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Dear Dinolist members:

I forward you a message from Dr. José Ignacio CANUDO from the University of Zaragoza


We have had the opportunity to read the paper that has just been published in the journal Zootaxa on the validity of the sauropod taxa Galvesaurus and ?Galveosaurus?, which has given rise to certain comments in the Dinolist (http://dml.cmnh.org/2006May/msg00192.html). We believe it fitting that Dinolist´s readers should be informed of certain previously unmentioned factors relating to professional ethics regarding this sauropod from Cuesta Lonsal site, Galve (Teruel), which we have been preparing and studying since 1993 and on which we have published numerous papers through to 2005, as we explain below. The research team Aragosaurus (http://www.aragosaurus.com/) of which we form a part has a long history in the study of this sauropod. We first visited the site in 1987, commissioned by the Chair of Palaeontology at Zaragoza University and the Government of Aragon. The local amateur José María Herrero had initially excavated the site. Once all the bureaucratic problems had been resolved, we carried out the first paleontological dig at Cuesta Lonsal site in 1993, continuing this work intermittently through to 2002, which made it possible for us to recover more than fifty remains belonging to the sauropod. Two doctoral theses were begun in the Science Faculty at Zaragoza University. One of these was not formally defended, but gave rise to a first publication in 1994. In 1997 José Luis Barco started his PhD on the sauropod from Cuesta Lonsal. His study focuses both on the fossils excavated by José María Herrero and on those we recovered ourselves, and of course has all the requisite bureaucratic permissions. From 1993 through to the present day this material has been in preparation by our team at Zaragoza University with the financial support of the Government of Aragon and research projects funded by the Ministry for Science and Technology from Spain. More than 2000 hours of work have so far been spent on the preparation, and this work is still going on. Over these years we have published in various congresses and scientific journals partial studies on the new sauropod from Cuesta Lonsal, to which we had not given a formal name because the material was in preparation. Following the defence of José Luis Barco?s master thesis (Barco 2004, 2005, Treballs del Museu de Geologia de Barcelona) we defined the new species Galvesaurus herreroi, a denomination we had proposed and been informally using since 1999 as homage to its discoverer Herrero and to the village where it was found. The full information is http://www.aragosaurus.com/galvesaurus/index.htm

Galve is a village for which dinosaurs are its source of wealth. One of its attractions is a small local museum where discoveries are displayed. We have published more than 70 scientific papers on vertebrates from Galve, and the information generated has thus made it possible to foster this educational and tourist project, which we have supported from the outset. In this context it is easy to understand our disinterested act of transferring any new Cuesta Lonsal material to the museum once we had prepared it, so it could be put on display. One of the examples is the cervical vertebra that we placed on Galve on March of 2005, after the publication of Galvesaurus was accepted ?in press?.

It never occurred to us that anyone might go to the museum, take photos and, only based on those photos, most of them of material inside the display cabinet (as can be seen on figure 3 of the ?Galveosaurus? work, in which the only dorsal vertebra is figurate next to other pieces on display, or one of the caudal, were the wood display cabinet, that we know well because we have assemble it on 1994, is shown). Our research in Cuesta Lonsal is well known in the paleontological community, as well as with regional government bodies (who gave all due permissions), the academic authorities and the regional and local press (see http://www.aragosaurus.com/descarga/newsgalve1.pdf). Moreover ? and this is perhaps the most important point, one that university teaching and research staff will fully understand ? it forms part of a doctoral thesis that is in the process of completion. It is easy to understand that the Cuesta Lonsal sauropod has formed part of our research for fifteen years and that one of the results of this research is the publication of the new taxon Galvesaurus in July of 2005. We find it difficult to understand the lack of ethics shown by the person from the University of Bristol who has published in August of 2005 what we are investigating as the new taxon ?Galveosaurus.? The Code of Zoological Nomenclature has a section that deals with professional ethics, which we recommend should be read by those with doubts about the validity of Galvesaurus herreroi Barco, Canudo, Cuenca-Bescós & Ruiz-Omeñaca 2005 over other subsequent proposals. We are afraid that this person will do it again with any of the dinosaurs we are studying in Galve, as the small ornithopod from Poyales from PhD Thesis of José Ignacio Ruiz-Omeñaca (will be defended in September). This dinosaur has been cited in different papers, e.g. Ruiz-Omeñaca, J.I. 2001. Dinosaurios hipsilofodóntidos (Ornithischia: Ornithopoda) en la Península Ibérica. Actas de las I Jornadas internacionales sobre Paleontología de Dinosaurios y su entorno. CAS (eds.). Salas de los Infantes, 175-266. Almost all the papers from Galve published by our group can be downloaded at the section ?publicaciones? of our web page Aragosaurus (http://www.aragosaurus.com/)

José Ignacio Canudo
Grupo Aragosaurus (http://www.aragosaurus.com/)
Paleontología. Facultad de Ciencias
Universidad de Zaragoza
Pedro Cerbuna 12. 50009 Zaragoza
jicanudo@unizar.es  jicanudo@aragosaurus.com
34 976 762248