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New Papers: Revenge of the Fallen



I think that many of these have already been mentioned on-list, and I apologize 
for any duplications, but I've not been able to peruse archives much while 
traveling...



Barrett, P.M. 2009. The affinities of the enigmatic dinosaur Eshanosaurus 
deguchiianus from the Early Jurassic of Yunnan Province, People's Republic of 
China. Palaeontology. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2009.00887.x.

ABSTRACT: Eshanosaurus deguchiianus is based on a single left dentary from the 
Lower Lufeng Formation (Lower Jurassic) of Yunnan Province, China. It was 
originally identified as the earliest known member of Therizinosauroidea 
(Theropoda: Coelurosauria), a conclusion that results in a significant downward 
range extension for this clade (>65 million years) and for many other major 
lineages within Coelurosauria. However, this interpretation has been questioned 
and several authors have proposed that the anatomical features used to refer 
Eshanosaurus to Therizinosauroidea are more consistent with attribution to a 
basal sauropodomorph dinosaur. Detailed consideration of the holotype specimen 
suggests that several features of the dentary and dentition exclude 
Eshanosaurus from Sauropodomorpha and support its inclusion within 
Therizinosauroidea. If accepted as an Early Jurassic coelurosaur, Eshanosaurus 
has important implications for understanding the timing and tempo of early 
theropod diversification. Moreover, its provenance also suggests that 
substantial portions of the coelurosaur fossil record may be missing or 
unsampled. However, the Early Jurassic age of Eshanosaurus requires 
confirmation if this taxon is to be fully incorporated into broader 
evolutionary studies.




Packard, G.C., Boardman, T.J., and Birchard, G.F. 2009. Allometric equations 
for predicting body mass of dinosaurs. Journal of Zoology. doi: 
10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00594.x.

ABSTRACT: We use data from the literature to compare two statistical procedures 
for estimating mass (or size) of quadrupedal dinosaurs and other 
extraordinarily large animals in extinct lineages. Both methods entail 
extrapolation from allometric equations fitted to data for a reference group of 
contemporary animals having a body form similar to that of the dinosaurs. The 
first method is the familiar one of fitting a straight line to logarithmic 
transformations, followed by back-transformation of the resulting equation to a 
two-parameter power function in the arithmetic scale. The second procedure 
entails fitting a two-parameter power function directly to arithmetic data for 
the extant forms by nonlinear regression. In the example presented here, the 
summed circumferences for humerus plus femur for 33 species of quadrupedal 
mammals was the predictor variable in the reference sample and body mass was 
the response variable. The allometric equation obtained by back-transformation 
from logarithms was not a good fit to the largest species in the reference 
sample and presumably led to grossly inaccurate estimates for body mass of 
several large dinosaurs. In contrast, the allometric equation obtained by 
nonlinear regression described data in the reference sample quite well, and it 
presumably resulted in better estimates for body mass of the dinosaurs. The 
problem with the traditional analysis can be traced to change in the 
relationship between predictor and response variables attending transformation, 
thereby causing measurements for large animals not to be weighted appropriately 
in fitting models by least squares regression. Extrapolations from statistical 
models obtained by back-transformation from lines fitted to logarithms are 
unlikely to yield reliable predictions for body size in extinct animals. 
Numerous reports on the biology of dinosaurs, including recent studies of 
growth, may need to be reconsidered in light of our findings.




Britt, B.B., Eberth, D.A., Scheetz, R.A., Greenhalgh, B.W., and Stadtman, K.L. 
2009. Taphonomy of debris flow-hosted dinosaur bonebeds at Dalton Wells, Utah 
(Lower Cretaceous, Cedar Mountain Formation, USA). Palaeogeography, 
Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. doi: 10.1016/j.palaeo.2009.06.004.

