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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
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:
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:
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.
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
225 South 700 East
St. George, UT 84770 USA
Phone: (435) 652-7758
Fax: (435) 656-4022
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