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Funny New Papers

Hone, D.W.E., and Rauhut, O.W.M. 2009. Feeding behaviour and bone utilization 
by theropod dinosaurs. Lethaia. doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2009.00187.x.

ABSTRACT: Examples of bone exploitation by carnivorous theropod dinosaurs are 
relatively rare, representing an apparent waste of both mineral and energetic 
resources. A review of the known incidences and possible ecological 
implications of theropod bone use concludes that there is currently no 
definitive evidence supporting the regular deliberate ingestion of bone by 
these predators. However, further investigation is required as the small bones 
of juvenile dinosaurs missing from the fossil record may be absent as a result 
of theropods preferentially hunting and consuming juveniles. We discuss 
implications for both hunting and feeding in theropods based on the existing 
data. We conclude that, like modern predators, theropods preferentially hunted 
and ate juvenile animals leading to the absence of small, and especially young, 
dinosaurs in the fossil record. The traditional view of large theropods hunting 
the adults of large or giant dinosaur species is therefore considered unlikely 
and such events rare.

Lawing, A.M., and Polly, P.D. 2009. Geometric morphometrics: recent 
applications to the study of evolution and development. Journal of Zoology. 
doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00620.x.

ABSTRACT: The field of morphometrics is developing quickly and recent advances 
allow for geometric techniques to be applied easily to many zoological 
problems. This paper briefly introduces geometric morphometric techniques and 
then reviews selected areas where those techniques have been applied to 
questions of general interest. This paper is relevant to non-specialists 
looking for an entry into geometric morphometric methods and for ideas of how 
to incorporate them into the study of variation within and between species, the 
measurement of developmental stability, the role of development in shaping 
evolution and the special problem of measuring the shape of fossil specimens 
that are deformed from their original shape.

Klein, N., Scheyer, T., and TÃtken, T. 2009. Skeletochronology and isotopic 
analysis of a captive individual of Alligator mississippiensis Daudin, 1802. 
Fossil Record 12(2):121-131. doi: 10.1002/mmng.200900002.

ABSTRACT: In the present study, bone histology and isotope composition (C, N, 
O) of a femur and three postcranial osteoderms from an approximately 23-25 
year-old captive female Alligator mississippiensis Daudin, 1802 were analyzed 
to infer the recorded life history. The number of visible annual growth marks 
in the femur cross-section is less than the known age for the individual 
concerned, this information clearly shows that skeletochronology has certain 
limits. However, bone histology reflects very well the traceable life history 
of this individual and its slow growth in early ontogeny. Bone histology on the 
basis of the osteoderms shows massive remodeling and an only incompletely 
preserved growth record, reflecting the egg-laying status of this individual. 
Interestingly, the carbon and especially the nitrogen isotope compositions of 
the osteoderms differ from those of the femur. This presumably reflects dietary 
changes and/or differences in resorption and remodeling processes during tissue 
formation of these bones. The N, C, and O isotope composition of the femur is 
consistent with the food and water the alligator had ingested during the last 
years of its life. Thus, contrary to the osteoderms, the femur yields reliable 
data for the reconstruction of an individual's dietary and environmental 

Bussert, R., Heinrich, W.-D., and Aberhan, M. 2009. The Tendaguru Formation 
(Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous, southern Tanzania): definition, 
palaeoenvironments, and sequence stratigraphy. Fossil Record 12(2):141-174. 
doi: 10.1002/mmng.200900004.

ABSTRACT: The well-known Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous Tendaguru Beds of 
southern Tanzania have yielded fossil plant remains, invertebrates and 
vertebrates, notably dinosaurs, of exceptional scientific importance. Based on 
data of the German-Tanzanian Tendaguru Expedition 2000 and previous studies, 
and in accordance with the international stratigraphic guide, we raise the 
Tendaguru Beds to formational rank and recognise six members (from bottom to 
top): Lower Dinosaur Member, Nerinella Member, Middle Dinosaur Member, 
Indotrigonia africana Member, Upper Dinosaur Member, and Rutitrigonia 
bornhardti-schwarzi Member. We characterise and discuss each member in detail 
in terms of derivation of name, definition of a type section, distribution, 
thickness, lithofacies, boundaries, palaeontology, and age. The age of the 
whole formation apparently ranges at least from the middle Oxfordian to the 
Valanginian through Hauterivian or possibly Aptian. The Tendaguru Formation 
constitutes a cyclic sedimentary succession, consisting of three marginal 
marine, sandstone-dominated depositional units and three predominantly coastal 
to tidal plain, fine-grained depositional units with dinosaur remains. It 
represents four third-order sequences, which are composed of transgressive and 
highstand systems tracts. Sequence boundaries are represented by transgressive 
ravinement surfaces and maximum flooding surfaces. In a more simple way, the 
depositional sequences can be subdivided into transgressive and regressive 
sequences/systems tracts. Whereas the transgressive systems tracts are mainly 
represented by shallow marine shoreface, tidal channel and sand bar sandstones, 
the regressive systems tracts predominantly consist of shallow tidal channel, 
tidal flat, and marginal lagoonal to supratidal deposits.

