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RE: New References & Rebbachisaurids

Jerry D. Harris <jharris@dixie.edu> wrote:

<<Dalla Vecchia, F. M., Morgante, G., and Raponi, D. 2005. Le orme di 
dinosauro nel Cretaceo dei M. Lepini (Latina, Lazio Meridionale) le abbiamo 
scoperte noi. (We discovered the dinosaur footprints in the Cretaceous of 
Mts. Lepini, Latium Region, Italy!) Natura Nascosta 30:8-15.

Dalla Vecchia, F. M. 2005. Un viaggio geo-paleontologico in Marocco (A 
geopaleontological trip to Morocco). Natura Nascosta 30:16-44.>>

I thank Jerry for mentioning my papers with those of J.A.W ilson and other
authors. Actually mine are just divulgative papers. The one about the trip
to Morocco shows nice photos of the Cenomanian sites with dinosaur remains
of Tafilalt region and of the Middle Jurassic sauropod footprints of Beni
Mellal region, but that's all. Papers can be freely downloaded. If you
like, look for them in the web site http://www.museomonfalcone.it

The scientific work that I suppose will really interest the members of the
list is that by Silvio Renesto and me on the skull of _Megalancosaurus_,
published in the July issue of the Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e
Stratigrafia   (available in September).

_Histriasaurus_ is late Hauterivian-early Barremian in age. It is older
than (other) Rebbachisaurids. The presence of a plesiomorphic
hyposphene-hypantrum complex would be plausible if a basal position
corresponds to the lower stratigraphic occurrence. This is the reason I
considered (in my 1998 paper) possible its identification as a
Rebbachisaurid despite the fact that Rebbachisaurus garsbae_ and _"R."
tessonei_ do not have it.

However, to be more confident about the phylogenetic position of
_Histriasaurus_ two things are needed:

1) Collecting more material. There is something like a sauropod bonebed in
the site at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea (yes, underwater) where the
holotype vertebra of _Histriasaurus_ comes from. Doing field work
underwater is not easy and nobody tried or was allowed to do it in the last
ten years;

2) Reaching a solid definition of Rebbachisauridae based on more material,
mainly that never described. As far as I know (but I could be wrong because
of the lacking of an updating of my knowlege) the type material of
_Rebbachisaurus garsbae_ was never described in detail and most of the
remains of _"R." tessonei_ were undescribed and partly unprepared when I
saw them in 1999.

Probably the paper in progress by Sebastián (hóla amigo, que tal?) and
Gallina will shed more light on the latter point. 

All the best

Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia