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Dinosaur Genera List update #186

The search for long-lost dinosaur names in the literature continues apace. 
Jack McIntosh recently sent me a copy of a paper by the notorious 
name-changer Leopold Joseph Fitzinger:

Fitzinger, L. J., 1840. "Ãber Palaeosaurus sternbergii, eine neue Gattung 
vorweltlicher Reptilien und die Stellung dieser Thiere im Systeme Ãberhaupt," 
Wiener Mus. Annalen II: 175-187 + plate XI.

In it Fitzinger described a partial fossil reptile skeleton, found by him in 
1833 in the collection of the Prague National Museum, under the name 
Palaeosaurus sternbergii: a new genus and new species. The names Palaeosaurus 
Riley & Stutchbury, 1836 and Paleosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 1840 were not 
mentioned, perhaps because at the time of publication Fitzinger did not know 
of their existence. Also not mentioned was Palaeosaurus Geoffroy 
Saint-Hilaire, 1833, the generic name that preoccupies both Palaeosaurus 
Riley & Stutchbury, 1836 and Fitzinger, 1840 (and is now a junior subjective 
synonym of the crocodyliform genus Aeolodon). Ralph Molnar has mentioned 
(pers. comm.) that Fitzinger's Palaeosaurus is probably a captorhinomorph, 
but I cannot confirm this because these kinds of reptiles are outside my area 
of interest and I have no detailed literature on them in my library. The 
plate that accompanies the article shows it is definitely not a dinosaur. In 
any case, its name is preoccupied for the same reason that Riley & 
Stutchbury's Palaeosaurus is, and, unless it has been referred elsewhere to 
some other genus or species, it will need to be renamed.

The species epithet honors Caspar von Sternberg for his support of 
paleontological research: "Die Art nenne ich Sternbergii, zum GedÃchtnisse 
Seiner Excellenz des Herrn Grafen Caspar von Sternberg, jenes ehrwÃrdigen 
Veterans deutscher Naturforscher, der sich durch seine eben so grÃndlichen, 
als scharfsinnigen Forschungen im Gebiete der PalÃologie ein unvergÃngliches 
Verdienst um die Wissenschaft erworben hat, und dem ich die Gelegenheit 
verdanke, einiges Licht Ãber jenen merkwÃrdigen fossilen Saurer verbreiten zu 

Owing to the identity of the names Palaeosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 1836 and 
Palaeosaurus Fitzinger, 1840, I have carried the species Palaeosaurus 
sternbergii Fitzinger, 1840 (under the date 1843, and incorrectly referred to 
the non-dinosaurian archosaur genus Palaeosauriscus as Palaeosauriscus 
sternbergii) in Mesozoic Meanderings, for longer than I can remember, as a 
nomen nudum dinosaur species no longer considered dinosaurian. It certainly 
is not a nomen nudum, having been properly described by Fitzinger in 1840. So 
I have added Palaeosaurus Fitzinger, 1840 as name #941 to the Dinosaur Genera 

Palaeosaurus Fitzinger, 1840/Geoffroy Saint-Hilare, 1833* [captorhinomorph?]

The asterisk indicates its present non-dinosaurian status.

Palaeosauriscus, of course, is Kuhn, 1959's replacement name for the 
preoccupied Palaeosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 1836. As noted in Dinosaur 
Genera List corrections #139, this name change was unnecessary (see Benton, 
Juul, Storrs
& Galton, 2000), because the name Paleosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 1840 is not 
preoccupied and is available to replace Palaeosaurus Riley & Stutchbury, 
1836. (Spelling is important here.) Paleosaurus is not the same genus as 
Palaeosaurus Fitzinger, 1840.

Fitzinger, 1840 also carried earlier uses of the names Therosaurus and 
Hylosaurus than I had listed in previous issues of Mesozoic Meanderings (both 
were attributed to Fitzinger, 1843). I had long regarded Hylosaurus as a 
misspelling of Hylaeosaurus Mantell, 1933, for which reason I decided years 
ago to remove it from the Dinosaur Genera List, but the usage in Fitzinger, 
1840 suggests that it was not a misspelling but another attempt at a 
renaming. Therosaurus was introduced in Fitzinger, 1840 point-blank as a 
renaming of Iguanodon. Intention is important here. So I have placed 
Hylosaurus back on the Dinosaur Genera List as name #942:

Hylosaurus Fitzinger, 1840 [JOS -> Hylaeosaurus]

and I have changed the listing for Therosaurus to read:

Therosaurus Fitzinger, 1840 [JOS -> Iguanodon]

As for names #939 and 940, read on:


This email (slightly edited) arrived from Jaime Headden April 2 (so it's not 
an April Fool joke):

<<Just read Naish's Dinopress article on Eotyrannus, and came across a lovely 
bit of unintended but potentially damaging taxonomic quibbles and the reason 
why people need to be careful about the dissemination of nomina nuda.

