[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
WHALE HYBRIDS, WEALDEN NEWS
On hybrids, Bill Hunt wrote...
The Humpback/Fin hybrid surprises me more, considering
the mating rituals and accompanying singing that
Humpbacks engage in. But it confirms that Humpbacks are
Rorquels, albiet aberrent forms. What became of the
I'm pretty sure this is incorrect: the hybrid was actually a fin
x blue. See...
Spilliaert, R., Vikingsson, G., Arnason, U., Palsdottir, A.,
Sigurjonsson, J. & Arnason, A. 1991. Species hybridization
between a female Blue whale (_Balaenoptera musculus_)
and a male Fin whale (_B. physalus_): molecular and
morphological documentation. _The Journal of Heredity_
Moving on to dinosaurs, I am going to share something
simply because it's too good to keep secret. Several months
ago (summer 2002) I received a phonecall from an Isle of
Wight-based palaeontologist informing me that a ceratopian
skull had been discovered on the IoW. I was asked what I
knew about it. I knew nothing and still know nothing
despite a lot of asking around. None of the dinosaur
specialists, noted amateurs or professional collectors profess
to have heard of such a specimen. As some of you know (I
discussed this with some HPs at SVP Denver) a few years
ago I did get hold of what I thought was a ceratopian
predentary from the Wessex Formation (it later turned out
to be something else entirely but that's a different story).
However, that specimen is in a private collection and was
discovered many years ago; there's no reason to think it's
the inspiration for this new rumour.
While it is likely that the whole thing was a mistake or
misunderstanding (in talks I give on Wealden dinosaurs I
sometimes mention that psittacosaurs might be present in
the Wealden (Dave Norman has also published this idea)) I
can't help speculating that something was discovered, was
muttered about, and then was lost because it was sold.
Needless to say this does happen. Biogeographical
predictions and the discovery of neoceratopians in the
Arundel Clay mean that ceratopian occurrence in the
Wealden is certainly not impossible, but because this little
episode is never going to be mentioned in the literature I
thought I may as well recount it here.
In other Wealden news, much is going on with the new
Wessex Fm ornithocheiroid skull right now. This is either
_Anhanguera_ or _Coloborhynchus_ and appears to be a
new species (it is the main focus of a TV programme being
filmed right now by RDF: to be screened next year I think).
An important new specimen of _Polacanthus_ has recently
been collected from Bexhill (East Sussex) by Dave
Brockhurst along with assorted small theropod and
ornithischian teeth. I've looked at the ornithischian teeth and
some of them might be pachycephalosaur. The
_Polacanthus_ is significant for several reasons. Lots of
IoW microvert news but can't share this yet either.
In between being sick I spent most of yesterday looking
again at feathered dinosaurs with Luis and Martin Simpson.
I was not able to find definitive remiges on
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL
tel: 023 92846045