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The Emperor's New Papers

A couple of "real" publications:

Maganuco, S., Cau, A., Dal Sasso, C., and Pasini, G. 2007. Evidence of large theropods from the Middle Jurassic of the Mahajanga Basin, NW MAdagascar, with implications for ceratosaurian pedal ungual evolution. Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano 148(2):261-271.

ABSTRACT: Two large theropod remains from the Middle Jurassic (Isalo IIIb, Bathonian) of the Mahajanga Basin, NW Madagascar, are here described. They consist of a large tooth crown and a pedal ungual. The tooth is similar to the teeth of some basal tetanuran theropods, but we cautiously refer it to Theropoda incertae sedis. The pedal ungual, pertaining to a close relative of the abelisauroids but not to a member of the Abelisauroidea, shows that non-abelisauroid ceratosaurian theropods were present in the Middle Jurassic of Madagascar and provides new insight into the evolution of the ceratosaurian pedal unguals. Both remains reveal the large body size attained by the Middle Jurassic Malagasy theropods.

Oheim, K.B. 2007. Fossil site prediction using geographic information systems (GIS) and suitability analysis: The Two Medicine Formation, MT, a test case. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 251(3-4):354-365. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.04.005.

ABSTRACT: Fossil site discovery has traditionally been the result of educated guesswork followed by systematic searching of terrain. This study approached the issues of fossil site identification by looking at key variables in a GIS setting. The data were analyzed to create a predictive model for finding fossils, thus facilitating the process of fossil discovery and saving time and money. Geospatial variables believed to be most useful for finding fossils were examined and ranked on a scale from 1 to 4, with 4 being the most advantageous score for finding fossils. Weighted sum addition combined the layers to create a suitability surface. Field testing and subsequent analysis showed the model accurately predicted areas of high, medium, and low fossil likelihood. Field observations and additional site data led to model refinements and increased resolution of fossil density distribution. The final model explained a statistically significant 90% of fossil density variation in the Two Medicine Formation.

...and several on-line first (unedited manuscripts) from _Cretaceous Research_:

Báez, A.M., Muzzopappa, P., and Nicoli, L. 2007. Anurans from the Candeleros Formation (?Cenomanian-Turonian) of west-central Argentina: new evidence for pipoid evolution. Cretaceous Research. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2007.01.004.

ABSTRACT: The fluvio-lacustrine deposits of the ?Cenomanian-Turonian Candeleros Formation in the northwestern fringe of Patagonia have yielded numerous remains of vertebrates, including anurans. A new, partially articulated immature specimen of a small pipimorph pipoid from the upper part of this unit is described herein. Although incompletely preserved, the morphology and proportions of the skeleton are strongly reminiscent of corresponding elements of the holotype of Avitabatrachus uliana from the lower section of the same formation at a nearby locality, thus suggesting that these specimens might represent the same, or a closely related, taxon. The new specimen is a metamorphosing individual: it has a zygapophyseal articulation between the sacrum and the neural arch of a postsacral vertebra that bears conspicuous transverse processes, and four pairs of ribs. These traits are not present in the available material of A. uliana, but they might have occurred within the normal range of variation of a single species. Although the generic and specific allocation of the new material is uncertain, a parsimony analysis performed to clarify the relationships of A. uliana supports a phylogenetic placement of this taxon outside the crown Pipidae. The evidence provided by the Candeleros anurans confirms the presence of stem pipids in Patagonia in the early Late Cretaceous.

Martill, D.M. 2007. The age of the Cretaceous Santana Formation fossil Konservat-Lagerstätte of north-east Brazil: a historical review and an appraisal of the biochronostratigraphic utility of its biota. Cretaceous Research. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2007.01.002.

ABSTRACT: This paper is concerned with the famous fossil-bearing carbonate concretions of the Romualdo Member of the Santana Formation Konservat Lagerstätten of north-east Brazil. This palaeontologically important level was first dated as Cretaceous by the French palaeoichthyologist Louis Agassiz on the basis of fish fossils obtained by Bavarian explorers Spix and Martius between 1817 and 1820 and Scottish botanist and explorer George Gardner between 1836 and 1841. Gardner equated the concretion level with the English Albian 'Upper Greensands' on the basis of an imagined similarity of stratigraphic sequence with that of the Isle of Wight, southern England. Since then high precision dating of this remarkable deposit has proved elusive and the concretion-bearing part of the Santana Formation has been variously dated as early Late Cretaceous or late Early Cretaceous. Attempts at greater precision over the last 30 years have cited its age variously as Aptian, Albian or possibly Cenomanian, but few reliable data have been presented to support these dates.

