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New Papers Dangerous

Yes, I've been lapse again...but seems like there hasn't been a heckuva lot
coming out lately...!  Here's a few, though -- thanks to DF and LG for some
of these!:

Hocknull, S.A., and Cook, A.G. 2008. Hypsilophodontid (Dinosauria:
Ornithischia) from latest Albian, Winton Formation, central Queensland.
Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 52(2):212.

     (this one available free at

Filoramo, N.I., and Schwenk, K. 2008. The mechanism of chemical delivery to
the vomeronasal organs in squamate reptiles: a comparative morphological
approach. Journal of Experimental Zoology. doi: 10.1002/jez.492.

ABSTRACT: Vomeronasal chemoreception, an important chemical sense in
squamate reptiles (lizards and snakes), is mediated by paired vomeronasal
organs (VNOs), which are only accessible via ducts opening through the
palate anteriorly. We comparatively examined the morphology of the oral
cavity in lizards with unforked tongues to elucidate the mechanism of stage
I delivery (transport of chemical-laden fluid from the tongue tips to the
VNO fenestrae) and to test the generality of the Gillingham and Clark (1981.
Can J Zool 59:1651-1657) hypothesis (based on derived snakes), which
suggests that the sublingual plicae act as the direct conveyors of chemicals
to the VNOs. At rest, the foretongue lies within a chamber formed by the
sublingual plicae ventrally and the palate dorsally, with little or no space
around the anterior foretongue when the mouth is closed. There is a
remarkable conformity between the shape of this chamber and the shape of the
foretongue. We propose a hydraulic mechanism for stage I chemical transport
in squamates: during mouth closure, the compliant tongue is compressed
within this cavity and the floor of the mouth is elevated, expressing fluid
from the sublingual glands within the plicae. Chemical-laden fluid covering
the tongue tips is forced dorsally and posteriorly toward the VNO fenestrae.
In effect, the tongue acts as a piston, pressurizing the fluid surrounding
the foretongue so that chemical transport to the VNO ducts is effected
almost instantaneously. Our findings falsify the Gillingham and Clark (1981.
Can J Zool 59:1651-1657) hypothesis for lizards lacking forked, retractile

Rainforth, E.C., and Howard, M. 2008. Swimming theropods? A new
investigation of unusual theropod footprints from Dinosaur State Park, Rocky
Hill, CT (Newark Supergroup, eastern North America). Geological Society of
America Abstracts with Programs 40(2).

ABSTRACT: Dinosaur State Park (Rocky Hill, CT) is the site of a large
track-bearing surface in the Hettangian East Berlin Formation (Newark
Supergroup, Hartford Basin) dominated by the prints of theropod dinosaurs.
The main track surface is a medium- to coarse-grained poorly sorted
micaceous sandstone with subangular grains (mostly quartz); most of the
silt- to coarse-sand sized mica is on the bedding planar surface. The East
Berlin Formation is an example of one of the cyclical lacustrine units of
the Hartford basin. Most of the theropod footprints are large (Eubrontes cf.
giganteus) although smaller examples occur. Several prints are infilled by
ripple-marked sandstone, with very little of the footprint morphology
visible; therefore, it is likely that the main track-bearing surface is the
surface these dinosaurs were walking on. Several trackways bear prints of
unusual morphology, interpreted by Coombs (1980, Science v 207 p 1198) as
tracks of swimming dinosaurs. These prints are tridactyl, consisting of
three parallel grooves, the outer ones often 'pinching' in the middle while
the central groove tends to be shorter and terminates posteriorly in a
circular or semi-circular impression. Three parallel trackways each exhibit
variation in preservation and morphology in the same direction on the track
surface (regardless of the direction the trackmaker was walking in);
trackways perpendicular to these show no variation in morphology. An
isolated footprint is intermediate in morphology between the 'true'
Eubrontes morphology and the 'swim-tracks', with both grooves and phalangeal
pads present. One 'swim-track' is partially overprinted by a Eubrontes. We
interpret these 'swim-tracks' as poorly-preserved footprints made on the
main track-bearing surface prior to the main period of track-making (i.e,
before the 'normal' Eubrontes prints); the grooves are simply poorly
preserved digits, rather than claw drag-marks made by a dinosaur pushing off
the lake-bed while swimming.

     (available at

Pérez-Lorente, F., and Jiménez Vela, A. 2008. Barranco de Valdegutiérrez: un
nuevo gran yacimiento de huellas de dinosaurio en La Rioja (España). Zubía
Monográfico 18-19:9-20.

Requeta Loza, L.E., Medrano, N.H., and Pérez-Lorente, F. 2008. La Pellejera:
descripción y aportaciones. Heterocronía y variabilidad de un yacimiento con
huellas de dinosaurio de La Rioja (España). Zubía Monográfico 18-19:21-114.

Jiménez Vela, A., and Pérez-Lorente, F. 2008. El corral del Totico: dos
nuevos yacimientos con pistas singulares. (Enciso, La Rioja. España). Zubía
Monográfico 18-19:115-144.

Poole, K.E. 2008. A New Specimen of Iguanodontian Dinosaur from the Cedar
Mountain Formation, Grand County, Utah. Master's thesis thesis/dissertation,
Earth and Planetary Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, 56 pp. 

