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NEW WEALDEN TAXA



Steve Hutt, Arthur Cruickshank, Dave Martill and myself have just 
spent lunch at the pub. One thing we discussed a lot was the nature 
of tall neural spines in dinosaurs and other animals - not just 
because of BMH R1828, the _Becklespinax_ holotype - but also because 
of a new theropod specimen Steve has just discovered. I can say no 
more.

One thing I picked up at SVP was the Lucas, Kirkland and Estep volume 
on Lower and Middle Cretaceous Terrestrial Ecosystems (thankyou you- 
know-who-you-are). Bill Blows reviews aspects of Wealden dinosaur 
taxonomy in his paper..

Blows, W. T. 1998. A review of Lower and Middle Cretaceous dinosaurs 
of England. IN Lucas, S. G., Kirkland, J. I. and Estep, J. W. (eds) 
New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 14: 29-38.

Some things in the paper strike me as odd, and I'd like to bring them 
to attention here. First, in discussing Barremian dinosaurs, he lists 
the species _V. dextrapoda_ immediately after his mention of 
_Valdosaurus canaliculatus_. Does this mean there is a new, third 
species of _Valdosaurus_? It does not seem possible from the text 
that the abbreviated _V._ might refer to any animal other than to the 
dinosaur _Valdosaurus_. If anyone has any further information on this 
species, please let me know.

A few other new names are erected in the paper, but I think they are 
typos. _Calamosphondylus oweni_ and _Calamosphondylus foxi_ are 
misspellings of _Calamospondylus oweni_ Fox 1866 and _C. foxi_ 
Lydekker 1889 respectively; _Luticosaurus valdensis_ is the sauropod 
_Iuticosaurus_. Incidentally, Lydekker's 1889 _Calamospondylus_ 
was an unintentional junior synonym of _Calamospondylus_ Fox 1866, 
and seeing as there is no basis whatsoever for referral of BMNH R901 
- the type for _C. foxi_ Lydekker (two coelurosaurian cervical 
verts that recall those of _Coelurus_) - to Fox's _Calamospondylus_, 
based on an apparently lost sacrum (Naish 1999), Lydekker's 1891 
alternative generic name, _Calamosaurus_, is preferable. Remarkably, 
therefore, both Fox and Lydekker indepedently came up with the SAME 
GENERIC NAME for different small theropods from the same unit, the 
same country, and discovered at about the same time in history. Not 
impossible, but perhaps remarkable. Ah, work on the Wealden is such 
fun.

And we might now be getting somewhere with our ceratopian...

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
P01 3QL                               [COMING SOON: 
http://www.naish-zoology.com]