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Dinosaurs in the latest Journal of Vert Paleo



Greetings,

The online version of JVP 24(1) is posted
(http://www.bioone.org/bioone/?request=get-toc&issn=0272-4634&volume=024&iss
ue=01), and there a lot of dino papers in it:

DINOSAUR GASTRALIA; ORIGIN, MORPHOLOGY, AND FUNCTION. LEON P. A. M.
CLAESSENS, pages 89?106.

A condensation of Leon's M.S. thesis. Describes the similarity between
non-ornithurine theropod and prosauropod gastralia. Presents evidence that
the "gastralia" of sauropods are mis-identified sternal ribs. Reviews his
ideas, convergent on Carrier and Farmer, that gastralia were used as part of
an active respiration component in at least theropods.

AN ARTICULATED SPECIMEN OF THE BASAL TITANOSAURIAN (DINOSAURIA: SAUROPODA)
EPACHTHOSAURUS SCIUTTOI FROM THE EARLY LATE CRETACEOUS BAJO BARREAL
FORMATION OF CHUBUT PROVINCE, ARGENTINA. RUBÉN D. MARTÍNEZ, OLGA GIMÉNEZ,
JORGE RODRÍGUEZ, MARCELO LUNA, and MATTHEW C. LAMANNA, pages 107?120.

The "Ochos Hermanos" specimen briefly described by Martinez et al. back in
the late 1980s is now more fully described.  It is a fairly complete
specimen, save for head and neck. No osteoderms were found: given the
completeness and state of articulation of this specimen, it strongly
suggests that _Epacthosaurus_ was indeed unarmored. Phylogenetic work is
on-going.

THE SKULL OF RAPETOSAURUS KRAUSEI (SAUROPODA: TITANOSAURIA) FROM THE LATE
CRETACEOUS OF MADAGASCAR. KRISTINA CURRY ROGERS and CATHERINE A. FORSTER,
pages 121?144.

Curry-Rogers and Cathy present the detailed osteology of the _Rapetosaurus_
skull. Of perhaps minor note, they agree with the Witmer hypothesis of
fleshy nostril placement, but note that as the premaxillae are missing from
the specimen the actual osteological correlates of this are not preserved.
They identify significant differences between (on the one hand) the
dentaries of _Rapetosaurus_, _Nemegtosaurus_, and _Quaesitosaurus_ and (on
the other) all diplodocoids.

NIPPONOSAURUS SACHALINENSIS (DINOSAURIA; ORNITHOPODA): ANATOMY AND
SYSTEMATIC POSITION WITHIN HADROSAURIDAE. DAISUKE SUZUKI, DAVID B.
WEISHAMPEL, and NACHIO MINOURA, pages 145?164.

_Nipponosaurus_ is by no means a nomen dubium: there is a LOT of good
material in it.  Based on the lack of neurocentral fusion and other clues,
it was only a subadult when it died.  A preliminary phylogenetic analysis
(including most lambeosaurine taxa, and many basal hadrosauroid and related
taxa, but sadly no hadrosaurines) finds that _Nipponosaurus_ is a
lambeosaurine, and specifically the sister taxon to _Hypacrosaurus
altispinus_.  "_Hypacrosaurus" stebingeri_ falls out as a part of a
trichotomy amongst the helmet-crested lambeosaurines: the other branches are
_Nipponosaurus_-_Hypacrosaurus_ and _Corythosaurus_-_Lambeosaurus_.

THE LIGAMENT SYSTEM IN THE NECK OF RHEA AMERICANA AND ITS IMPLICATION FOR
THE BIFURCATED NEURAL SPINES OF SAUROPOD DINOSAURS. TAKANOBU TSUIHIJI, pages
165?172.

Detailed dissection work, showing that the Lig. nuchae in _Rhea_ and other
modern taxa has specific osteological correlates on the tips of the neural
spines, and remains in that position even in bifurcated ones (as present in
_Rhea_).  There is a different medial ligament, Lig. elasticum interspinale,
which is medial to this, which would have occupied the   "trough" between
the neural spines of sauropods (among others).  Tsuihiji presents a new,
rather meaty, reconstruction of the cross-section of the neck of
_Apatosaurus_: it would be interesting to see the artistically-oriented
amongst you in taking a stab at using this information in new restorations.

Plenty of other good papers in there, too.

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