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New papers--New exhibit in London



From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.org

New papers--New exhibit in London

Some new Mesozoic vertebrate items of note:
Cruickshank A.R.I. & Fordyce R.E. 2002. A New Marine 
Reptile (Sauropterygia) from New Zealand: Further Evidence 
for A Late Cretaceous Austral Radiation of Cryptoclidid 
Plesiosaurs. Palaeontology 45 (3):557-575
Abstract: Kaiwhekea katiki gen. et sp. nov. represents the 
first described cryptoclidid plesiosaurian from New 
Zealand. It is one of the largest cryptoclidids known, at 
a length of over 6.5 m, and represents the third reported 
genus of austral Late Cretaceous cryptoclidids. Kaiwhekea 
katiki is from siltstones of the Katiki Formation, upper 
Haumurian Stage (Cenomanian-Maastrichtian; c. 69-70 Ma) of 
coastal Otago, South Island, New Zealand. In the Late 
Cretaceous, the locality lay close to the polar circle. 
The holotype and only known specimen is an articulated 
skeleton with skull, preserved mostly as natural molds, 
but which lacks the forelimbs and pectoral girdle. The 
skull is relatively large and possesses several distinct 
characters, including a substantial, deep, jugal. There 
are about 43 upper and 42 lower teeth in each jaw 
quadrant; all are homodont, slim, and slightly recurved, 
lacking prominent ornament. Kaiwhekea probably took single 
soft-bodied prey. Based on cranial structure, it clearly 
belongs with the Cryptoclididae, but is not certainly 
close to the southern Late Cretaceous cryptoclidids 
Morturneria (Seymour Island, Antarctica) and Aristonectes 
(Chile, Argentina).

Naish, D. 2002. The historical taxonomy of the Lower 
Cretaceous theropods (Dinosauria) Calamospondylus and 
Aristosuchus from the Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the 
Geologists' Association 113(2):153-163.
Abstract: The historical taxonomy of the small theropod 
dinosaurs from the Wealden Group (Lower Cretaceous) of 
England is confused and complex. Of the twelve species 
names, several are synonymous and the remainder are mostly 
nomina dubia. Among the latter are the probable bird 
Wyleyia valdensis, the probable oviraptorosaur 
Thecocoelurus daviesi and the enigmatic forms 
Ornithodesmus cluniculus and Calamosaurus foxii. It has 
traditionally been thought that Calamospondylus oweni, the 
first British small theropod (or supposed theropod), was 
renamed and redescribed as Poekilopleuron pusillus, a 
taxon later given its own genus, Aristosuchus. Fox?s 
correspondence with Owen, and discrepancies in the 
descriptions of these specimens, show that C. oweni and A. 
pusillus were based on different specimens. A. pusillus is 
based on a sacrum and partial pubes from a compsognathid 
coelurosaur. The whereabouts of the type specimen for C. 
oweni is presently unknown.

Feathered dino exhibit in London. See story at: 
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/
May 22, 2002, Wednesday 
The dino-bird has landed. 
by Mark Henderson 
 A SET of feathered-dinosaur fossils has arrived in London 
after the Natural History Museum struck a deal to display 
them in Europe for the first time. 
The 13 fossils, which include some of the best-preserved 
dinosaur feathers unearthed, are to be restored 
extensively by the museum's Palaeontology Conservation 
Unit as part of the terms of the loan from the Geological 
Museum of China in Beijing. The Natural History Museum 
unit, one of the most advanced in the world, will also 
train two Chinese scientists in fossil restoration 
techniques. The specimens will then be displayed in a 
major exhibition that will open in July. 
The "Dino-Bird" show will feature the 13 fossils and the 
museum's own archaeopteryx specimen, the first known 
feathered creature, which is 147 million years old. The 
feathered dinosaurs are between 122 and 125 million years 
old and are all flightless. One of the most remarkable 
specimens is a juvenile dromaeosaur, a 2ft long carnivore. 
"It's covered all over its body in fluffy, incredibly 
intricate, feathering," Angela Milner, the museum's 
associate keeper of palaeontology, said. "It looks like a 
steam-roller ran all over it, but it's astonishingly well-
preserved." 
Lorraine Cornish, acting head of the conservation unit, 
said that the work would be among the most challenging 
that her team had undertaken. 
The fossils are very fragile, paper-thin in places, and 
cannot be treated with heavy-wearing techniques such as 
lasers. They will have to be treated with chemicals to 
remove layers of resin, plaster and glue that have been 
applied to protect them.