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MEGA-PLIOSAURS REVISITED (AGAIN)



On giant pliosaurs, and specifically the Peterborough vertebra 
mentioned in _Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence_, Dan Varner 
wrote...

>     See: http://www.dinosauria.com/dispatches/19981108001.html  for a
> different side to the story.

Dan is referring to Ben Creisler's article (BTW Ben, many thanks for 
the help with the graptolite) where it is claimed that further analysis of 
the Peterborough vertebra showed it to be from a sauropod after all. I 
think this was Colin McHenry's idea. HOWEVER, I've spoken at 
length with both Dave Martill and Arthur Cruickshank about this (two 
of the other four authors of the original abstract - I'm not sure what 
Les now thinks - he is the fourth author) and, as far as they are 
concerned, the specimen is still from a pliosaur. There is further 
discussion of this in an article Dave Martill and I are writing for Dino 
Press - I think it will be in the next issue. This article is concerned 
with the 'Megapleurodon' we mention in the book.

And speaking of shameless self-promotion, the BBC book Dave and I 
wrote (_Walking With Dinosaurs: The Evidence_) has now been 
released in the US, this time published jointly by the BBC and 
Dorling Kindersley. I think it's about $17. I note that many new typos 
have made their way into the US edition and the typos that were in the 
UK edition (e.g. funghi) have remained: also, the editors did not like 
our use of 'Drs' to save us writing 'Dr Molnar, Dr Rich, Dr Flannery 
etc etc'. This has resulted in some mistakes - Tom Rich's phd on 
erinaceomorph crania must not exist, for example.

Going back to the mega-pliosaurs, even if the Peterborough vertebra 
(formerly used as a doorstop, painted blue etc etc etc) is not from a 
pliosaur there are still some other mid-Jurassic English bits and pieces 
that clearly do indicate the presence of giants: the _Liopleurodon 
macromerus_ mandible is HUGE and there are some rostral tips and 
other fragments of mandibles in the BMNH that suggest individuals of 
15 m or so. Giant pliosaurs have been much discussed on this list 
before: 

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES for _Megalneusaurus rex_, 'Mega-orcas', 
_Kronosaurus_, Peterborough vertebra and _Liopleurodon_.

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel (mobile): 0776 1372651     
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                                       tel (home): 023 80446718