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Dinosaur Genera List update #182



I added four more or less "irregular" dinosaur names during the past week. 
Names #933 and #934, the first to be added in the year 2002, are both nomina 
nuda:

"Huaxiasaurus" Rey, 2002 [nomen nudum]
"Ichabodcraniosaurus" Novacek, 1996 [nomen nudum]

The former name appears in the English translation of Luis Rey's article, on 
the October 2001 SVP meeting, published in the current (sixth) issue of 
Japan's Dino Press magazine. It is said to denote an as yet undescribed 
theropod from Liaoning.

The latter name appears in Mike Novacek's 1996 book on dinosaurs from the 
Gobi (Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs, Anchor Books), where it informally 
refers to a headless velociraptorine skeleton for which the detached head was 
later discovered (hence the reference to Ichabod Crane, the character in 
Washington Irving's story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" who was menaced by 
the headless horseman). (Well, it's no worse a nomen nudum than Elvisaurus or 
Chihuahuasaurus!)

Darren Naish, whose emails are always a pleasure to receive and read, 
notified the dinosaur mailing list of the publication of a new British 
probable herrerasaurian dinosaur, Agnosphitys cromhallensis. Here are the 
relevant parts of his email:

Subj:    NEW GENUS UK BASAL ?DINOSAUR
Date:   1/31/02 4:28:15 AM EST

This just in, dunno if anyone else has reported it yet (haven't had time 
to check the backlog)...

New basal British ?dinosaur Agnosphitys cromhallensis.

Fraser, N. C., Padian, K., Walkden, G. M. & Davis, A. L. M. 2002. 
Basal dinosauriform remains from Britain and the diagnosis of the 
Dinosauria. Palaeontology 45, 79-95.

Agnosphitys is from the Upper Triassic Cromhall Quarry of Avon, 
England, best known for sphenosuchian Terrestrisuchus (which 
Fraser et al. regard as distinct from Saltoposuchus - they also report 
the presence of two morphs of Terrestrisuchus: Fraser in prep.). 

Holotype of Agnosphitys is an ilium but referred material includes 
maxilla, astragalus, humerus, and tooth. Acetabulum semi-perforate, 
two sacrals, good brevis fossa, acute anteromedial corner to astragalus. 
As for affinities, Fraser et al provide a small cladogram in which 
Agnosphitys is more derived than Herrerasaurus and both are 
outgroups to Dinosauria - they discuss Sereno et al and Novas etc 
work on the position of Eoraptor and herrerasaurids relative to 
other dinosaurs but obviously do not include comments on more 
recent work by Max Langer and colleagues, much of which has major 
implications for polarity and distribution of the characters discussed 
here (the Saturnalia paper obviously came out after this was 
submitted). From a quick read, it seems that their main take is that 
Eoraptor and herrerasaurids are not dinosaurs, let alone saurischians.

One small problemette: two spellings of the new genus are provided in 
the paper and they are used interchangeably. In the systematic 
palaeontology section, the new genus is given as Agnosphitys
whereas - immediately below - the new species within this genus is 
given as Agnostiphys [sic] cromhallensis!! Whoops. Because 
Agnosphitys is first in the paper, I recommend this is the one we use 
(unless the authors intended otherwise). Etymology seems a bit vague: 
'Greek, unknown or uncertain, with reference to the position of the 
new form relative ot the Dinosauria'.

The above paragraph adequately describes the "irregularity" associated with 
the name. Accordingly, I added name #935 as

Agnosphitys Fraser, Padian, Walkden & Davis, 2002

but if it turns out that the alternative spelling is correct, I'll change the 
listing.

Later, Montana entomologist Michael Ivie (Museum of the Rockies) posted the 
following remarkable email (slightly edited) to the dinosaur mailing list:

Subj:    New name for Syntarsus
Date:   2/1/02 10:41:15 AM EST

Dear Dinosaur folks,

This is a note to let you know of a recent paper that may fly below your
radar because it was published in an entomological journal.  The name
Syntarsus Raath is preoccupied by a one hundred year older beetle name,
and has been replaced by the name Megapnosaurus Ivie, Slipinski and
Wegrzynowicz 2001.

The citation is:

Ivie, M. A., S. A. Slipinski, And P. Wegrzynowicz. 2001. Generic
homonyms in the Colydiinae (Coleoptera: Zopheridae). Insecta Mundi
15:63-64.

>From the abstract:
New replacement names are proposed: Megapnosaurus Ivie, Slipinski and
Wegrzynowicz NEW REPLACEMENT NAME for Syntarsus Raath  1969
(Ceratosauria: Coelophysidae), not Syntarsus Fairmaire 1869 (Coleoptera:
Zopheridae: Colydiinae). This results in the new combinations
Megapnosaurus rhodesiensis (Raath 1961) NEW COMBINATION, Megapnosaurus
kayentakatae (Rowe 1989) NEW COMBINATION

Boy, did this ever inspire a flurry of rancorous responses! (How dare an 
>entomologist< rename a well-established dinosaur like Syntarsus with a name 
whose etymology is "big dead lizard"; etc.) Despite all this, I added name 
#936 to the Dinosaur Genera List:

Megapnosaurus Ivie, Slipinski & Wegrzynowicz, 2001

and I also had to change the listing for Syntarsus:

Syntarsus Raath, 1969/Fairmaire, 1869 -> Megapnosaurus

Who would have thought, eh?

Appropriate changes resulting from the above four additions to the Dinosaur 
Genera List will also appear in the dinosaur species lists for North America, 
Africa, Asia, and Europe for the forthcoming second printing of Mesozoic 
Meanderings #3, as soon as I can get around to them.

George "Dinogeorge" Olshevsky
Visit my dinosaur websites at:
http://members.aol.com/Dinogeorge/index.html
http://members.aol.com/Dinogeorge/dinolist.html