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Dinosaur Genera List update #187



Well, it has been quite some time since I've had to update the Dinosaur 
Genera List. Whereas 2001 featured a flood of new dinosaur descriptions, 2002 
seems to be in something of a lull. Most of the names added to the List in 
2002 have been of the miscellaneous variety, including mainly nomina nuda and 
names whose status has changed. Last month I crosslinked the Dinosaur Genera 
List by letter, so you may simply click on a letter at the top of the List 
and a hypertext link will take you to the top of the sublist of names that 
begin with that letter; click on Back to Top at the end of each letter's name 
list and you'll go back to the top of the List, ready to go to another 
letter: Cute little HTML feature. Anyway, here are the additions and 
corrections since circa April, 2002.

[1] Limnornis entries-----------------------------------

As I was indexing the forthcoming book on Mesozoic birds (Chiappe & Witmer 
[or vice versa], eds.) from University of California Press, I came across a 
passage concerning putative avian fossils that might possibly belong to 
nonavian dinosaurs. The passage included two presently avian genera not in 
the Dinosaur Genera List. A shotgun request to the Dinosaur Mailing List for 
citations turned up the following, via Fred Ruhe and Tommy Tyrberg:

Benton, M. J., Cook, E., Grigorescu, D., Popa, E. & TallÃdi, 1997. "Dinosaurs 
and other tetrapods in an Early Cretaceous bauxite-filled fissure, 
northwestern Romania," Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 130: 
275â292.

Tracy Ford lent me his copy of the paper, and, sure enough, it suggests that 
the possibility that the genera Palaeocursornis and Eurolimnornis are 
theropod dinosaurs cannot be ruled out, because the remains are terribly 
incomplete. Naturally, once there is even a hint that published genera are 
nonavian dinosaurs, they go into the Dinosaur Genera List!

Fortunately, I've begun keeping track of Mesozoic birds for publication in 
the ever-delayed third edition of Mesozoic Meanderings #2, so I already had 
the somewhat convoluted taxonomy of these two genera in my data files. 
Altogether four generic names are involved, and here is how their taxonomy 
will read in the forthcoming second printing of Mesozoic Meanderings #3 (not 
to be confused with the aforementioned third edition of Mesozoic Meanderings 
#2, whose publication is still a long way off):

Eurolimnornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986*
    E. corneti Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986â*
        = Limnornis corneti Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984 [in part]â*
NOTE: Taxonomy of this genus is according to the revision of Bock & BÃhler, 
1996. The possibility that this genus, originally described as a bird (that 
is, an avian dinosaur), represents a nonavian dinosaur was opened by Benton, 
Cook, Grigorescu, Popa & TallÃdi, 1997. This is why it appears in this list, 
although it is presently regarded as avian. See also Palaeocursornis.

Palaeocursornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986*
    = Eurolimnornis Kessler, 1987/Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986*
    = Limnornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984/Gould, 1839*
    = Palaeocursornis JurcsÃk & Kessler, 1985 [nomen nudum]*
    = Palaeolimnornis JurcsÃk & Kessler, 1985 [nomen nudum]*
    P. corneti (Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984) Bock & BÃhler, 1996â*
        = Limnornis corneti Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984 (in part)â*
        = Eurolimnornis corneti (Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984) Kessler & JurcsÃk, 
1986*
        = Palaeolimnornis corneti (Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984) JurcsÃk & 
Kessler, 1985â*
        = Palaeocursornis biharicus JurcsÃk & Kessler, 1985 [nomen nudum]â*
        = Palaeocursornis biharicus Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986â*
NOTE: Taxonomy of this genus is according to the revision of Bock & BÃhler, 
1996. The possibility that this genus, originally described as a bird (that 
is, an avian dinosaur), represents a nonavian dinosaur was opened by Benton, 
Cook, Grigorescu, Popa & TallÃdi, 1997. This is why it appears in this list, 
although it is presently regarded as avian. See also Eurolimnornis.

The typography of the above entries, including some vowels with diacriticals 
in the authors' names, daggers and double daggers indicating type species, 
and boldface/italics, may not transmit correctly to everyone. Please accept 
apologies for this. To have the correct typography, you should (heh heh) buy 
my book when it appears.