ABSTRACT: A taphonomic study of the Lower Cretaceous, Dalton Wells (DW) 
dinosaur bonebeds near Moab, Utah, provides insight into the origins, 
preservational biases, and paleobiological significance of one of the richest 
and most diverse Early Cretaceous dinosaur sites known. The bonebeds occur in a 
stacked succession of debris flows at the base of the Yellow Cat Member of the 
Cedar Mountain Formation, which was deposited in a seasonally-dry, 
alluvial-lacustrine setting. Although only 5% of the locality has been 
collected, more than 4200 bones were recovered, representing an assemblage 
overwhelmingly dominated by dinosaurs – with a minimum of 67 individuals that 
represent at least eight genera. The assemblage also includes eight elements 
from four non-dinosaurian reptiles. The dinosaur fauna is sauropod-dominated 
(MNI [Minimum Number of Individuals] = 41): a basal macronarian (MNI = 15), 
Venenosaurus (MNI = 3), a camarasaurid (MNI = 2), and a large number (MNI = 21) 
of generically unassigned sauropod elements. Other dinosaurs include the 
theropods Utahraptor (MNI = 9), Nedcolbertia (MNI = 2), a possible ornithomimid 
(MNI = 2), plus a large iguanodontid (MNI = 4), and the ankylosaurid, Gastonia 
(MNI = 9).
     Patterns of skeletal articulation and clustering, ontogenetic 
representation, and bone surface modification indicate that the assemblage 
accumulated and was exposed for more than a year as the result one or more 
multiple mass mortality events, likely droughts, that culled large numbers of 
subadults from the biocoenose.
    Carcasses and disarticulated elements were reworked, then later transported 
a short distance and buried by a succession of debris flows. Skeletal 
representation data, patterns of sorting, breakage, burrows, abrasion, and 
scratch marks provide evidence for sorting, trampling, and scavenging prior to 
debris flow reworking. Pre-debris-flow sorting is attributed to earlier 
hydraulic winnowing of easily transported elements. The intensity and 
thoroughness of breakage involving 97% of the elements suggest highly-focused, 
high-load impacts, compatible with trampling by sauropods and iguanodontids. 
Lightly abraded and vertically displaced elements indicate episodes of 
trampling in soft mud. Trampling occurred before, and after, debris flow 
transport. Theropod tooth marks are uncommon but bone scavenging by 
osteophagous insects was common and severe, resulting in substantial damage to 
articular surfaces.
     Comparisons of DW and other debris-flow hosted bonebeds indicate that 
there are few consistent patterns among fossil-assemblage and bone-modification 
data. However, there are numerous similarities in the geological and spatial 
taphonomy datasets from these sites, resulting from the similar 
physico-hydraulic conditions under which elements were transported/reworked and 
buried.
     Geologically and taphonomically, Dalton Wells is similar to the 
Blagoveshchensk monodominant hadrosaur bonebed in the Udurchukan Formation of 
eastern Russia, which also is interpreted as debris flow/hyperconcentrated flow 
deposit. Dalton Wells also shares geologic and taphonomic characteristics with 
four bonebeds southeast of the town of Green River, Utah and all occur at the 
base of the Yellow Cat Member. The uniform stratigraphic occurrences of the 
Dalton Wells, Blagoveshchensk, and the Green River sites (resting on an 
unconformity), and their shared sedimentologic and taphonomic features indicate 
that these sites originated in response to similar tectonic, depositional and 
biostratinomic factors.




Chanthasit, P., and Buffetaut, E. 2009. New data on the Dromaeosauridae 
(Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of southern France. Bulletin 
de la Société Géologique de France 180(2):145-154. doi: 
10.2113/gssgfbull.180.2.145.

ABSTRACT: Since the first discovery of dromaeosaurid remains from the Late 
Cretaceous of southern France, two genera and species, Variraptor mechinorum LE 
LOEUFF & BUFFETAUT, 1998, and Pyroraptor olympius ALLAIN & TAQUET, 2000, have 
been erected. Their validity and possible synonymy have been debated. New 
remains of Dromaeosauridae from Late Campanian – Early Maastrichtian localities 
near Cruzy (Hérault) and Fox-Amphoux (Var) are described. A sacrum from Hérault 
is remarkably comparable to that of Variraptor. An ilium from Fox-Amphoux and 
the holotype sacrum of Variraptor mechinorum probably belong to the same 
individual. Shared elements between Variraptor and Pyroraptor do not show any 
diagnostic characters. The question of the synonymy between Variraptor and 
Pyroraptor is still unresolved on the basis of these new specimens. 
Nevertheless, the available evidence suggests that these two species may be 
valid. The specimens from Cruzy suggest that faunal interchange between Europe 
and Asia lasted longer than that between Europe and North America, and that 
European dromaeosaurids evolved on their own during the Late Cretaceous 
isolation of Europe.




Livingstone, V.J., Bonnan, M.F., Elsey, R.M., Sandrik, J.L., and Wilhite, D.R. 
2009. Differential limb scaling in the American alligator (Alligator 
mississippiensis) and its implications for archosaur locomotor evolution. 
Anatomical Record 292(6):787-797. doi: 10.1002/ar.20912.