In 1998, prior to the formal announcement and during the high-press frenzy of 
the coverage of the discovery of this animal and preparation (between 
1997-1999), various papers published so-called names applied to the specimen 
in question, MIWG 1997.550, including the following:

Kelly, J., 1998. "Is this man our Indiana Jones?" The Daily Mail (newspaper), 
dated 10-7-1998.

Published were both Gavinosaurus and Lengosaurus, in response to the 
discoverer, Gavin Leng (honored with the specific epithet of E. lengi). What 
nasty outcomings for short-sightedness. These are effectively nomina nuda and 
subjective junior synonyms of Eotyrannus and completely, utterly useless to 

To the news media who could care less (not that the entirety do, just those 
who don't): Please, people, show a little respect when playing with names in 

Jaime's email, complete with citation, made it necessary to add the names

Gavinosaurus Kelly, 1998 [nomen nudum -> Eotyrannus]
Lengosaurus Kelly, 1998 [nomen nudum -> Eotyrannus]

as #939 and 940 to the Dinosaur Genera List. I used italics rather than, say, 
quotation marks because that is how Jaime cited the names.


New species department:

These are dinosaur species to be added to the forthcoming second printing of 
Mesozoic Meanderings #3. First is a "phantom" species, that is, an apparent 
nomen nudum that appeared in a faunal list in

Anonymous, 1979. Stratigraphy of China, Jurassic System, Summary, Chinese 
Academy of Geological Sciences, May 1979.

I list it as anonymous because there's no indication of an author in the 
incomplete set of pages I have. On p. 9 and p. 17 the paper notes from the 
Lufeng Formation the species Sinosaurus shawanensis (Young) among a number of 
well-known dinosaur names. That's all I have on this species. Perhaps it is 
significant that Sinosaurus triassicus is not listed, which might mean that 
Sinosaurus shawanensis is a synonym. Anybody who has more information about 
this species, or a citation to an actual description by Young, please email 
with details.

A recent email to the Dinosaur Mailing List from Markus Moser at the 
Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer Palaeontologie und Geologie in Munich, Germany 
reads (slightly edited):

<<Dear all,

A new species of the ankylosaurid genus Amtosaurus Kurzanov & Tumanova, 1978 
has been described by Alexander O. Averianov on the basis of a single 
braincase from the lower part(?) of the Bissekty Formation (Upper Turonian - 
Coniacian) from Dzharakuduk, Uzbekistan. The braincase is compared to those 
of 16 other ankylosaurian taxa. Implications for the biostratigraphical 
dating of several Central Asian and Mongolian dinosaur-bearing strata are 

The reference is:

Averianov, A. O., 2002. "An ankylosaurid (Ornithischia: Ankylosauria) 
braincase from the Upper Cretaceous Bissekty Formation of Uzbekistan," 
Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Sciences de 
la Terre (Bulletin van het koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor 
Naturwetenschappen, Aardwetenschappen), 72 Bruxelles (Brussels): 97-110, 3 
figs. [March 31, 2002].>>

The subject heading of the above email reveals the name of the new species, 
Amtosaurus archibaldi. This revises the Amtosaurus listing in the Asiatic 
dinosaurs section of Mesozoic Meanderings #3 to:

Amtosaurus Kurzanov & Tumanova, 1978
    A. magnus Kurzanov & Tumanova, 1978â
    A. archibaldi Averianov, 2002

Another recently described new dinosaur species in an old generic name is 
Protoceratops hellenikorhinus, in this paper:

Lambert, O., Godefroit, P., Li H., Shang C.-Y. & Dong Z.-M., 2001. "A new 
Species of Protoceratops (Dinosauria, Neoceratopsia) from the Late Cretaceous 
of Inner Mongolia," Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de 
Belgique, Sciences de la Terre (Bulletin van het koninklijk Belgisch 
Instituut voor Naturwetenschappen, Aardwetenschappen), Supplement 71 
Bruxelles (Brussels): 5-28, 4 plates, 13 figs. [December 15, 2001].

Yes, that's the same journal as for Amtosaurus archibaldi. After examining 
the figures, I think there's as much morphological difference between P. 
andrewsi and P. hellenikorhinus as between P. andrewsi and Bagaceratops 
rozhdestvenskyi or even Udanoceratops tschizhovi. In short, this species, 
with its twin nasal horns, flaringly wide but short frill, and very deep 
muzzle, could well represent a distinct genus. Most interesting critter.