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New references



Hi, folks!

Temporarily decloaking to highlight a few new significant papers:

1) Clarke, J.A. & M.A. Norell. 2002. The Morphology and Phylogenetic
Position of _Apsaravis ukhaana_ from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia.
American Museum Novitates 3387:1-44.

        The latest on this extremely complete derived bird from Ukhaa Tolgod.  
Lots
of anatomical details, great photos.  New phylogenetic analysis places
_Apsaravis_ as basal to Hesperornithiformes + (Ichthyornithiformes + Aves)).
_Lithornis_ is back in Aves proper (aka Neornithes).  Some discussion of
character support for monophyly of Enantiornithes and the ecology of basal
ornithurines.

2) Kurochkin, E.N., G.J. Dyke & A.A. Karhu.  2002. A New Presbyornithid Bird
(Aves, Anseriformes) from the Late Cretaceous of Southern Mongolia.
American Museum Novitates 3386:1-12.

        Introduces _Teviornis gobiensis_, a partial right forelimb from the 
Nemegt
Formation.  If correctly identified, is probably the oldest "duck" (sensu
lato) known.

(Incidentally, a lot of other recent AM Novitates are about amphycyonids,
for those interested).

3) [Print version in February, but published in EarlyView online, DOI
publication date Nov. 22, 2002] E. Snively & A.P. Russell.  2003.  Kinematic
model of tyrannosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) arctometatarsus function.
Journal of Morphology 255: 215-227.

        WOW!  Cooler than the coolest thing ever (although I might be a bit 
biased
in that matter... :-).  A 3-D, CAT scan and computer-aided look at
tyrannosaurid arctometatarsi.  By taking three-dimensonal geometry into
effect, they propose a "tensile keystone model", where the triangular MTIII
and elastic ligaments formed a dynamically strengthening system: this
suggests increasing stability and resistance under high loads.
        The authors are cautious to say that this does not *demonstrate* an
adaptation towards increased agility (or at least to counteract the effects
of larger body size on agility) in tyrants, but point out it would be
consistent with such ability.
        (And personally, nice to see that someone has followed up on my
non-phylogenetic work!!  Cool stuff!).

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796