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Re Pinacosaurus (was How Did Hadrosaurs Survive?)

>>> "Jonathan R. Wagner" <jonathan.r.wagner@mail.utexas.edu> 31/Oct/02 >>>
Tim Donovan wrote:

>>    With the exception of that Hell Creek lambeosaur recently reported. But
>> it was found stratigraphically low, and certainly seems rare, so maybe
>> lambeosaurs were essentially gone by the Lancian.

>Let's just say that IT ISN'T PUBLISHED, therefore IT ISN'T SCIENCE. I
>recommend you avoid using this data. And yes, for the record, abstracts,
>IMHO, are not really published (they aren't peer-reviewed, you can't name
>new taxa in them, etc.). I know there are some cases where an abstract
>simply presents small, unequivocal bits of information, and there isn't much
>point in ignoring it... this is NOT such a case.

Au contraire!! Peer review has nothing to do with publication (many European, 
South American and Asian journals are non-reviewed - some even name new taxon), 
abstracts are often cited in papers published in JVP (among others). In the 
case of this specimen, there is an abstract (JVP 22(3):38A) that does give 
their justification for it being a lambeosaurine. The specimen is actually too 
fragmentary, with key areas being less clear than the abstract would have us 
believe. Be careful not to come across as a intellectual snob to the rest of 
the world. If I were an editor of one of these non-North American journals, I 
would consider your remarks as yet another "Ugly American."

>>    It has been known for years that Buffetaut identified an ankylosaur
>> specimen from the Wangshi as Pinacosaurus, [...]
>       And what was the basis for this identification? As I recall, the
>specimen (discussed in the 6th Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems volume) is
>the butt-end of a vertebral column originally identified by Wiman as
>hadrosaurian. There might be more... I found this reference:

>    BUFFETAUT E. (1995): An ankylosaurid dinosaur from the Upper Cretaceous
>of Shandong (China). Geol.Mag. 132(6): 683-692

>    ...but this appears to be a non-existant paper (!). If you know of
>more, I'd very much like to hear of it.

Really? non-existent? Odd, I wonder what I am looking at. Geological Magazine 
is published by Cambridge University Press. Buffetaut describes a sacrum and 
ilium, anterior caudal, mid caudal, femur, and scute. As to his justification 
as to the specimen being Pinacosaurus, he writes "The main reason for assigning 
the ankylosaurid from Tianquiaotun to Pinacosaurus is the shape of the ilium. 
As noted by Maryanska (1977, p. 131), 'strong divergence of the preactebular 
process is characteristic of Pinacosaurus....'" He then goes on to make other 
comparisons. I can find no fault with his identification. As for the age, 
Shuvalov (2000, The Cretaceous stratigraphy and palaeobiogeography of Mongolia; 
In Benton et al., (eds.) The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia) reports a 
radiometric date for the Baruungoyot Svita (which would include the Djadokhta 
(i.e., Pinacosaurus) as 75+/- 7 Myr.


Kenneth Carpenter, Ph.D.
Curator of Lower Vertebrate Paleontology &
Chief Preparator
Dept. of Earth Sciences
Denver Museum of Natural History 
2001 Colorado Blvd.
Denver, CO 80205

Fax: (303)331-6492
email: KCarpenter@DMNS.org
Image this: a thundering herd of waddling ankylosaurs..."
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