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The Hunt For Red New Papers

Sarah S. gets credit for this title!

Gunga, H.-C., Suthau, T., Bellmann, A., Stoinski, S., Friedrich, A.,
Trippel, T., Kirsch, K., and Hellwich, O. 2008. A new body mass estimation
of Brachiosaurus brancai Janensch, 1914 mounted and exhibited at the Museum
of Natural History (Berlin, Germany). Fossil Record 11(1):28-33. doi:

ABSTRACT: Body mass and surface areas are important in several aspects for
an organism living today. Therefore, mass and surface determinations for
extinct dinosaurs could be important for paleo-biological aspects as well.
Based on photogrammetrical measurement the body mass and body surface area
of the Late Jurassic Brachiosaurus brancai Janensch, 1914 from Tendaguru
(East Africa), a skeleton mounted and exhibited at the Museum of Natural
History in Berlin (Germany), has been re-evaluated. We determined for a slim
type of 3D reconstruction of Brachiosaurus brancai a total volume of 47.6 m
which represents, assuming of mean tissue density of 0.8 kg per 1,000 cm3, a
total body mass of 38,000 kg. The volume distributions from the head to the
tail were as follows: 0.2 m3 for the head, neck 7.3 m3, fore limbs 2.9 m3,
hind limbs 2.6 m3, thoracic-abdominal cavity 32.4 m3, tail 2.2 m3. The total
body surface area was calculated to be 119.1 m2, specifically 1.5 m2 for the
head, 26 m2 neck, fore limbs 18.8 m2, hind limbs 16.4 m2, 44.2 m2
thoracic-abdominal cavity, and finally the tail 12.2 m2. Finally, allometric
equations were used to estimate presumable organ sizes of this extinct
dinosaur and to test whether their dimensions really fit into the thoracic
and abdominal cavity of Brachiosaurus brancai if a slim body shape of this
sauropod is assumed.

Wilson, L.E. 2008. Comparative taphonomy and paleoecological reconstruction
of two microvertebrate accumulations from the Late Cretaceous Hell Creek
Formation (Maastrichtian), eastern Montana. Palaios 23(5):289-297. doi:

ABSTRACT: Although microvertebrate accumulations are commonly used for
paleoecological reconstructions, taphonomic processes affecting the final
taxonomic composition of an accumulation are often ignored. This research
explores the effects of abiotic taphonomic processes on the taxonomic
composition of terrestrial microvertebrate accumulations by comparing a
floodplain and a channel lag deposit from the Maastrichtian Hell Creek
Formation in eastern Montana. Distribution of skeletal elements with
specific physical attributes and relative abundance of taxa correlate with
the hydraulic indicators (i.e., grain size, sedimentary structures) of the
depositional facies. Transport distances, hydraulic equivalencies of
dominant skeletal elements, amount of hydraulic sorting and reworking, and
degree of time averaging vary between deposits and significantly affect
taxonomic distributions. Relative abundance data, in conjunction with
chi-square test results and rank-order analysis, show that size, shape,
abrasion, and taxonomic compositions vary significantly between assemblages.
The fine-grained assemblage is dominated by tabular, low-density elements,
such as cycloid scales and fish vertebrae. Dense, equidimensional elements,
such as teeth and ganoid fish scales, dominate the sandstone assemblage.
Rank-order analysis results demonstrate that relative abundance of
hydraulically equivalent skeletal elements from morphologically similar
organisms can be compared regardless of accumulation in nonisotaphonomic
deposits. Statistical comparisons were made among osteichthyans using ganoid
scales, caudates using vertebrae, ornithischians using teeth, and
testudinates using shell fragments. Results show that portions of the
assemblage analyzed using hydrodynamically equivalent elements are not
significantly different, despite different depositional environments.

Fiorillo, A.R. 2008. On the occurrence of exceptionally large teeth of
Troodon (Dinosauria: Saurischia) from the Late Cretaceous of northern
Alaska. Palaios 23(5):322-328. doi: 10.2110/palo.2007.p07-036r.

ABSTRACT: Exceptionally large teeth attributable to the theropod genus
Troodon are abundant in Upper Cretaceous rocks (Campanian?Maastrichtian) of
northern Alaska. The dominance of low-angle light in this Cretaceous
high-latitude environment seems to have selected for an abundance of
Troodon. The population of these Alaskan specimens? morphologically the same
as teeth attributable to this taxon in other regions?show a mean
approximately twice the size of those found in such southern latitudes as
southern Alberta and Montana. Microwear patterns on the teeth of this taxon
in Alaska and Montana suggest that these animals were eating similar food
items. There appears to be good correlation between tooth size and body size
in theropods, thereby allowing the inference that the increase in the size
of Alaskan Troodon teeth equates to an increase in body size. The increased
body size for Alaskan Troodon is likely related to increased availability of
food resources as a result of decreased numbers of other predatory
dinosaurs, particularly tyrannosaurids, in the ecosystem.

Lindgren, J., Currie, P.J., Rees, J., Siverson, M., Lindström, S., and
Alwmark, C. 2008. Theropod dinosaur teeth from the lowermost Cretaceous
Rabekke Formation on Bornhom, Denmark. Geobios 41(2):253-262. doi:

ABSTRACT: The dinosaur fauna of the palynologically dated lower Berriasian
Skyttegård Member of the Rabekke Formation on the Baltic island of Bornholm,
Denmark, is represented by isolated tooth crowns. The assemblage is
restricted to small maniraptoran theropods, assigned to the Dromaeosauridae
incertae sedis and Maniraptora incertae sedis. The dromaeosaurid teeth are
characterized by their labiolingually compressed and distally curved crowns
that are each equipped with a lingually flexed mesial carina and a
distinctly denticulated distal cutting edge. A morphologically aberrant
tooth crown (referred to as Maniraptora incertae sedis) has triangular
denticles of uneven width, a feature occasionally found in Upper Cretaceous
hesperornithiform toothed diving birds, but also in premaxillary teeth of
the velociraptorine Nuthetes from the Lower Cretaceous of England.

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

"There's a saying that goes 'people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw
stones'... OK. How about...NOBODY should throw stones. That's crappy
behavior! My policy is 'no stone-throwing regardless of housing situation.'
There's an exception, though. If you're TRAPPED in a glass house...and you
have a stone, then throw it! What are you, an idiot? It's really 'ONLY
people in glass houses should throw stones'... provided they're trapped, in
a house... with a stone. It's a little longer, but you know..."
                                 --- Demetri Martin