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Re: Oldest dinosaur (Silesaurus)



In a message dated 10/29/02 2:20:01 PM Pacific Standard Time, 
kinman@hotmail.com writes:

<< Not sure how small Silesaurus was.  I wish I could read Polish.  The 
 artist rendition shows arms longer than I would have expected, and it is 
 shown walking quadrupedally rather than bipedally.  Perhaps a primitive 
 sauropod??  That would be cool. >>

I used Google to find four Polish newspaper websites that feature articles on 
Silesaurus. My Polish is really rusty (previously used mainly to read Polish 
stamp catalogues), but I garnered that the dinosaur was about 1.5 meters long 
and that the material includes at least one nearly complete skeleton. 
Describers are PAN (Polska Akademia Nauk, or Polish Academy of Sciences) 
scientists named Jerzy Dzik and Dorota Majer. The formal description will 
appear in a forthcoming issue of JVP (the American paleontological quarterly, 
as the article calls it), so it's still a nomen nudum as far as science goes. 
At 230 million years old, the dinosaur is squarely in the Middle Triassic 
Ladinian, unless someone has recently changed the geological time scale again.

Complete name is Silesaurus opolensis, named after Silesia, a region of 
Poland and Opole, the region/locale of Silesia where it was discovered. I 
think the name has actually appeared in print, in the October 25, 2002 issue 
of Gazeta Wyborcza. There are lots of websites about Jerzy Dzik and his 
dinosaur, which he believes is most closely related to Pisanosaurus. The pix 
show a quadrupedal form that looks something like Thecodontosaurus. I've been 
awaiting a form that might serve as a common ancestor for Prosauropoda and 
Ornithischia; maybe this is it.

I'm copying this email to the DML in case someone there has some more info or 
can read Polish more proficiently than I.