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Re: Moser on Plateosaurus

Darren Naish wrote:

> Moser, M. 2003. _Plateosaurus engelhardti_ Meyer, 1837
> (Dinosauria: Sauropodomorpha) aus dem Feuerletten
> (Mittelkeuper; Obertrias) von Bayern. _Zitteliana_ B 24, 3-
> 186.
40 plates, 28 figs., 4 tabs.; (Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer
Palaeontologie und Geologie) Muenchen.

> This impressive monograph describes the plateosaur bones
> (and accompanying fauna) discovered in 1962 in Ellingen
> (Bavaria) and covers the taphonomy and preservation,
> morphology, systematics and phylogenetic implications of
> _Plateosaurus_. There is too much information here for an
> easy summary but some of the main points of interest are as
> follows...
> -- The accompanying fauna includes a proganochelyid and
> some cf. _Liliensternus_ material (proximal end of a left mt
> II).

This is part of the syntype material of Plateosaurus, the turtle plastron
was earlier misidentified by Huene as a head bone (frontal) of
_Plateosaurus_, and as a dermal scute
of a non prosauropod by Galton 2000.

> -- In view of the controversy over the origins of the sacral
> vertebrae in plateosaurs, Marcus looked in detail at the
> sacral vertebrae of assorted sauropodomorphs and other
> archosauromorphs. The resulting discussion is heavy going
[I'm sorry]
> and I haven't gotten through it all yet. Contra Galton (2000,
> 2001), Marcus argues that none of the prosauropods
> incorporated a dorsal into the sacrum: the reasons this
[earlier] conclusion was reached are erroneous. Note however that
> Yates (2003) agrees with Galton's identification of a
> dorsosacral in plateosaurs and apparently regards the
> presence of a dorsosacral as a synapomorphy for all
> sauropodomorphs more derived than thecodontosaurs.
> _Vulcanodon_ is argued to exhibit a prosauropod-like
> sacrum.

I don't think that Adam Yates and Peter Galton will maintain their view.

> -- Diagenetic influence is responsible for the morphological
> variation seen in _Plateosaurus_ and, contra Galton and
> Weishampel & Chapman 1990, there is no evidence for
> biological variability within the genus. _Sellosaurus_ is also
> not found to differ from _Plateosaurus_ (so, like Yates
> 2003, Marcus advocates referral of _Sellosaurus_ to
> _Plateosaurus_).

Not all "Sellosaurus" is Plateosaurus however.

> -- There is also an extensive discussion of plateosaur
> posture, and lots more. The work is in German but there's a
> long English summary at the back. A few papers by Galton
> and Yates on plateosaurs came out after the work went to
> press, so unfortunately could not be discussed.

To this Ken Carpenter wrote:

> I am curious to know how Moser's work avoids simply repeating what Peter
> Galton has written in his series of papers on the same specimens. I hope
> this isn't a reinventing of the wheel.
> Ken

Except for thy syntype material of _Plateosaurus_ (see below), which he
studied briefly in the early eighties, Galton had and has not seen any of
the material from Bavaria described in my paper. Also the redescription of
the type material of _Plateosaurus_ (Galton 2000) is completely refuted.
It was written about 25 years after he had seen the specimens and some
resulting misidentifications (sacrum reversed, femoral head identified as
caudal, left and right half of dorsal discussed as two vertebrae ...) had
to be corrected. A lectotype is choosen (the sacrum) and the synonymy of
most (but not all!) plateosaur species from Middle Europe is established
on sacral characters, and differences to other prosauropods are discussed.

Many thanks to Darren Naish for discussing my work!

Dr. Markus Moser
Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkunde Stuttgart
Rosenstein 1
70191 Stuttgart
Bayerische Staatssammlung fuer Palaeontologie und Geologie
Richard-Wagner-Str. 10
80333 Muenchen