ABSTRACT: Bipedalism evolved multiple times within archosaurs, and relatively 
shorter forelimbs characterize both crocodyliforms and nonavian dinosaurs. 
Analysis of a comprehensive ontogenetic sequence of specimens (embryo to adult) 
of the sauropodomorph Massospondylus has shown that bipedal limb proportions 
result from negative forelimb allometry. We ask, is negative forelimb allometry 
a pattern basal to archosaurs, amplified in certain taxa to produce bipedalism? 
Given the phylogenetic position of extant crocodylians and their relatively 
shorter forelimb, we tested the hypothesis that prevalent negative forelimb 
allometry is present in Alligator mississippiensis from a sample of wild 
specimens from embryonic to adult sizes. Long bone lengths (humerus, radius, 
ulna, femur, tibia, fibula, third metapodials) were measured with their 
epiphyseal cartilage intact at all sizes. Our results show an overall isometric 
pattern for most elements regressed on femur length, humerus length, or total 
limb length. However, negative allometry was prevalent for the ulna, and the 
third metapodials scale with positive allometry embryonically. These data 
suggest that the general forelimb proportions in relation to the hindlimb do 
not change significantly with increasing size in A. mississippiensis. The 
negative allometry of the ulna and embryonicaly positive allometry of the third 
metapodials appears to be related to maintaining the functional integrity of 
the limbs. We show that this pattern is different from that of the 
sauropodomorph Massospondylus, and we suggest that if bipedalism in archosaurs 
is tied, in part, to negative forearm allometry, it was either secondarily lost 
through isometric scaling, or never developed in the ancestor of A. 
mississippiensis.





Zaher, H., Apesteguía, S., and Agustín Scanferla, C. 2009. The anatomy of the 
Upper Cretaceous snake Najash rionegrina Apesteguía & Zaher, 2006, and the 
evolution of limblessness in snakes. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 
doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00511.x.

ABSTRACT: Najash rionegrina Apesteguía & Zaher, 2006, a terrestrial fossil 
snake from the Upper Cretaceous of Argentina, represents the first known snake 
with a sacrum associated with robust, well-developed hind limbs. Najash 
rionegrina documents an important gap in the evolutionary development towards 
limblessness, because its phylogenetic affinities suggest that it is the sister 
group of all modern snakes, including the limbed Tethyan snakes Pachyrhachis, 
Haasiophis, and Eupodophis. The latter three limbed marine fossil snakes are 
shown to be more derived morphologically, because they lack a sacrum, but have 
articulated lymphapophyses, and their appendicular skeleton is enclosed by the 
rib cage, as in modern snakes.





Zaghloul, M.N., Critelli, S., Perri, F., Mongelli, G., Perrone, V., Sonnino, 
M., Tucker, M., Aiello, M., and Ventimiglia, C. 2009. Depositional systems, 
composition and geochemistry of Triassic rifted-continental margin redbeds of 
the Internal Rif Chain, Morocco. Sedimentology. doi: 
10.1111/j.1365-3091.2009.01080.x.

ABSTRACT: The Middle to Upper Triassic redbeds at the base of the Ghomaride and 
Internal 'Dorsale Calcaire' Nappes in the Rifian sector of the Maghrebian Chain 
have been studied for their sedimentological, petrographic, mineralogical and 
chemical features. Redbeds lie unconformably on a Variscan low-grade 
metamorphic basement in a 300 m thick, upward fining and thinning megasequence. 
Successions are composed of predominantly fluvial red sandstones, with many 
intercalations of quartzose conglomerates in the lower part that pass upwards 
into fine-grained micaceous siltstones and massive mudstones, with some 
carbonate and evaporite beds. This suite of sediments suggests that 
palaeoenvironments evolved from mostly arenaceous alluvial systems (Middle 
Triassic) to muddy flood and coastal plain deposits. The successions are 
characterized by local carbonate and evaporite episodes in the Late Triassic. 
The growth of carbonate platforms is related to the increasing subsidence 
(Norian-Rhaetian) during the break-up of Pangea and the earliest stages of the 
Western Tethys opening. Carbonate platforms became widespread in the 
Sinemurian. Sandstones are quartzose to quartzolithic in composition, 
testifying a recycled orogenic provenance from low-grade Palaeozoic 
metasedimentary rocks. Palaeoweathering indices (Chemical Index of Alteration, 
Chemical Index of Weathering and Plagioclase Index of Alteration) suggest both 
a K-enrichment during the burial history and a source area that experienced 
intense weathering and recycling processes. These processes were favoured by 
seasonal climatic alternations, characterized by hot, episodically humid 
conditions with a prolonged dry season. These climatic alternations produced 
illitization of silicate minerals, iron oxidation and quartz-rich red sediments 
in alluvial systems. The estimated burial temperature for the continental 
redbeds is in the range of 100 to 160 °C with lithostatic/tectonic loading of 
ca 4 to 6 km. These redbeds can be considered as regional petrofacies that mark!
 the onse
ern Pangea (Middle Triassic) before the opening of the western part of Tethys 
in the Middle Jurassic. The studied redbeds and the coeval redbeds of many 
Alpine successions (Betic, Tellian and Apenninic orogens) show a quite similar 
history; they identify a Mesomediterranean continental block originating from 
the break-up of Pangea, which then played an important role in the 
post-Triassic evolution of the Western Mediterranean region.




