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The "Pachy Paradox Problem" and new stuff

P.S.  Astute readers will note another similarity to the Feduccia-style
argument: the total dismissal of the Early Cretaceous.  Just as they don't
acknowledge the presence of good dromaeosaurids (like _Sinornithosaurus_ or
_Utahraptor_ or _DEINONYCHUS_, for heavens' sake!!) from the Early

Interestingly, Feduccia's abstract from the 5th SAPE convention, held _in_ China and including a tour of some Liaoning quarries and viewings of many relevant specimens (including, I suppose, _Sinornithosaurus_), _still_ compares _Archaeopteryx_ only to _Velociraptor_! See:

Feduccia, A. 2000. Persisting problems in the bird-theropod nexus. 5th International Meeting of the Society of Avian Paleontology and Evolution and the Symposium on Jehol Biota, _Vertebrata PalAsiatica_ Supplement to 38: 11-12.

Speaking of this volume, a few other interesting notes on the Jehol deposits:

* two new amphibians are mentioned: _Jeholotriton paradoxus_, which is actually described in the same ish of _V. PalAs._ as _Caudipteryx dongi_:

Wang, Y. 2000. A new salamander (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota. _Vertebrata PalAsiatica_ 38(2): 100-103.

...and _Laccotriton subsolanus_ (also a caudate), ref'd to a '98 paper I'm currently trying to locate. A new frog is mentioned in a different abstract.

* _Dendrorhynchoides_ is still mentioned in a few places -- I'm hoping something formal about the composite nature of this specimen will be published soon!

* _Jibeinia luanhera_ is tossed around as a valid taxon, despite Ben Creisler's note that it wasn't properly described

* Another new bird (unnamed as yet) is mentioned:

Zhang, F. and Zhou, Z. 2000. A primitive enantiornithine bird from Hebei, northern China. As above, p. 36-37.

* several abstracts concerning the biochemical and molecular evolution of feathers

* a startling diversity of opinions on the age of the fauna/flora, ranging from Middle Jurassic to late Early Cretaeous

* a startling diverty of opinions on the stratigraphic nomenclature and correlation of Jehol biota-bearing sediments across NE China

* mention that the lizard in the gut of one of the _Sinosauropteryx_ specimens is a new taxon

* indications that some of the material attributed to _Apatornis_ could be a new taxon -- the same abstract also discusses some of the confusing history of Marsh's _Ichthyornis_ and _Apatornis_ specimens, which are (finally!) being restudied:

Clarke, J. 2000. _Ichthyornis_ and _Apatornis_ reappraised. As above, p. 9.

* an abstract by Chatterjee on the still-formally-undescribed "Polarornis_ from the Late Cretaceous of Antarctica.

* an extinct, giant, flightless pigeon from Fiji

...and more. Track this one down!

Jerry D. Harris

AS OF JULY 1, 2000:

Dept of Earth & Environmental Science
University of Pennsylvania
240 S 33rd St
Philadelphia PA  19104-6316

Phone: (215) 898-5630
Fax: (215) 898-0964

E-mail: jdharris@sas.upenn.edu
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