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New refs... oh WOW!!!
I've been to the library today... and I've used up over half of my new
Michael D. Mortimer: The phylogeny of Neotetanurae (Theropoda, Dinosauria),
Annals of the Museum of Natural History at the University of Ohio at
Springfield 2004, all 369 pages (1 April 2004)
1. Mickey, you modest &?=&&%§%*$§%$*§?*/§%!!! Why didn't you tell us!!! Am I
glad that the earth sciences library here carries such an obscure journal!!!
2. I'll have to remember that journal... it seems to publish fast! :-)
3. Gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous! Every character is illustrated, the
distribution of every apomorphy is pictured...
4. Instead of giving you the lengthy abstract, I'll just give you a SHORT
version of the cladogram (1 single MPT -- can I believe my eyes!; 650
characters; 100 taxa) and let you enjoy it. Don't be too shocked! :-)
|--Ornithomimosauria (large Deinocheiridae!)
`--+--Archaeopterygiformes sensu novo
| |--Archaeopterygidae (incl. even
| `--Dromaeosauroidea tax. nov.
| |--Microraptoridae tax. nov. (several unnamed
`--+--Aenigmodracones tax. nov.
Inside Pygostylia, a strongly supported Enantiornithes is found, but it's
not a very large clade.
Wang Kafei, Kuang Pijiu, Huang Shouji, Zhuang Konglong, Guang Ouyuan &
Chuang Meiyuan: The Middle Jurassic Fauna and Flora of Ningcheng, Inner
Mongolia (People's Republic of China), Memoir 1 of Acta Geologica Sinica,
all 852 pages (April 2004)
It's plain incredible what is coming out of that place. It's like all of
Liaoning together, but Middle Jurassic. The photos are of stunning quality,
almost making one forget how hastily and superficially prepared most
The authors must have been working day and night... their English is a rough
ride, and there are so many typos that I haven't dared to give you the names
of the new species. Fortunately e-mail addresses are mentioned in the book;
I'll ask them directly.
Described are (among others -- I haven't had the time to read most of the
- Lots of plants, including relatives of *Psilotum* and entire clades of
- Loads of insects... take up 200 pages
- Two species of the temnospondyl *Gobiops*
- Frogs and salamanders with, to say it carefully, body outlines... even a
few color spots
- Tritylodontids and mammals with hair... including the oldest
- A stunning amount of lizards and sphenodonts with scales and color
- Weird and less weird turtles with scales
- Champsosaurs with scales
- Pterosaurs galore... several *Jeholopterus*, but also many others! 50
- Crocodiles, from big and semiaquatic to small and terrestrial and back
- An entire *Klamelisaurus gobiensis*... with millions of scales
- Complete ornithopods that will revolutionize ornithopod phylogeny
- A feathered ornithomimosaur with a full complement of teeth and a huge
sternum... the specimen is so incompletely prepared that I wonder about wing
- A complete, feathered dromaeosaurine... with wings that are very broad but
too short to fly
- Three microraptorids (Mickey's book is cited... there must be a HUGE
conspiracy of preprint distributors out there!!!)
- Several complete adult *Epidendrosaurus* -- it must have been quite a good
- Five archaeopterygids, one with a dentition seemingly adapted to crushing
- A really small segnosaur with huge wings... seems to be volant
- An even smaller flying oviraptorosaur that seems to have eaten ginkgo
- A complete, flying alvarezsaur!!! Recognizable as such by its huge thumb
claws and various details of the vertebrae. Seems to have fed on termite
nests in trees. Perhaps this explains why scansoriopterygids have no
adaptation for opening bark?
- A largely unprepared long-tailed bird.
Stephan Pickering: Fossil population dynamics of *Hypsilophodon foxii*
(Dinosauria), Fractal Journal of... no, Journal of Fractal Dinosaur... no,
Special Papers of the Journal on Jewish Fractals in OBie's KING KONG 1(1),
20 -- 45 (1 April 2004)
Stephan Pickering is a scholar within a few hundred kilometers of the
University of California at Berkeley.
"I present a model of the population dynamics of the small herbivorous
dinosaur *Hypsilophodon foxii* from the Early Cretaceous of southern
England. I used the about 13 mostly partial skeletons to cogently guess the
size of a *H. foxii* flock and its reproductive rate. Because *Calamosaurus
foxi*, *Calamospondylus oweni*, *Aristosuchus pusillus*, and the unnamed
basal coelurosaur (Naish 1996) are, as I demonstrate here (yes, _here_, in
the abstract), undiagnostic crap, the presence of two species similar to
*Sinosauropteryx prima* and *Compsognathus longipes* was assumed. I believe
that adults of these, as well as subadult *Eotyrannus lengi* and *Neovenator
salerii*, predated on *H. foxii*; the known specimens (one partial skeleton
each of *E. lengi* and *N. salerii*, plus four almost complete skeletons
with feathers of *S. prima* and two largely complete skeletons of *C.
longipes*) as well as extrapolations from *Haliaeetus leucocephalus* and
*Neofelis nebulosa* were used as a template to unambiguously determine a
paradigm of reproductive rates, attack success rates and habitat preferences
of these predators (viz. fast-slow dynamics, complexity theory). Competition
with *Valdosaurus canaliculatus* was modelled by the competition of
*Paramecium* sp. and *Tetrahymena* sp. for *Chlorella* sp. in my aquarium. I
had to use commercially available THC as a template to hallucinate the
patchiness of the palaeoenvironment with its lovely green patches of woods,
composed of two species of *Brachyphyllum*, three of *Czekanowksia*, one of
*Ginkgoites*, two of *Metasequoia*, and one of *Hirmeriella* (none of which
has so far been found in the fossil record), its lush green fern prairies
(composed mostly of... *Gleichenites* or so... bah, what do I know about
fern taxonomy, with local stands of up to four species of *Equisetites*,
which are unknown as fossils). The wood patches had an average distance of
300 m; this finding has profound implications on the foraging behaviour of
*H. foxii*, which preferred low-growing *Czekanowskia* leaves over ferns,
but delighted in two species of *Equisetites*, which contained the silica
necessary for the continuous sharpening of its beak."
Haven't read it yet. But the methods are presented in detail, and I cannot
find a flaw in them. Quite impressive. The last 15 pages are references,
BTW -- this is topped only by Glut's encyclopedia.