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Barrett, P. M. 2004. Sauropodomorph dinosaur diversity in the upper Elliot
Formation (_Massospondylus_ range zone: Lower Jurassic) of South Africa.
South African Journal of Science 100:501-503.
ABSTRACT: A previously undescribed sauropodomorph dinosaur skull collected
from the upper Elliot Formation (_Massospondylus_ range zone) of South
Africa is shown to be morphologically distinct from the widespread sympatric
genus _Massospondylus_. Consequently, the generic-level diversity of basal
sauropodomorphs in the Lower
Jurassic dinosaur fauna of this region was higher than supposed previously.
This unnamed taxon may represent either a new genus, new material of an
established lower Elliot Formation (_Euskelosaurus_ range zone)
sauropodomorph or cranial elements of a genus currently regarded as
synonymous with _Massospondylus_. As a result, this specimen has important
implications for upper Elliot Formation palaeoecology and for the use of
sauropodomorph dinosaurs in biostratigraphical correlations.
Yates, A.M., Hancox, P.J., and Rubidge, B.S. 2004. First record of a
sauropod dinosaur from the upper Elliot Formation (Early Jurassic) of South
Africa. South African Journal of Science 100: 504-506.
Clarke, A. H. 2005. On the vestibular labyrinth of _Brachiosaurus brancai_.
Journal of Vestibular Research 15:65-71.
ABSTRACT: The extensive remains of large sauropods, excavated in the Upper
Jurassic layers of the Tendaguru region of Tanzania, East Africa by Janensch
, include an intact fossil cast of a vestibular labyrinth and an
endocast of the large _Brachiosaurus brancai_. The approximately 150 million
year old labyrinth cast demonstrates clearly a form and organisation
congruent in detail to those of extant vertebrate species. Besides the
near-orthogonal arrangement of semicircular canals (SCCs), the superior and
inferior branches of the vestibulo-acoustic nerve, the endolymphatic duct,
the oval and round windows, and the cochlea can be identified. The
orientation of the labyrinth in the temporal bone is also equivalent to that
of many extant vertebrates. Furthermore, the existence of the twelve cranial
nerves can be identified from the endocast.
The present study was initiated after the photogrammetric measurement
of the skeleton volume of _B. brancai_  yielded a realistic estimate of
body mass (74.42 metric tons). Dimensional analysis shows that body mass and
average SCC dimensions of _B. brancai_ generally fit with the allometric
relationship found in previous studies of extant species. However, the
anterior SCC is significantly larger than the allometric relationship would
predict. This would indicate greater sensitivity, supporting the idea that
the behavioural repertoire must have included much slower pitch movements of
the head. These slower movements would most likely have involved flexion of
the neck, rather than head pitching about the atlas joint. Pursuing the
relationship between body mass and SCC dimensions further, the SCC frequency
response is estimated by scaling up from the SCC dimensions of the rhesus
monkey; this yields a range between 0.008-26 Hz, approximately one octave
lower than for humans.
Pereda Suberbiola, X., P. Dantas, P. M. Galton, and J. L. Sanz. 2005.
Autopodium of the holotype of _Dracopelta zbyszewskii_ (Dinosauria,
Ankylosauria) and its type horizon and locality (Upper Jurassic: Tithonian,
western Portugal). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie
Sharma, N., R. K. Kar, A. Agarwal, and R. Kar. 2005. Fungi in dinosaurian
(_Isisaurus_) coprolites from the Lameta Formation (Maastrichtian) and its
reflection on food habit and environment. Micropaleontology 51:73-82.
ABSTRACT: Plant pathogens _Colletotrichum_ causing leaf spot and red rot
disease, _Erysiphe_ and _Uncinula_ responsible for producing powdery mildews
and microthyriaceous ascostromata making black spot on leaves were recovered
from the Group A type of coprolite of Matley from the Lameta Formation. This
was supposed to be voided by _Isisaurus_ (_Titanosaurus_) belonging to
sauropods. The presence of these fungi in the coprolites indicates that the
said dinosaur ate the leaves. As these pathogens occur in all types of
plants it is postulated that the Isisaurus used its long, slender neck to
browse the trees like modern camels and giraffes. The coprolites also
yielded _Glomus_ - a mycorrhizal fungus which probably penetrated into it
after it was voided on the surface. On the basis of epiphyllous fungi it is
postulated that the dinosaurs lived in a tropical-subtropical climate.
Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology
Dixie State College
225 South 700 East
St. George, UT 84770
Phone: (435) 652-7758
Fax: (435) 656-4022
An expert is a man who has made all
the mistakes that can be made in a very
narrow field. -- Niels Bohr
After one look at this planet any visitor
from outer space would say "I want to
see the manager." -- William Burroughs