So these became genera #943â946, added in early May 2002:

Eurolimnornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986* [probable bird]

Limnornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1984/Gould, 1839* -> Eurolimnornis & 
Palaeocursornis [probable bird]

Palaeocursornis Kessler & JurcsÃk, 1986* [probable bird]

Palaeolimnornis JurcsÃk & Kessler, 1985* [nomen nudum -> Palaeocursornis; 
probable bird]

[2] Aucasaurus-----------------------------------

The current issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology carries the 
formal description of the new South American carnotaurine genus Aucasaurus. 
This name first appeared in print in the book

Chiappe, L. M. & Dingus, L., 2001. Walking On Eggs: The Astonishing Discovery 
of Thousands of Dinosaur Eggs in the Badlands of Patagonia, Scribner 
Publishers: 224 pages [ISBN 0743212118].

The name was added as name #904, a nomen nudum, to the Dinosaur Genera List 
in Dinosaur Genera List corrections #159. The formal description has now 
appeared in the paper

Coria, Rodolfo A., Chiappe, Luis M. & Dingus, Lowell, 2002. "A new close 
relative of Carnotaurus sastrei Bonaparte 1985 (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) 
from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia," Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22
(2): 460â465 [July 8, 2002].

This changes the status of the name Aucasaurus in the Dinosaur Genera List to:

Aucasaurus Coria, Chiappe & Dingus, 2002

Here is how the entry for Aucasaurus presently appears in Mesozoic Meanderings
 #3 second printing:

Aucasaurus Coria, Chiappe & Dingus, 2002
    = Aucasaurus Chiappe & Dingus, 2001 [nomen nudum]
    A. garridoi Coria, Chiappe & Dingus, 2002â
        = Aucasaurus garridoi Chiappe & Dingus, 2001 [nomen nudum]â

[3] Psittacosaurus species-----------------------------------

Two new species have recently been added to the genus Psittacosaurus, one 
from Liaoning and one from Siberia. I have not yet seen the papers, but I 
have enough information that I can add them to the table of Asiatic dinosaurs 
in Mesozoic Meanderings #3 second printing:

Psittacosaurus liangi Liu, 1999

Psittacosaurus sibiricus Voronkevich & Averianov vide Leschinskiy, Fainherts, 
Voronkevich, Maschenko & Averianov, 2000

The latter was described in the following paper:

Leschinskiy, S. V., Fainherts, A. V., Voronkevich, A. V., Maschenko, E. N. &
Averianov, A. O., 2000. "Preliminary results of the investigation of the 
Shestakovo localities of Early Cretaceous vertebrates," in A. V. Komarov 
(ed.), Materials of the Regional Conference of the Geologists of Siberia, Far 
East and North East of Russia. Volume II. GalaPress, Tomsk: 363â366 [in 
Russian].

Ralph Molnar told me about this species a decade or more ago, when he visited 
a Russian museum and saw the label Psittacosaurus sibiricus on one of the 
specimens. We've been waiting a long while for this one! (There is now 
evidently much more material available of this species.)

I have no citation as yet for the earler species, just an author's name. Any 
further information on these two species would be most welcome at this end. 
Here is what the listing for the genus Psittacosaurus in Mesozoic Meanderings 
#3 looks like right now:

Psittacosaurus Osborn, 1923
    = Protiguanodon Osborn, 1923
    P. mongoliensis Osborn, 1923â
        = Protiguanodon mongoliensis Osborn, 1923â
        = Protiguanodon mongoliense Osborn, 1923âÂ
        = Psittacosaurus osborni Young, 1931
        = Psittacosaurus tingi Young, 1931
        = Psittacosaurus protiguanodonensis Young, 1958
        = Psittacosaurus guyangensis Cheng, 1982 [juv.]
    P. sinensis Young, 1958
    P. youngi Chao, 1963
    P. chaoyoungi Wang, 1983 [nomen nudum]
    P. xinjiangensis Sereno & Chao, 1988
    P. meileyingensis Sereno, Chao, Cheng & Rao, 1988
    P. sattayaraki Buffetaut & Suteethorn, 1992
    P. neimongoliensis D. A. Russell & Zhao, 1996
    P. ordosensis D. A. Russell & Zhao, 1996
    P. mazongshanensis Xu, 1997
    P. liangi Liu, 1999
    P. sibiricus Voronkevich & Averianov vide Leschinskiy, Fainherts, 
Voronkevich, Maschenko &
        Averianov, 2000

Note also this listing:

Luanpingosaurus Cheng vide Chen, 1996 [nomen nudum]
    L. jingshanensis Cheng vide Chen, 1996â
NOTE: Wang et al., 2000 (Vertebrata PalAsiatica 38: 92) list Luanpingosaurus 
as a synonym of Psittacosaurus (R. E. Molnar, pers. comm.).

[4] "Mandschurosaurus magnus"-----------------------------------

The description of Charonosaurus jiayinensis appeared in print last year:

Godefroit, Pascal, Zan Shuqin & Jin Liyong, 2001. "The Maastrichtian (Late 
Cretaceous) lambeosaurine dinosaur Charonosaurus jiayinensis from 
north-eastern China," Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de 
Belgique, Sciences de la Terre/Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut 
voor Natuurwetenschappen, Aardwetenschappen 71: 119â168 [May 15, 2001].

Besides the osteology of Charonosaurus, the paper reviews the history of 
dinosaur discoveries from the Amur/Heilongjiang region. Here the name 
"Mandschurosaurus magnus," used on a label for a hadrosaurian skeleton at the 
Geological Museum of Heilongjiang, appears in print for the first time. 
Although this doesn't affect the Dinosaur Genera List, it will be added as a 
nomen nudum to the synonyms of Mandschurosaurus amurensis in the table of 
Asiatic dinosaurs in the second printing of Mesozoic Meanderings #3. If 
further work shows the partial skeleton to belong to a different or distinct 
taxon, I'll change its listing accordingly, of course.

[5] Ricardoestesia-----------------------------------

Way back in 1991 at the San Diego SVP annual meeting, where I was selling 
copies of the just-printed first printing of Mesozoic Meanderings #2, Robert 
Sloan commented while we were waiting for a lecture to begin that I had 
inadvertently introduced a theropod nomen nudum into the literature. In my 
book, he said, I had misspelled the name Ricardoestesia with an "h": 
Richardoestesia. Fortunately, Cambridge University Press had a display at the 
meeting, and I quickly produced a copy of the Dinosaur Systematics book, 
wherein the genus was described. The spelling Richardoestesia was used 
practically everywhere in the paper, so I had assumed that that was the 
correct spelling and so listed it in MM #2. The spelling without the "h" also 
appeared in the paper, and I dutifully listed it too, as an incorrect 
original spelling.

Sloan was aghast that the spelling he and his two coauthors, Phil Currie and 
Keith Rigby, chose for the genus had been replaced throughout the document by 
some nameless individual on the Cambridge staff after the proofreading had 
been completed. They had wanted their spelling to emulate the famous 
(notorious?) generic names honoring contemporary paleontologists employed by 
South American paleontologist Florentino Ameghino, who had specifically used 
the combining form ricardo-. I hadn't the heart to tell him that, as first 
revisor, I had pretty much killed any chance of restoring via normal ICZN 
rules the spelling that they wanted. But I promised him that I'd look into 
the situation and would do what I, in my small way, could do to get the 
h-less spelling established. So I deliberately chose to ignore my 
nomenclatural act in the first MM #2 printing and reversed it in the second MM
 #2 printing a year later. Asserting that the existence of two different 
spellings of the name in the original paper was evidence that a typographical 
error had been committed, I proposed Ricardoestesia as the correct spelling 
of the genus. If enough workers used the h-less spelling, I figured, and if 
nobody noticed what I had done in the first printing, in time the h-less 
spelling would preponderate. Then, even if someone did turn up my original 
revision, a good case could be made to retain the h-less spelling, which is 
the way the authors originally wanted it. Preponderant usage carries great 
weight in zoological nomenclature.

For the next ten years, I worked to ensure that the h-less spelling was used 
in any dinosaur document that I had input into that dealt with that genus. 
For example, the spelling Ricardoestesia is used throughout the Phil Currie 
Festschrift volume Mesozoic Vertebrate Life because as indexer I brought this 
issue to the editors' attention. It is most appropriate to use Phil's 
intended spelling, and not the invidious misspelling, in a book celebrating 
Phil's career in paleontology! Wherever else in the literature the h-less 
spelling appears is directly or indirectly because I have campaigned for it 
behind the scenes. I am very happy I was able to do this. Going by the rules 
is fine in most situations, but when the rules, through no fault or 
negligence of the original author, perpetuate an egregious name in favor of a 
desired name, it is an injustice that deserves correction. There is no 
linguistic reason to prefer richardo- over ricardo- or vice versa; both are 
equally valid Latinizations. Nobody's reputation is slighted if the h-less 
spelling is used. The reason for preferring Ricardoestesia over 
Richardoestesia is simply that the former is the spelling the authors wanted, 
and as far as I know they are blameless in this error.

