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Re: Things To Look Forward To - SVP 2005 (Mesa, Arizona, USA) - Part 1

Wang Xiaolin[...] et al. described what they discuss as the first
uncontroversial member of the Ctenochasmatidae, [...]. They
also report tissues within the scleral ring they interpret as eyeball remnants.


Alexander Kellner (also a coauthor on the preceeding abstract) reports with
others on a pterosaur specimen from Araripe, Brazil, which includes a
well-preserved propatagium showing layers of fibers, some criss-crossing, as
well as venation, with fibers connected to muscle or tendon to propose that
actinofibrils are probably muscular tissue, and that the wing membrane of
pterosaurs was a constantly modulated dermal organ much akin to approximating
chiropteran wing digits, only far smaller in size and far greater in number.

Whew! Wow. Constant change of wing shape during flight!!!

 Brian Andres and Jim Clark discuss new Xinjiang pterosaurs of Upper
and Lower Shishugao Formations (as at Dashanpu)

Shishugou. -ou as in "oh" or "low" or "woe"... (well... approximately... and depending on the sort of English...)

The name Chiufotang is used in the abstract, yet I suspect this is a
spelling variant for Jiufotang, though I am aware that the two are
pronounced differently in Chinese, this is not a question I can answer.

It's a conflagration of two transcriptions, the Wade-Giles transcription (obsolete, cumbersome) and the Pinyin transcription (official in the People's Republic, at least much less cumbersome, but funky-looking with counterintuitive uses for many letters). Pinyin Jiufotang = Wade-Giles Chiufot'ang. (One of the reasons for the demise of Wade-Giles was that people kept forgetting the apostrophes.) Pinyin has no syllable, combination of syllables or whatever that could ever be spelled "chiu".

Now I just wonder why Wade-Giles was (partially) used here. "Gao Keqin" is pure Pinyin -- in Wade-Giles he would be "Kao K'o-ch'in"...

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wade-Giles has more information.

 Hans-Dieter Sues and Jim Clark also discuss a Late Triassic (Carnian of
Nevada, USA) claraziid similar to *Hescheleria*

The thalattosaurs must have been multiplying when I didn't look...

Richard Butler discusses a 51 taxon, 228 character ornithischian analysis.

Yessss!!! That sounds serious at last!

Perhaps most peculiar of this analysis is his finding of Heterodontosauridae as
the sister-taxon to Genasauria, meaning its more basal even than thyreophorans;

Impressive. Well, at least its hands fit such a position...

Now, however, few other analysis have suggested such a radical interpretation,

_All_ of them had fewer characters than this analysis has _taxa_.

(Yeah, except maybe for the "Basal Ornithopoda" analysis in The Dinosauria II, but that analysis _only_ includes "basal ornithopods" -- not even any taxa deemed to be iguanodontians by the authors!!! --; the text says 54 characters were used, but the supplementary information only lists 30.)

and *Agilisaurus* and *"Yandusaurus" multidens* are placed outside of the
Cerapoda. Others have suggested such a basal position, so this may be more

Together with the new position of *Heterodontosaurus*, this means that the long ghost lineage of Marginocephalia gets at least halved.

[...] I go with the dinner-saurs. You know, the ones like
make dinner of other saurs.


Larry Witmer and Ryan Ridgely look at tyrannosaur braincase anatomy and the
middle ear region, a topic that was recently upon this list, and they managed
to scan not just one, but several skulls. They show that while the brain of
*Nanotyrannus* is slightly different from those of adults, they do regard it as
a juvenile without a dural pineal peak in the endocranium. Additionally, the
orientation and structure of the middle ear indicates a delicate
vestibulo-coular reflex which suggests to these authors a reliance on the
visual system. Hmm, contra Jack Horner?

But nooooooooo...