ABSTRACT: A new iguanodontian specimen from the Yellowcat Member (Barremian)
of the Cedar Mountain Formation is described. Elements excavated include an
ilium, ischium, femur, astragulus, and several caudal vertebrae, though more
material remains in the quarry. The ilium is clearly distinguished from that
of the previously described iguanodontians of the Cedar Mountain Formation,
Cedrorestes crichtoni, Planicoxa venenica, and Eolambia caroljonesa, by its
transversely compressed pubic peduncle and lack of a suprailiac crest
(=antitrochanter). The ischium shows the typically iguanodontian characters
of a proximally placed obturator process and expanded distal boot, but
unlike most other taxa, the shaft is straight. The femur is straight in
cranial view, but bows cranially in its distal half. It has a rectangular
fourth trochanter placed in the middle of the shaft. It is possible this
specimen could belong to either Dakotadon lakotaensis (=Iguanodon
lakotaensis) or Theiophytalia kerri, as these taxa are known only from
cranial material. As more material remains in the quarry, and it is possible
that this material could be assigned to a known taxon, it is not named at
this time. Also found in this quarry, and described herein, are a tooth and
articulated surangular and articular assigned to Utahraptor ostrommaysi.

Previtera, E., and González Riga, B.J. 2008. Vertebrados Cretácicos de la
Formación Loncoche en Calmu-Co, Mendoza, Argentina. Ameghiniana

ABSTRACT: We describe new fossil vertebrates from the Loncoche Formation in
the Calmu-Co area of Mendoza Province, Argentina. At this site the lower
section of the formation corresponds to lacustrine and  meandering fluvial
environments (facies associations A and B, respectively), whereas the middle
levels of the formation are assigned to marginal marine deposits (facies
association C). The vertebrates were found in facies association C and
include fishes (i.e., Chondrichthyes, Teleostei, Lepisosteidae and Dipnoi),
Chelidae turtles (cf. Yaminuechelys, cf. Prochelidella), dinosaurs
(Titanosauria) and plesiosaurs (Elasmosauridae). The remains, found in
clastic and calcareous facies (mudstones and grainstones), are interpreted
to reflect channel and deltaic plain environments. The diverse ecology
(terrestrial, fresh water, marine) and the fragmentary character of these
skeletal concentrations suggest mixing of fossil remains from littoral
environments and fluvial systems. Our findings indicate that the Atlantic
marine ingression that covered northern Patagonia reached Calmu-Co, in the
western part of the Neuquén basin. Vertebrates from Calmu-Co area are
assigned to the late Campanian-early Maastrichtian on the basis of
similarities with vertebrates assemblages found in other sites within
Mendoza (Ranquil-Có) and northern Patagonia (Río Negro and Chubut provinces,
Allen, La Colonia and Los Alamitos formations).

Platt, B.F., and Hasiotis, S.T. 2008. A new system for describing and
classifying tetrapod tail traces with implications for interpreting the
dinosaur tail trace record. Palaios 23(1):3-13. doi:

ABSTRACT: We introduce new terminology and a new classification scheme for
describing tetrapod tail traces, focusing on the interpretation of dinosaur
tail traces. Our classification divides tail traces into (1) tail
impressions?there is no evidence of forward motion; (2) protracted tail
traces?they persist for at least one stride length; and (3) abbreviated tail
traces?they persist for less than one stride length. Protracted tail traces
are simple or compound, based on the amount of interruption of the tail
trace, which we quantify by the percent interruption metric (PIM).
Abbreviated tail traces are also simple or compound. Classifications are
modified further by sinuosity, which we describe as low or high. The PIM
approximates vertical tail motion, and sinuosity approximates lateral tail
motion. Sediment variations, preservation, and lateral motion resulting from
locomotion must be taken into consideration when interpreting tail traces.
This new classification scheme is applied to a partial theropod trackway
with associated tail trace from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation,
Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, United States. The tail trace is protracted and
simple with low sinuosity and a low PIM; we interpret this as the result of
relatively low tail motion. We hypothesize that significant differences
exist between ornithopod and theropod tail trace patterns. We also suggest
that protracted tail traces associated with bipedal dinosaur trackways are
not the result of the use of the tail as a stabilizing third leg; some may
represent incidental contact of the sediment by the tail owing to backward
rotation about the pelvis during deceleration.

Bates, K.R., Rarity, F., Manning, P.L., Hodgetts, D., Vila, B., Oms, O.,
Galobart, A., and Gawthorpe, R.L. 2008. High-resolution LiDAR and
photogrammetric survey of the Fumanya dinosaur tracksites (Catalonia):
implications for the conservation and interpretation of geological heritage
sites. Journal of the Geological Society of London 165(1):115-127. doi:

ABSTRACT: Increasing political and social awareness of the importance of
protecting the geological heritage is compelling geoscientists to consider
new methods for reconciling conservation and exploration of their research
sites. Terrestrial Light Detection And Range (LiDAR) imaging is an accurate
method of collecting 3D spatial data that has so far been under-utilized in
the geological sciences. This aim of this paper is to assess the value of
integrated LiDAR and photogrammetric imaging as a tool for synchronizing
scientific exploration with conservation of geological heritage sites.
Fumanya (Catalonia) is one of the most important Cretaceous tracksites in
Europe, but the nature of exposure of the track-bearing surface has hindered
quantitative documentation of the ichnites. Using integrated Light Detection
And Range (LiDAR) imaging and photogrammetry it has been possible to
construct high-resolution Digital Outcrop Models (DOM) of the tracksites.
Photo-textured DOMs are a powerful visualization tool and function as fully
3D interactive databases that preserve information about the site that would
otherwise be lost to erosion. LiDAR-derived DOMs have the potential to
contribute profoundly to future geoconservation projects, particularly as a
tool for documenting and monitoring heritage sites and promoting education
and tourism. LiDAR scanning also provides sufficient resolution to perform
robust quantitative analysis of dinosaur tracks.

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

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