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Another message from Naish: HaBrosaurus ("b", not "d"), Amitabha, etc.

The following just arrived?

Gardner, J. D. 2003. Revision of _Habrosaurus_ Gilmore (Caudata; Sirenidae)
and relationships among sirenid salamanders. _Palaeontology_ 46, 1089-1122.

_Habrosaurus_ is a Campanian-Palaeocene sirenid and this is a definitive
review of the taxon. Two species are considered valid: _H. dilatus_ (which
includes _Adelphesiren olivae_) and the new species _H. prodilatus_. Unlike
extant sirenids (which have a horny beak), _Habrosaurus_ has marginal teeth
and its dentition and jaw morphology indicate that, like extant sirenids, it
was capable of a crushing bite. It lacks the derived characters that unite
the extant sirenids _Siren_ and _Pseudobranchus_, but unfortunately it
remains unknown whether _Habrosaurus_ lacked a pelvis and hindlimbs, as
extant sirenids do. Gardner hints that _Paleoamphiuma_ from Eocene Wyoming,
described as an amphiumid by Rieppel & Grande (1998), may also be a sirenid.
Interestingly (and in contrast to some other authors), Gardner argues that
sirenids are exclusively North American and that alleged sirenids from
elsewhere (_Kababisha_ from Sudan, _Noterpeton_ from Bolivia, some Lower
Jurassic Indian material and a German Pleistocene parasphenoid) are not
sirenids at all (though exactly what they are remains mysterious). A
brilliant paper if you like super-weird paedomorphic urodeles.

Gulas-Wroblewski, B. E. & Wroblewski, A. F.-J. 2003. A crown-group galliform
bird from the Middle Eocene Bridger Formation of Wyoming. _Palaeontology_
46, 1269-1280.

The new taxon _Amitabha urbsinterdictensis_ is described:
?urbsinterdictensis? refers to the ?Forbidden City? locality of Wyoming, and
_Amitabha_ is ?for Amitabha Buddha, the bodhisattva of enlightenment and
compassion, who commonly adopts the form of a peacock when incarnated in the
material world? (p. 1272). Inclusion of _Amitabha_ in Dyke et al?s data set
(see ZJLS 137, 227-244) indicates that it is a phasianoid (viz, a ?higher
galliform?) and thus it puts a date on the cracid-phasianoid divergence.

Also just in is ish 54 of _The Palaeontology Newsletter_. This includes the
abstracts both for the recent British Dinosaurs seminar (5th Nov? 2003, Isle
of Wight) and for the 47th Annual Meeting of The Palaeontological
Association (14th-17th Dec? 2003, University of Leicester).

Abstracts for the British Dinosaurs seminar are?
Buffetaut: On the track of French Cretaceous dinosaurs ? in the field and in

Martin & Upchurch: The return of the _Cetiosaurus_: taxonomy, nomenclature
and relationships of a historic British sauropod genus

Torrens: The history of the English invention of dinosaurs

Barrett: A review of British ornithischian dinosaurs

Norman: _Iguanodon_ ? a focus for palaeobiological research

Naish: Coelurosaurian theropods of Britain

Milner: _Baryonyx_, a fish-eating dinosaur (Theropoda: Spinosauridae) from
southern England and the palaeobiology and palaeogeography of the

Galobart et al: New dinosaur sites in Catalonia and Valencia (J/K boundary
and Upper Cretaceous) and a short overview of Mesozoic sites of Spain

Kirkland: England at the crossroads: Early Cretaceous dinosaurs from Utah
indicates the last Mesozoic pan-Laurasian fauna predates Alaska

Benton: British Triassic dinosaurs

Incidentally, the highlight of the conference for me was a revelation from
Jim, pertaining specifically to a taxon I have published on. Everyone at the
conference will know what I?m talking about but I don?t want it mentioned on
the DML as we may jeopardise publication.

The Pal. Ass. meeting abstracts contain a few of interest. They are?

Unwin: The origin of birds, feathers and flight: have palaeontologists
solved the problem?

Challands & Liston: Growth increments and REE geochemistry of _Leedsichthys_
fin-ray spines and gill rakers: taphonomic and environmental implications.

Clack et al: _Ichthyostega_: the makeover

Evans: An intriguing new plesiosaur from the Pliensbachian of England

Gabriel & Langer: A reconstruction of the humeral myology of the basal
sauropodomorph _Saturnalia tupiniquim_

Pierce: On the palaeoecology of dolichosaurs (Squamata)

Rothery: Species or sexes? Dimorphism in the aquatic sphenodontid

Back to work?.


Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL


                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796