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Re: Ultrasaurus=Supersaurus (was Re: Trex femur (was : Dinofest))
Nick Pharris wrote:
_Ultrasaurus_: non-diagnostic sauropod (brachiosaurid?) material from
_Ultrasauros_: a mix of elements from the diplodocid _Supersaurus_ and a
particularly large _Brachiosaurus_. Am not personally sure which one the
type specimen comes from.
Zoe is correct. The holotype of _Ultrasaurus_ - a dorsal vertebra (BYU
9044) - was shown by Curtice et al. (1996) to belong to _Supersaurus_.
Hence, _Ultrasaurus_ Jensen becomes a junior synonym of _Supersaurus_. This
_Ultrasaurus_ was officially named and described in 1985; but by then the
official name _Ultrasaurus_ had already been used - by a Korean researcher
for an Asian sauropod. Dr Kim described a giant sauropod "ulna" from Korea,
and assigned it to _Ultrasaurus_ as the new species _U. tabriensis_.
Unknown to him, Jensen?s genus _Ultrasaurus_ had not yet been formally
described, so Kim inadvertently coined the genus _Ultrasaurus_. In 1991,
_Ultrasauros_ was put forward by George Olshevsky as a replacement for
Jensen's sauropod. (As for the Korean sauropod, it was not as large as
first thought: the giant ulna of this Ultrasaurus turned out to be the
worn-down remains of a fairly unremarkable sauropod humerus.)
BYU 9462, a scapulocoracoid, was referred to _Ultrasaurus_ by Jensen (1985).
It does not belong to _Supersaurus_, a diplodocid. BYU 9462 is clearly
brachiosaurid was subsequently referred to _Brachiosaurus_ sp. by Curtice et
Oh, what a mess.
Another dorsal, BYU 5750, the holotype of _Dystylosaurus_, may also be
referrable to _Supersaurus_. This has not yet been published AFAIK.
The _Supersaurus vivianae_ material, the _Dystylosaurus edwini_ material
(which comprises a single dorsal), and the "_Ultrasauros macintoshi_"
material all come from Dry Mesa Quarry 1, Mesa County, in Colorado. I have
this horizon as the lower part of the Upper Brushy Basin Member, Morrison
Formation, with an age of middle/late Kimmeridgian.
Hope this helps.
Dr Timothy J. Williams
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014
Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax: 515 294 3163
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