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Re: Gobisaurus domoculus

Tommy Bradley (htomsirveaux@mybluelight.com) wrote:

<Anybody got some info on it, specifically a translation, pronunciation and
explanation of the species name?>


<Any info on its TIME, PLACE, and SIZE would help too.>

  and to which Thomas de Wilde (jedimr_thomas@hotmail.com) replied:

<If my latin's still all right, domoculus should mean "small house", although I
don't know what this could mean. the pronunciation of the first o should be as
in "hot", of the second o as in roll, and the u's should be pronounced as the oo
in "book">

  In Vickaryous et al., *domoculus* refers to _domo_ + _oculus_, and means,
roughly, to be overlooked or "subjugate the eye" (lit.), and is denoted in the
following passage:

pg. 1767: "In 1959-1960, fieldwork was conducted in Inner Mongolia, People's
Republic of China, jointly by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and
Paleoanthropology (IVPP), Beijing, China, and the Paleontological Institute,
Moscow, U.S.S.R. The Sino-Soviet Expeditions were intended to follow up on the
success of the Central Asiatic Expeditions of the American Museum of Natural
History, New York, U.S.A. in 1922-1930. Amongst the abundant material collected
from a locality north of Chilantai, in the Maortu region of the Alshan Desert
(Fig. 1), was the large theropod *Chilantaisaurus maortuensis,* various (as yet
undescribed) fossil plants, invertebrates, turtles, ornithopods, sauropods and a
virtually complete ankylosaur skeleton (Hu 1964). The latter (IVPP V12563),
believed to have been collected from the same locality as *Chilantaisaurus*
(although no official documentation exists) closely resembles the Lower
Cretaceous ankylosaurid *Shamosaurus scutatus* (Tumanova 1983). Largely
forgotten for decades, the specimen resurfaced with the initiation of the
Sino-Canadian Dinosaur Project, a joint venture between the IVPP, the Royal
Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta, and the Canadian Museum of
Nature, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. It was included in a major traveling exhibit
(alternatively known as the "Dinosaur Project," the "Greatest Show Unearthed,"
and the "Dinosaur World Tour"; Currie 1997), from 1990-1997, during which time
it was referred to as "Gobisaurus." This informal appellation was apparently an
attempt to separate it from, yet ally it with, the genus *Shamosaurus* (shamo is
an old Mongolian term for Gobi). Detailed examination of this specimen indicates
that Gobisaurus represents a new taxon of Late Cretaceous ankylosaurid."

  At least, this seems to be an appropriate reference given the history of the
skull having been found in the 1960s and named as a nomen nudum, but never
described. The holotype is a cranium without mandible from the Chilantiyen Chih,
the same region that *Chilantisaurus maortuensis* was recovered, near Maortu in
the Alashan (or Alxa Desert) in Nei Mongol Zizhique, China (note original
spelling), and derives from the Ulanhushao (or Suhongtu) Formation, possibly
Aptian or Albian, Lower Cretaceous. The skull measures approximately 48 cm from
snout to occipital condyle.


  Vickaryous, M., A. P. Russell, P. J. Currie, and Zhao X.-J. 2001. A new
ankylosaurid (Dinosauria: Ankylosauria) from the Lower Cretaceous of China, with
comments on ankylosaurian relationships. _Revue du Canadienne de Sciences de la
Terre - Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences_ 38: 1767-1780. (DOI:

  Hope this helps the both of you,


  Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take. We are too used to making leaps in
the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all learn
to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

  "Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)