Fox, R.C., Scott, C.S., and Bryant, H.N. 2007. A new, unusual therian mammal from the Upper Cretaceous of Saskatchewan, Canada. Cretaceous Research. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2006.12.005.

ABSTRACT: An incomplete lower jaw with teeth, documents the presence of a new genus and species of placental mammal from the Upper Cretaceous (Lancian; late Maastrichtian) Frenchman Formation, Saskatchewan, Canada. This new mammal is characterized by highly compressed lower molars that decrease in size from m1 to m3 and superficially resemble the molars of Tertiary Mesonychia. These resemblances, however, are interpreted as convergent, and the new mammal is classified in its own family and incertae sedis at the ordinal level. This new mammal thus joins other recent discoveries in western Canada of mammals of Tertiary aspect (Condylarthra; Taeniodonta) occurring in the Late Cretaceous.

Agnolin, F.L., and Martinelli, A.G. 2007. Did oviraptorosaurs (Dinosauria; Theropoda) inhabit Argentina? Cretaceous Research. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2006.10.006.

ABSTRACT: In this contribution a putative oviraptorosaurian cervical vertebra discovered in the Campanian-Maastrichtian El Brete Formation from Salta Province, NW Argentina is analysed. Based on the resemblances of this vertebra with those of the basal neoceratosaurian Elaphrosaurus and with the noasaurid Noasaurus, the Salta specimen is interpreted to belong to the third or fourth cervical vertebrae of a Noasauridae (eventually Noasaurus). Furthermore, it is suggested that the supposed anterior cervical vertebrae of Masiakasaurus, Laevisuchus and Noasaurus possibly correspond to a more posterior position than previously considered. Contrary to abelisaurids, the morphology of the anterior cervical vertebrae of noasaurids indicates that they probably were long neck theropods resembling ornithomimid coelurosaurs. Therefore, the occurrence of oviraptorosaurs in Argentina is rejected.

Pereda-Suberbiola, X., Fuentes, C., Meijide, M., Meijide-Fuentes, F., and Meijide-Fuentes, M., Jr. 2007. New remains of the ankylosaurian dinosaur Polacanthus from the Lower Cretaceous of Soria, Spain. Cretaceous Research. doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2006.09.001.

ABSTRACT: The Zorralbo locality of the eastern Cameros Basin, near Soria, Spain, has produced a diverse dinosaur assemblage from the Lower Cretaceous Golmayo Formation. Ankylosaurs are represented by dorsal vertebrae and ribs, a fragmentary sacrum and ilium, and several types of dermal armour. Most, if not all, of the material probably belongs to a single medium to large-sized adult individual. The Soria remains are referred to Polacanthus on the basis of the presence of conical, ungrooved presacral spines, a sacropelvic shield composed of irregularly arranged bosses and small tubercles, large spined plates, and hollow-based triangular caudal plates with an extended posterior basal edge and a pointed spine. Polacanthus is well known from the Wealden Group (Barremian-Aptian) of the Isle of Wight and from the Weald Clay Group of West Sussex (England). In addition, isolated remains have been reported from the penicontemporaneous formations of the Iberian Peninsula. The Soria outcrop is currently the most productive Polacanthus site outside England. Moreover, it has yielded the oldest record (late Hauterivian to basal Barremian according to charophyte association) of this ankylosaur known to date in Europe. Minor anatomic differences between the Soria material and the taxa P. foxii (type-species) and P. rudgwickensis suggest the presence of a third species of Polacanthus in the Iberian Peninsula, but additional material is needed to confirm this interpretation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jerry D. Harris Director of Paleontology Dixie State College Science Building 225 South 700 East St. George, UT 84770 USA Phone: (435) 652-7758 Fax: (435) 656-4022 E-mail: jharris@dixie.edu and dinogami@gmail.com http://cactus.dixie.edu/jharris/


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