Birchard, G.F., and Deeming, D.C. 2009. Avian eggshell thickness: scaling and 
maximum body mass in birds. Journal of Zoology. doi: 
10.1111/j.1469-7998.2009.00596.x.

ABSTRACT: The avian eggshell represents a highly evolved structure adapted to 
the physiological requirements of the embryo and the potential fracturing 
forces it is exposed to during incubation. Given its many roles, it is not 
surprising that the eggshell is also central to the current hypothesis about 
maximum avian body mass. Eggshell thickness (L) and strength has historically 
been scaled as a function of initial egg mass (IEM). However, maximum incubator 
mass (IM) is likely a better indicator of the forces the shell must be selected 
to withstand during incubation. We compare the results of analyses of L2 (an 
indicator of shell strength) as a function of IEM and IM. We conclude from IM 
scaling that megapode and kiwi eggshells are not thin but rather are thicker 
than expected and in general birds with a clutch size of 1 have thicker shells, 
and further, that reversed sexual dimorphism in the large, particularly extinct 
birds may be a strategy to avoid shell breakage during incubation of the 
largest eggs without creating a shell so thick as to inhibit hatching.




Casal, G., Candeiro, C.R.A., Martínez, R., Ivany, E., and Ibiricu, L. 2009. 
Dientes de Theropoda (Dinosauria: Saurischia) de la Formación Bajo Barreal, 
Cretácico Superior, Provincia del Chubut, Argentina. Geobios. doi: 
10.1016/j.geobios.2009.03.002.

ABSTRACT: Theropod teeth from the Bajo Barreal Formation (Upper Cretaceous: 
Cenomanian-Turonian) at the “estancia Ocho Hermanos”, Chubut Province are 
described. Most of them show features of Abelisauroidea, a clade already 
represented in the Bajo Barreal Formation by Xenotarsosaurus bonapartei and 
other isolated remains including a left maxilla. Dromaeosauridae and 
Carcharodontosauridae represent the first record of these taxa for the Bajo 
Barreal Formation. Besides this, at least three theropod clades 
(Abelisauroidea, Carcharodontosauridae, and Dromaeosauridae) coexisted in 
central Patagonia during the Cenomanian-Turonian along with other theropods as 
Aniksosaurus darwini and Megaraptor sp.




Jourdan, F., Marzoli, A., Bertrand, H., Cirilli, S., Tanner, L.H., Kontak, 
D.J., McHone, G., Renne, P.R., and Bellieni, G. 2009. 40Ar/39Ar ages of CAMP in 
North America: implications for the Triassic-Jurassic boundary and the 40K 
decay constant bias. Lithos 110:167-180. doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2008.12.011.

