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New Ref-Korean K Verts



Just ran across a new paper in Palao3  that hasn't been mentioned yet and
may of interest to some of you:
Lee, Yuong-Nam, Kang-Min Yu, and Craig B. Wood. 2001. A review of
vertebrate faunas from the Gyeongsang Supergroup (Creataceous) in South
Korea. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. 165: 357-373.

        Title about says it all--a listing of Cretaceous vertebrates from
Korea. Most exciting (to me at least) is mention of an unnamed new family
of albuloids represented by 17 complete skeletons, but you want to hear
about the dinosaurs, right? All fragments, most unidentifiable,
unfortunately, plus hundreds upon hundreds of eggs and tracks. In the
S[h]indong Group (Hauterivian-Barremian), there is evidence of three
different sauropods based on teeth, two teeth and an ungual theropodian
nature (not necessarily, or even probably, the same
theropod, though), and a complete humerus unidentifiable as to order. 200
skeletal fragments are also known, among which are postorbitals and
jugals. From the Hasadong formation comes the dubious sauropod
tooth taxon Chiayusaurus asainensis. 
        Perhaps most interestingly, especially for those of you out there
keeping track of the primitive bird genera thus named (you know who you
are), mention is made of the fact that the "a bird fossil was found in the
Sinuiju Series (early Cretaceous) of the Amnok River basin in North
Korea." Furthermore, it is known from parts of the skull and neck and a
wing with associated feathers. This specimen has probably been discussed
previously, but it now has a name: _Proornis coreae_, which apparently was
named by Paek & Kim back in 1996 in their "Mesozoic Era" section of the
book _Geology of Korea_. Unfortunately, I only have the 1987 and 1993
versions of this book, so I can't say for sure the status of the name. Lee
et al. state that it was named "without a full description", but I cannot
say at the moment whether this means _Proornis_ is a nomen nudum or
whether it was just described poorly and/or rapidly. If anyone has a copy
of the '96 GOK I'd be interested to know the descriptive status. Proornis
is distinguished from Archaeopteryx by digits that are proportionately
shorter than the metacarpals. 
        Another (turtle and dinosaur-bearing) Group is also discussed, the 
Hayang
group. This is where Ultrasaurus tabriensis (the REAL Ultrasaurus) was
found. Ultrasaurus is confirmed as a nomen dubium. A complete femur and
some associated planar bone that was assigned by Kim (1983) to Deinonychus
is removed from that referral on the basis of possession of a fourth
trochanter. In an optimistic close to this paper, the authors express some
"Liaoning Envy", hoping that the roughly contemporaneous Gyeongsang
Supergroup proves as important to vertebrate paleontology in the upcoming
years.

-Christian Kammerer

References:
Kim, HM. 1983. Cretaceous dinosaurs from
Korea. J. Geol. Soc. Korea. 19:115-126.