Unfortunately, not many people noticed the h-less spelling emendation in MM 
#2 second printing, so the h-ed spelling still predominates in the literature 
by a considerable margin. Recently a second species of the genus was 
described under the h-ed spelling: Richardoestesia isosceles Sankey, 2001. 
And now the issue has resurfaced again, because the indefatigable Ben 
Creisler, researching a new publication, pointed out that the h-ed spelling 
must be considered correct, fixed by my act as first revisor. (How odd that a 
number of my other nomenclatural acts in the first printing of MM #2 have 
mainly been ignored, e.g., correcting Avaceratops lammersorum, Sauropelta 
edwardsorum, and Tenontosaurus tillettorum exactly according to the rules, 
but this particular emendation must stand!) In truth, the correct spelling is 
the one that workers in time come to use, and if enough people use the h-less 
spelling, then it will become the accepted spelling for the genus. Recall 
what happened to Rioarribasaurus (which was not accepted, even though it was 
technically the correct name for the Ghost Ranch theropod, and a petition to 
the ICZN suppressed it); and a similar fate seems to be befalling 
Megapnosaurus, which I haven't yet seen used by a single theropod worker 
(although maybe it's too soon to say).

At this point, I would strongly recommend that readers of this post become 
proactive and employ the name Ricardoestesia in favor of Richardoestesia in 
any published works that cite this genus. I will continue to do so myself, of 
course, and if it requires petitioning the ICZN to resolve the matter, I'll 
try that, too. BUT: If I hear from the original authors (at least two of whom 
receive these Dinosaur Genera List updates by email) that they no longer care 
which spelling becomes accepted, I will abandon this effort. I will also 
immediately write up a suitable Dinosaur Genera List update and will change 
the spelling of the name to Richardoestesia in the List.

[6] Shenzhouraptor sinensis-----------------------------------

China Daily for July 23 carries a story about a "flying dinosaur" described 
as Shenzhouraptor sinensis. The description has evidently appeared in the 
Geological Bulletin of China, but I have not yet seen it:

Wang Ying, 2002. "Fossil supports dinosaur-into-bird theory," China Daily 
07/23/2002, pagination not available.

Until I see the description, or at least a citation that gives the names of 
the authors, the DGL will carry Shezhouraptor as name #947:

Shenzhouraptor Wang, 2002 [nomen nudum]

It is yet another dino-bird fossil from the remarkable Liaoning locality. 
Thanks to Kazuo Takahashi for this notification. An English version of the 
description is set to appear in Nature. And see [8] below.

[7] Omeisaurus new species-----------------------------------

A new species of the sauropod Omeisaurus is described in

Feng, T., Jin, X., Kang, X., & Zhang, G., 2001. "Omeisaurus maoianus: A 
complete Sauropoda from Jingyan, Sichuan," Research Works of the Natural 
Museum of Zhejiang, Beijing: China Ocean Press: 128 pp.

I have not yet seen this reference, either. So we add

O. maoianus Feng, Jin, Kang & Zhang, 2001

to the list of Omeisaurus species in the Asiatic dinosaurs section of the 
second printing of Mesozoic Meanderings #3. All the Chinese sauropod species 
need to be reexamined and revised, a difficult job indeed.

[8] Jeholornis prima-----------------------------------

This week's Nature carries the description of a new "bird" taxon, Jeholornis 
prima:

Zhou Zhonghe & Zhang Fucheng, 2002. "A long-tailed, seed-eating bird from the 
Early Cretaceous of China," Nature 418: 405â409.

The abstract of the article notes that Jeholornis had a long, 
dromaeosaurid-like tail with elongated zygapophyses. Indeed, the description 
of the animal is so close to that of a flying dromaeosaurid that I must 
include it among the nonavian dinosaurs, so it becomes name #948 in the 
Dinosaur Genera List, and I won't even asterisk it as probably avian. Greg 
Paul predicted the existence of flying dromaeosaurids about a decade and a 
half ago, and this might just be one such. I also think a comparison with 
Rahonavis is called for.

Jeholornis Zhou & Zhang, 2002

To the Asiatic dinosaurs section of the second printing of Mesozoic 
Meanderings #3 we add the species

Jeholornis Zhou & Zhang, 2002
    J. prima Zhou & Zhang, 2002â
NOTE: Described as a long-tailed, seed-eating bird from the Early Cretaceous 
of China, this could well be a flying dromaeosaurid dinosaur.

The current Dinosaur Genera List appears at this URL:

http://members.aol.com/Dinogeorge/dinolist.html