ABSTRACT: The Central Atlantic magmatic province (CAMP) is one of the largest 
igneous provinces on Earth (>107 km2), spanning four continents. Recent 
high-precision 40Ar/39Ar dating of mineral separates has provided important 
constraints on the age, duration, and geodynamic history of CAMP. Yet the North 
American CAMP is strikingly under-represented in this dating effort.
     Here we present 13 new statistically robust plateau, mini-plateau and 
isochron ages obtained on plagioclase and sericite separates from lava flows 
from the Fundy (n=10; Nova Scotia, Canada), Hartford and Deerfield (n=3; 
U.S.A.) basins. Ages mostly range from 198.6±1.1 to 201.0±1.4 Ma (2s), with 1 
date substantially younger at 190.6±1.0 Ma. Careful statistical regression 
shows that ages from the upper (199.7.0±1.5 Ma) and bottom (200.1±0.9 Ma) units 
of the lava pile in the Fundy basin are statistically indistinguishable, 
confirming a short duration of emplacement («1.6 Ma; =1 Ma). Three ages 
obtained on the Hartford (198.6±2.0 Ma and 199.8±1.1 Ma) and Deerfield 
(199.3±1.2 Ma) basins were measured on sericite from the upper lava flow units. 
We interpret these dates as reflecting syn-emplacement hydrothermal activity 
within these units. Collectively, CAMP ages gathered so far suggest a short 
duration of the main magmatic activity (2–3 Ma), but also suggest the 
possibility of a temporal migration of the active magmatic centers from north 
to south. Such a migration challenges a plume model that would postulate a 
radial outward migration of the magmatism and is more compatible with other 
models, such as the supercontinent global warming hypothesis. When compared to 
the age of the Triassic–Jurassic boundary, the filtered CAMP age database 
suggests that the onset of the magmatic activity precedes the limit by at least 
few hundred thousand years, thereby suggesting a causal relationship between 
CAMP and the end of Triassic mass extinction. An age at 191 Ma possibly 
suggests a minor CAMP late tailing activity (190–194 Ma) which has been 
observed already for dykes and sills in Africa and Brazil. We speculate that, 
if genuine, this late activity can be due to a major extensional event, 
possibly heralding the oceanization process at ~190 Ma. Comparison between high 
quality U/Pb and 40Ar/39Ar ages of pegmatite lenses from the North Mountain 
basalts confirms a ~1% bias between the two chronometers. This discrepanc!
y is like
he miscalibration of the 40K decay constants, in particular the electron 
capture branch.




Meléndez, N., Liesa, C.L., Soria, A.R., and Meléndez, A. 2009. Lacustrine 
system evolution during early rifting: El Castellar Formation (Galve sub-basin, 
central Iberian chain). Sedimentary Geology. doi: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2009.05.019.

ABSTRACT: A detailed sedimentological study of the first synrift deposits 
recorded in the Galve sub-basin of NE Spain during the Early Cretaceous aided 
in the reconstruction of climatic and tectonic influences. The El Castellar 
Formation is composed of siliciclastics and carbonates (unit 1), claystones, 
gypsum, and carbonates (unit 2), and marls and limestones (unit 3). Unit 1 
facies formed in alluvial and palustrine plains, a local alluvial fan, and 
low-energy shallow lake subenvironments. Low-energy lacustrine facies 
characterised unit 2. In contrast, palustrine, low- and high-energy lake facies 
were identified for unit 3. The spatial and temporal distribution of 
lithofacies representing the several environments were used to propose a 
general lacustrine system evolution from isolated ponds and marshes, to 
low-energy shallow lakes, and finally to an extensive, high-energy lake. Lake 
evolution is related to changes in the subsidence pattern, from local- to 
basin-scale subsidence, which was ultimately related to the transition from the 
initial rift to rift climax stage. Shallowing-upwards lacustrine successions 
have been interpreted as climatically forced and linked to sediment and water 
supply. Both tectonics and climate determined the change from an overfilled to 
a balanced-fill lake basin through time.




Grigor'ev, D.V., Averianov, A.O., Arkhangelsky, M.S., Pervushov, E.M., and 
Zozyrev, N.Y. 2009. A mosasaur from the Cenomanian of Russia. Paleontological 
Journal 43(3):311-317. doi: 10.1134/S0031030109030101.

ABSTRACT: The premaxilla of a mosasauroid lizard from the Lysaya Gora 3 
locality in Saratov (Upper Cretaceous, Cenomanian) is described. To date, the 
oldest known mosasaur remains have been dated Turonian. The premaxilla is most 
similar in morphology to that of Russellosaurus from the Turonian of the United 
States; however, the absence of sufficient diagnostic characters only allows 
its attribution to Mosasauridae indet.



Ivakhnenko, M.F. 2009. Eotherapsid hypothesis for the origin of monotremes. 
Paleontological Journal 43(3):237-250. doi: 10.1134/S0031030109030010.  
ABSTRACT: Comparative study of the cranial structures (lateral wall of the 
braincase, temporal and tympanic regions) of mammals and theromorphs shows that 
Monotremata evolved from the eotherapsid stem of theromorphs, while therian 
mammals are descendants of eutherapsids.




