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Re: "Nyasasaurus"

Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote
In a message dated 8/20/01 3:22:28 AM EST, Mickey_Mortimer11@msn.com writes:

<< Do you have any proof this taxon is non-dinosaurian?  Have you seen the
remains or read the dissertation, or perhaps spoken to someone who has?  Not
that I doubt you, I just want some evidence. >>

Charig's dissertation is one of the most difficult to obtain of all
dissertations. I think when he was alive he embargoed all the copies so that
no one could obtain it, perhaps because people had begun to use his taxa as
if they were already published. I don't know this to be fact, however. The
only time he and I met (in 1986, at the Dinosaur Systematics Symposium at
Drumheller; that's where he announced Baryonyx), we talked about other
things. I had heard he was sensitive about his dissertation and didn't bring
the subject up.

Charig used all (as far as I know, not having read his dissertation) of his
dissertation taxa in

Charig, A. J., 1967. "Archosauria," in The Fossil Record: A Symposium with
Documentation, Geological Society of London: 708â718.

There are no descriptions, just generic and specific names with
classification in a faunal list. This is, I believe, where White got his
information for his 1973 dinosaur genera catalogue.

One probable reason Mandasuchus and Teleocrater got out in the 1950s is that
they're named in the dissertation's title.

I think Mike Benton once told me that none of the Charig taxa would turn out
to be dinosaurs, but that was quite long ago, before I was documenting all my
sources in my dinosaur tables, and I can't be sure. You might also want to
check Charig & Horsfield's popular 1975 dinosaur book Before the Ark; I
believe they mention Pallisteria in passing there, as a large thecodontian,
and they may discuss some of the others.

Nyasasaurus is given in The Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs, by David Lambert, Bloomsbury Books (in association with British Museum, Natural History), 1994, page 80. (Previosuly published by Facts in File in 1990).

I quote the whole entry - No source for the information given.

"Nyasa Lizard, Family Anchisauridae
Infraorder Prosauropoda, Suborder Sauropodomorpha, Order Saurischia
Time Middle Triassic, Place Lake Nyasa, Tanzania

Description - Seemingly a very early bipedal/quadrupedal plant-eating dinosaur 7 ft (2.1 m) long with small head, long neck, slim hands and feet, and huge thumb claws.

Some question its identity."

The last line says it all :-)

Gautam Majumdar                 gautam@majumdar.demon.co.uk