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NEW GENUS UK BASAL ?DINOSAUR



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'.

And in same issue....

Schwarz, D. 2002. A new species of _Goniopholis_ from the Upper 
Jurassic of Portugal. _Palaeontology_ 45, 185-208.


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_The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the State of the World_

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PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
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