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Some new refs
Well, my brain hurts from a long day, so I thought I would mention some
interesting papers that came across my desk - ok I got them from our
First of all, the new issue of Trends in Ecology and Evolution came out
with 2 relevant papers. The first goes back a bit to the tetrapod
beginnings, but good for us to know about -
Laurin, M., M. Girondot & A. de Ricqles. 2000 Early tetrapod
evolution. TREE 15(3):118-123.
Nice review of stuff and where the record currently stands. Would love to
hear Clack's comments on this paper since she knows the topic as well as
anyone. Nice to have.
For the second paper, I saw the title first and thought Josh had put it out
Barrett, P.M. 2000. Evolutionary consequences of dating the
Yixian Formation. TREE 15(3):99-103.
Suggests Early Cretaceous age, as Josh et al have been pointing out for a
while. Possibility of the fm. as a refugium for extending ranges of
rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs and comsognathid dinos makes it pretty neat
although evidence solidly building it up section in the lower Cretaceous -
as Josh has been suggesting for a dogs age. Lot's o refs summarized there.
Just saw it briefly so far but looks like a nice review, as you would expect
Now for my prize finds for the day from a journal I saw for the first time
I can remember. A Chilean journal called Noticiario
Mensual put out by the Museo National de Historia Natural in Santiago. When
I was at Las Hoyas a few years ago, I had the great pleasure of talking some
young Chileans who mentioned that the paleo group in Chile is starting to
get organized into a cohesive group and that new neat stuff is starting to
happen, which is great. I know they have had some neat pterosaur stuff
coming out, etc. and look for more.
Yanez, J. & A. Vargas. 1999. Dinosaurios endotermicos: una reevaluacion.
NM, No. 338: 11-15. [In Spanish]
Haven't tried to translate and read yet but looks interesting. Seems to
define a Dinosauria including the descendants of the most recent common
ancestor of Aves and Pterosaurs. Haven't read enough to know if they are
suggesting pterosaurs are dinos but obviously Aves is. If anyone wants to do
a quick translation for us, let me know. My Spanish is too rusty to be
quick.Yanez has the n with a ~, by the way.
Now one in English
Vargas, A. 1999. Evolution of arm size in theropod dinosaurs: a
developmental hypothesis. NM, No. 338: 16-19.
Straight-forward allometric analysis of arm length in theropods which shows
relative shortening with size increase, with nice correlation. lots of
measurements with Gallimimus bullatus the big outlier with oversized arms
relative to femur length. love to see plots. Bet I hear from Tracy, who I
already owe some stuffola.
Should we do something useful and try and use our group mojo to assemble an
electronic database of all dino refs? I've been too lazy so far but lots o'
people have various things electronically captured - might be able to do
some good and assemble a usable e-biblio. Could extract some stuff from the
BFV and use lot of private databases to do it. A thought.
That's it. Brains dead.
Ralph Chapman, NMNH
Ralph E. Chapman
Applied Morphometrics Laboratory
National Museum of Natural history
ADP, EG-15 NHB, 10th & Constitution, NW
Washington, DC 20560-0136
(202) 786-2293, Fax: (202) 357-4122