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Re: Oldest dinosaur (Silesaurus)
In a message dated 10/29/02 2:20:01 PM Pacific Standard Time,
<< 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.