) and thus might be one - if 
> so it is the earliest (Santana Fm is probably Aptian) and also the 
> first from the Southern Hemisphere. So.. did azhdarchids originate in 
> the Southern Hemisphere? 
> You can't go to Maastricht and not see mosasaur fossils. Their museum 
> has some fantastic ones, including a replica of the original 
> _Mosasaurus hoffmanni_  jaws and a full-size 3-D swimming skeleton of 
> the whole thing. 
> In the talks, Eric Mulder showed that _M. hoffmanni_ Mantell 1829 
> probably is the same as _M. maximus_ Cope 1869. Lingham-Soliar's 
> arguments to the contrary were shown to be erroneous. Eric also 
> talked about thoracosaurine crocs and turtles common to both the 
> Maastrichtian of New Jersey (USA) and Europe.
> Natalie Bardet was talking about the history of _M. hoffmanni_ - 
> unfortunately I missed this as I had to leave early. I also missed 
> Ella Hoch's talk on whale evolution: shame as this is one of my 
> favourite subjects. Stephane Hua presented a poster about 
> dyrosaurids, a group of crocs that survived from the Cretaceous into 
> the Eocene. I do not agree with her that the evolution of 
> archaeocetes in the Eocene resulted in dyrosaurid extinction.
> Don't worry, I'll keep it brief. Pascal Godefroit spoke about teeny 
> tiny dwarf traversodonts known from the Late Triassic of Lorraine and 
> Luxembourg. Basically, traversodonts started out small and some got 
> big. Some became huge (he showed a slide of a S. American one with a 
> skull about 30 cm long), other stayed tiny - then, bang, mass 
> extinction and only the tiny ones are left. These compete with 
> mammals and are not lucky enough to get a break.
> Jan van der Made talked about the evolution of suoids, and then again 
> on big-antlered cervids like _Eucladoceros_. Hooray for Mauricio 
> Anton paintings! Suoids originated in Asia, but when they got into 
> Africa (during the 'Proboscidea Event') things get really complicated 
> because thereafter they speciate massively and hop back and forth all 
> the time. Jan used the name Dicotylidae for peccaries - we usually 
> see Tayassuidae in most texts but, as I suspected, he said 
> Dicotylidae has priority.
> Briefly (because my train is due in 10 minutes), Igor Novikov 
> reported new Mesozoic Russian fossil sites. Peski, a Bathonian site 
> near Moscow, yielded a dromaeosaurid tooth. Shestakovo in South 
> Siberia, possibly Berriasian, yielded psittacosaurs, troodontids and 
> titanosaurids and two protosuchians - _Sichuanosuchus_ and a new 
> genus. This assemblage is apparently the 'most ancient amongst 
> _Psittacosaurus_ faunas known to date'. 
> Eric Buffetaut presented new stuff from the Khorat Plateau, 
> northeastern Thailand. The Sao Khua Fm, previously argued to be 
> latest Jurassic, is now thought to be Early Cretaceous. This would 
> mean no Jurassic dinosaurs from Thailand, but they have now got the 
> Phu Kradung Fm, which they do think is Jurassic. Yields indeterminate 
> theropods, possible euhelopodids (spoon-shaped teeth), a STEGOSAUR 
> and a little ornithopod maybe like _Yandusaurus_. For some reason 
> Buffetaut et al. are saying that _Phuwiangosaurus_ is a 'probable
> nemegtosaurid'. By this time in the conference I felt I'd asked 
> enough questions and didn't query this. Dr. Buffetaut also showed a 
> slide of some bizarre unidentified ?archosaur snout which had 
> slightly spatulate teeth with carinae, no serrations, and marked wear 
> facets. Looked like nothing else ever seen: heterodontosaurid and 
> aberrant theropod were suggested as identities.
> And finally, Dan Grigorescu spoke about new work he and colleagues 
> have done on the microvertebrate fauna in the late Maastrichtian 
> sites of the Hateg Basin. Discoglossid frogs turn out to be quite 
> abundant, and there are also albanerpetontids, little lizards, 
> MTBs, crocs and various fishy things like sturgeons and characids. 
> Dinosaurs are represented by teeth of various indeterminate 
> theropods, titanosaurids, iguanodontids (?? in the late 
> Maastrichtian??) and hypsilophodonts, plus lots of eggshell bits at 
> some of the localities. These indicate hadrosaurid nesting colonies.
> Right, tha--tha-tha-that's all folks! I missed my train.
> "An uninformed opinion is a dangerous thing"
> darren.naish@port.ac.uk