Schnyder, J., Dejax, J., Keppens, E., Nguyen Tu Thanh, T., Spagna, P., Slah, 
B., Galbrun, B., Riboulleau, A., Tshibangu, J.-P., and Yans, J. 2009. An Early 
Cretaceous lacustrine record: organic matter and organic carbon-isotopes at 
Bernissart (Mons Basin, Belgium). Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, 
Palaeoecology. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.07.014.

ABSTRACT: The early Cretaceous Bernissart lake deposits (Mons Basin, Belgium) 
constitute an important historical site in the field of palaeontology. In this 
study, we focus on the organic matter (OM) content of the 50 m-long borehole 
core, âBer 3â, drilled at Bernissart. Organic data (Rock-Eval, palynofacies, 
C/N ratios) and carbon isotope measurements on bulk OM and selected, isolated 
wood fragments were collected. The OM distribution exhibits two total organic 
carbon (TOC) cycles (12 m and 38 m-thick, respectively) that are stacked in a 
lower frequency cyclic pattern. A general increase of in situ aquatic 
production and preservation of OM through time is evidenced within the 
freshwater masses. A spectral analysis of a high-resolution gamma-ray record 
demonstrates that the sedimentation was controlled by orbitally-induced 
climatic changes. Precession, obliquity and short- and long-term eccentricity 
cycles are recognized. The 12 m-thick and the 38 m-thick TOC cycles fit well 
with a 100 kyr short term and a 400 kyr long-term eccentricity cycle, 
respectively. Long-term organic fluctuations are interpreted as resulting from 
orbitally-induced fluctuating lake levels through time. Carbon isotope 
evolution of bulk OM is thought to reflect firstly two local patterns of 
sedimentation: (1) the changing contribution of in situ amorphous organic 
matter versus terrestrial OM, and (2), the possible influence of enhanced 
productivity. The negative Î13CWOOD trend recorded at Bernissart seems 
equivalent to published coeval Î13CWOOD and Î13CCARB in the Upper Barremian to 
Lower Aptian. This trend noted at Bernissart is thus regarded as reflecting 
changes of the carbon isotope ratios of atmospheric CO2. Previous presented 
palynological data suggest a âmiddleâ Barremian to Lowermost Aptian 
stratigraphic range for the succession at Bernissart. According to this new 
data-set, we refine the age-assignment for Bernissart: the duration of 
deposition is now estimated to range between 0.55 and 2.2 myr in the Upper 
mian to L

Schwarz-Wings, D., Rees, J., and Lindgren, J. 2009. Lower Cretaceous 
mesoeucrocodylians from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden). Cretaceous Research. 
doi: 10.1016/j.cretres.2009.07.011.

ABSTRACT: The crocodyliform faunas of the lowermost Cretaceous Rabekke and 
JydegÃrd Formations on the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark, and the Annero 
Formation of SkÃne, southernmost Sweden, are represented by isolated teeth, 
osteoderms, and vertebrae. The rich Berriasian assemblage of the Rabekke 
Formation includes at least three distinctive taxa: Bernissartia sp., 
Theriosuchus sp., and Goniopholis sp., an association that is also known from 
several other contemporaneous European vertebrate localities. In contrast to 
this fauna, the JydegÃrd and Annero formations have yielded only rare 
mesoeucrocodylian remains, which are assigned to Theriosuchus sp. and an 
undetermined mesoeucrocodylians taxon, possibly Pholidosaurus. Geographically, 
the Scandinavian localities represent the easternmost and northernmost 
distribution of typical continental Jurassic-Cretaceous crocodyliform 
communities in Europe.

LÃ, J., Azuma, Y., Dong, Z., Barsbold, R., Kobayashi, Y., and Lee, Y.-N. 2009. 
New material of dsungaripterid pterosaurs (Pterosauria: Pterodactyloidea) from 
western Mongolia and its palaeoecological implications. Geological Magazine 
146(5):690-700. doi: 10.1017/S0016756809006414.

ABSTRACT: New material of dsungaripterid pterosaurs from the Early Cretaceous 
of Tatal, western Mongolia, allows the diagnoses of Dsungaripteridae and 
Noripterus to be amended. All pterosaurs found at Tatal belong to 
Dsungaripteridae (either Dsungaripterus or Noripterus). The name Phobetor is a 
junior synonym of Noripterus. The differing shapes of the anterior tips of 
skulls, differing tooth morphologies and the coexistence of both Dsungaripterus 
and Noripterus may imply that they occupied distinct ecological niches.

Cope, J.C.W. 2009. Correlation problems in the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Upper 
Jurassic, UK): lithostratigraphy versus biostratigraphy and chronostratigraphy. 
Geological Magazine 146(2):266-275. doi: 10.1017/S0016756808005852.

