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MANDASUCHUS, CALLAWAYIA, THYREOPHORAN



On _Mandasuchus_ and co, George wrote...

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

Charig wrote the text for the Brooke Bond picture card book 
_Prehistoric Animals_ (1971). I don't have this to hand but there was 
an entry, and a Maurice Wilson painting, on _Mandasuchus_. As I 
recall, the animal was restored as a quadrupedal _Rauisuchus_-like 
creature (incidentally this volume must have been one of the first 
popular texts to feature _Deinonychus_). I don't remember exactly 
what was said about it in the text, but there was some information. 
Here at the university we recently obtained much of Barry Cox's 
reprint collection, among which was a lot of stuff on Triassic 
archosaurs. I'm fairly sure there was an extract in there from Charig's 
dissertation, or maybe an unpublished MS. I'll check this out (but 
obviously won't distribute information if it is unpublished). I have a 
feeling that Witmer (in the antorbital fossa JVP memoir) mentions and 
figures _Pallisteria_ material. I don't have this to hand right now (so 
don't correct me: I'll check it myself).

New stuff just in...

Clark, N. D. L. 2001. A thyreophoran dinosaur from the Early 
Bajocian (Middle Jurassic) of the Isle of Skye, Scotland. _Scottish 
Journal of Geology_ 37, 19-26.

This specimen (proximal radius and ulna) received much coverage in 
the UK national press earlier in the year where it was hailed as one of 
the earliest stegosaurs. However, it turns out to also resemble the 
corresponding elements of polacanthid ankylosaurs and is particularly 
similar to _Mymoorapelta_. The possibility that it is from a stegosaur 
can't be discounted though. The problem is that the specimen 
seemingly combines features of both - the coronoid proc is about 
perpendicular to the shaft (as in stegosaurs) while the olecranon proc 
curves cranially somewhat (as in ankylosaurs).  If it a polacanthid it's 
the earliest (and one of the earliest ankylosaurs).

Nicholls, E. L. & Manabe, M. 2001. A new genus of ichthyosaur from 
the Late Triassic Pardonet Formation of British Columbia: bridging 
the Triassic-Jurassic gap. _Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences_ 38, 
983-1002.

Latest installment in the Ichthyosaur Wars ((c) B. Creisler). 
Reexamination of _Shastasaurus neoscapularis_ demonstrates that it's 
significantly different from the type species of the genus (which are 
regarded as nomina dubia - thus _Shastasaurus_ is poorly founded) - 
e.g. in morphology of the frontals - and needs a new genus, named here 
_Metashastasaurus_. In a cladistic analysis, a monophyletic 
Shastasauridae is found: _Mixosaurus_ and (monophyletic) 
_Cymbospondylus_ are successive sister taxa to _Besanosaurus_ + 
(_Shastasaurus_ + (_Shonisaurus_ + Metashastasaurus_)). Moving on 
(a lot of other stuff of interest there), we come to the politics. Of 
course _S. neoscapularis_ has ALSO just been redescribed by Maisch 
and Matzke (2000) who gave this species the new genus _Callawayia_. 
This all occurred while Nicholls and Manabe (2001) was in press, and 
was clearly unknown to the latter authors: _Metashastasaurus_ is thus 
a junior objective synonym of _Callawayia_. Nicholls and Manabe 
note (in an addendum) that Maisch knew that their work was in 
progress (he cites it in the 2000 paper on _Shastasaurus alexandrae_) 
and thus the publication of the name _Callawayia_ represents a breach 
of the ICZN Code of Ethics . 

The Palaeontological Assocation's Newsletter 47 has just arrived - 
includes reviews of Glut's _Jurassic Classics_, Martin and Krebs' 
_Guimarota_, the _Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology_ 
special issue (89) on 'Avian palaeontology at the close of the 20th 
Century', Rieppel's Sauropterygia 1 volume in the _Encyclopedia of 
Paleoherpetology_ series, Rich and Vickers-Rich's _Dinosaurs of 
Darkness_ and more. The current issue of _Proceedings of the 
Geologists' Assocation_ has a paper by Oliver Rauhut on 
ornithischians and other dinosaurs from Guimarota, though I do not 
have the paper to hand. It is a persistant frustration to me that I do not 
have access to my literature when I do my emailing.

_Planet of the Apes_ did not disappoint. I'm still trying to figure out 
what the ending meant though...

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
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Portsmouth UK                          tel (mobile): 0776 1372651     
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                                       www.palaeobiology.co.uk