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Re: New sauropod paper

From: mike@miketaylor.org.uk (Mike Taylor)
Reply-To: mike@miketaylor.org.uk
To: twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com
CC: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: New sauropod paper
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2005 00:17:32 +0100 (BST)

> Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2005 17:14:38 -0500
> From: Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
> My apologies if this has already been posted.  I haven't seen or
> read this paper yet.  I find the abstract tantalizing, given that it
> suggests the coexistence of two sauropods in Brazil, one of which is
> related to _Rayososaurus_ (a rebbachisaurid), whereas the other is
> related to _"Rebbachisaurus" tamesnensis_.  AFAIK, the latter is a
> more primitive grade of sauropod, akin to _Jobaria_.

The Sereno et al. 1999 paper that raised both _Jobaria_ and the much
more interesting _Nigersaurus_ strongly implies that _Jobaria_ IS the
"_Rebbachisaurus_" _tamesnensis_ material, merely renamed.  If that's
so, then it should of course have been called _Jobaria tamesnensis_
rather than inventing the new species name _tiguidensis_.

Here's what it says on p. 1342:

        The sauropod from the Tiouraren Formation, Jobaria
        tiguidensis gen. nov. sp. nov. (5), is the most
        abundant terrestrial vertebrate in the formation; no
        remains of any other large-bodied herbivore were

And note 5, on p. 1345, says:

        Fragmentary sauropod remains from the Tiouraren
        Formation were initially described as a new species,
        Rebbachisaurus tamesnensis [A. F. de Lapparent,
        Mem. Soc. Geol. France 88A, 1 (1960)]. Type material,
        however, was not designated, and no diagnostic
        features were mentioned (3). Lapparent considered the
        Tiouraren sauropod to be a camarasaurid; elsewhere it
        has been referred to the Diplodocidae [J. S.
        McIntosh, in The Dinosauria (Univ. of California
        Press, Berkeley, CA, 1990), pp. 345­ 401].  Etymology:
        Jobar, Jobar ( Tamacheck); ia, pertaining to (Greek);
        tiguidi, Tiguidi ( Tamacheck); ensis, from (Latin).
        Named after the mythical creature "Jobar," to whom
        local Touregs had attributed the exposed bones, and
        after the Falaise de Tiguidi, a cliff near the base of
        which lie the horizons yielding all of its remains.

I don't know what to make of this.  The _implication_ is that
_J. tiguidensis_ was raised on the "_R._" _tamesnensis_ materal, but
it's not at all explicit.

If "R. tamesnensis" doesn't have designated type material, its a nomen nudum and Sereno et al. can make those specimens the holotype of whatever name they choose. However, I have not read de Lapparent's paper to see if this is really the case.