ABSTRACT: A scheme of grouped lithostratigraphical units (âbedsâ) proposed for 
the English Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation has been claimed to be 
also chronostratigraphical, but some of the resulting time-correlations 
conflict with those of the standard chronozonation based on ammonite 
biostratigraphy. Review of some critical ammonite species reaffirms the 
validity of the ammonite zonal scheme and shows that mismatching of lithologies 
(facies-correlations) has led to incorrect time-correlations. Because the 
numbering scheme of âbedsâ was based on correlations of attenuated successions, 
it is on too coarse a time-scale to identify many non-sequences, and its 
usefulness as a chronostratigraphical tool is questioned. Evidence suggests 
that at least some calcareous concretions in the Kimmeridge Clay formed at 
shallow depths, which is relevant to discussions of the succession in terms of 
basin analysis.

Dalla Vecchia, F.M. 2009. Anatomy and systematics of the pterosaur 
Carniadactylus gen. n. rosenfeldi (Dalla Vecchia, 1995). Rivista Italiana di 
Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 115(2):159-188.

ABSTRACT: The holotype specimen of the non-pterodactyloid pterosaur 
Eudimorphodon rosenfeldi from the Late Triassic (Norian) of NE Italy is 
described in detail and compared to the other specimens referred in literature 
to the genus Eudimorphodon. It is considered conspecific with the specimen MPUM 
6009 from the Norian of NW Italy, previously attributed to Eudimorphodon 
ranzii. A new genus, Carniadactylus, is proposed for the two specimens based on 
the apomorphic shape of the âcoronoidâ process, coracoid and pteroid, wing 
phalanx proportions and the several anatomical differences with E. ranzii and 
âEudimorphodonâ cromptonellus. No definitive evidence of a juvenile stage 
occurs in the two specimens. A phylogenetic analysis using parsimony shows that 
Carniadactylus is nested inside the Campylognathoididae and is the sister-group 
of Caviramus schesaplanensis + âRaeticodactylusâ filisurensis. The systematics 
of specimens referred in the literature to Eudimorphodon is reviewed.

Vila, B., Galobart, A., Oms, O., Poza, B., and Bravo, A.M. 2009. Assessing the 
nesting strategies of Late Cretaceous titanosaurs: 3-D clutch geometry from a 
new megaloolithid eggsite. Lethaia. doi: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2009.00183.x

ABSTRACT: Detailed mapping and excavation at the egg locality of Font del 
Bullidor (Vallcebre Syncline, NE Iberian Peninsula) document various clutches 
with megaloolithid (Megaloolithus siruguei) eggs and provide significant 
information on the mode of incubation of Late Cretaceous titanosaurs. Clutches 
of eggs are preserved in a greyish lagoonal mudstone deposited overlying a 
sinuous channel infill. Despite the lithological uniformity of the mudstone, 
clutch architecture can be inferred from the topographical position of the eggs 
within some clutches. Mapping methods underscore the importance of documenting 
the spatial relationship of the egg-bearing bed and the mapping plan, as well 
as an accurate 3-D coordinate acquisition. Both geometry of the clutches and 
taphonomic observations on particular eggs indicate that eggs were laid in a 
shallow pit excavated into the substrate. Most of the eggs were incubated under 
a cover of sediment before hatching or cracking. This corroborates previous 
inferences on nesting mode.

Desojo, J.B., and Vizcaino, S.F. 2009. Jaw biomechanics of the South American 
aetosaur Neoaetosauroides engaeus. Palaontologische Zeitschrift. doi: 

ABSTRACT: The function of the jaw apparatus and the possible dietary habits of 
the aetosaur Neoaetosauroides engaeus from the Triassic of South America were 
analyzed in comparison with Northern Hemisphere aetosaurs Desmatosuchus 
haplocerus and Stagonolepis robertsoni and the living short-snouted crocodile 
Alligator mississippiensis. The adductor and depressor jaw musculature of these 
was reconstructed on the basis of dental and skeletal comparisons with living 
closest relativesâ extant phylogenetic bracket (EPB), followed by the analysis 
of the moment arms of these muscles to infer feeding habits. The aetosaurian 
skull design indicates that the total leverage of the inferred jaw musculature 
provides force rather than speed. However, within aetosaurs, the high ratios of 
muscle moment arms to bite moments indicate stronger bites in the northern 
Hemisphere forms, and faster ones in Neoaetosauroides. These differences 
indicate more developed crushing, chopping, and slicing capacities, especially 
at the back of the tooth series for D. haplocerus and S. robertsoni; whereas it 
opens a window to consider different abilities in which speed is involved for 
N. engaeus. There are differences among aetosaurs in dental characteristics, 
position of the supratemporal fenestra, location of the jaw joint relative to 
the tooth row, and shape of the lower jaw. Neoaetosauroides does not show 
evidence of dental serrations and wear facets, probably consistent with a 
relatively soft and non-abrasive diet, for example soft leaves and/or larvae 
and insects without hard structures. It might be possible that Neoaetosauroides 
represents a tendency towards insectivorous feeding habits, exploiting a food 
source that was widespread in continental environments throughout the Triassic.

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

"Experience is what you get when
you didn't get what you wanted."

                                 -- unknown