Gierlinski, G., Niedzwiedzki, G., and Nowacki, P. 2009. Small theropod and 
ornithopod footprints in the Late Jurassic of Poland. Acta Geologica Polonica 
59(2):221-234.

ABSTRACT: Late Jurassic material of small theropod and ornithopod dinosaur 
footprints are reported from the northeastern slope of the Holy cross 
Mountains, Poland. the ichnites occur in five lithostratigraphical units of an 
epicontinental basin in central Poland. Small theropod tracks, Wildeichnus isp. 
and Jialingpus isp., came from the baltów Platy Limestones, baltów coral 
Limestones and wierzbica oolite and Platy Limestones. Four specimens of small 
ornithopod footprints, assigned to Dinehichnus isp., were found in the blaziny 
oolite Limestones and wierzbica oolite and Platy Limestones. a medium-sized 
ornithopod footprint, identified as cf. Dinehichnus isp., was discovered in the 
Ozarów oolite and Platy Limestones. the described footprints from the Upper 
Jurassic of Poland are smaller than similar types of ichnites from other parts 
of the world. the Polish Late Jurassic dinosaur community probably represented 
a diminutive insular fauna.




Laurin, M., Canoville, A., and Quilhac, A. 2009. Use of paleontological and 
molecular data in supertrees for comparative studies: the example of 
lissamphibian femoral microanatomy. Journal of Anatomy. doi: 
10.1111/j.1469-7580.2009.01104.x.

ABSTRACT: A new method to assemble time-calibrated supertrees is able to 
incorporate paleontological and molecular dates. This method, along with new 
branch length transformations, is implemented in the Stratigraphic Tools for 
Mesquite. It was used here to analyse a dataset on bone microanatomy, body size 
and habitat of 46 species of lissamphibians through a variety of methods 
(Felsenstein independent contrasts, variance partition with phylogenetic 
eigenvector regression, discriminant analyses and simple regressions). Our 
analyses showed that the new methods can produce adequate standardization for 
several characters on a tree whose branch lengths can represent evolutionary 
time. The analyses confirmed previous conclusions about the presence of an 
ecological signal in bone microanatomical data.




O'Connor, P.M. 2009. Evolution of the archosaurian body plans: skeletal 
adaptations of an air-sac-based breathing apparatus in birds and other 
archosaurs. Journal of Experimental Zoology 311A. doi: 10.1002/jez.548.

ABSTRACT: Living birds represent the only extant sauropsid group in which 
pulmonary air sacs pneumatize the postcranial skeleton. Notable in this regard 
is an extraordinary degree of variability, ranging from species that are 
completely apneumatic to those characterized by air within the entire 
postcranial skeleton. Although numerous factors (e.g., body size) have been 
linked with ‘‘relative’’ pneumaticity, comparative studies examining this 
system remain sparse. This project sought to (1) characterize whole-body 
patterns of skeletal pneumaticity in distantly related neognath birds and (2) 
evaluate putative relationships among relative pneumaticity, body size and 
locomotor specializations. Pneumaticity profiles were established for 52 
species representing 10 higher-level groups. Although comparisons reveal 
relatively conserved patterns within most lower-level clades, apparent size- 
and locomotor-thresholds do impart predictable deviations from the clade norm. 
For example, the largest flying birds (vultures, pelicans) exhibit 
hyperpneumaticity (i.e., pneumaticity of distal limb segments) relative to 
smaller members of their respective clades. In contrast, skeletal pneumaticity 
has been independently lost in multiple lineages of diving specialists (e.g., 
penguins, auks). The application of pneumaticity profiling to extinct 
archosaurs reveals similar trends in body size evolution, particularly when 
examining patterns of pneumaticity in a size-diverse assemblage of pterosaurs 
(flying ‘‘reptiles’’). As a fundamental organizing system, skeletal 
pneumaticity may play a role in relaxing constraints on body size evolution by 
allowing volumetric increases without concomitant increases in body mass. Not 
only might this be critical for taxa (birds, pterosaurs) exploiting the 
energetically costly aerial environment, but could be beneficial for any 
large-bodied terrestrial vertebrates such as the dinosaurs.




Gierlinski, G.D. 2009. A preliminary report on new dinosaur tracks from the 
Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous of Poland; pp. 75-90 in Salas, C.A.-P. (ed.), 
Actas de las IV Jornadas Internacionales sobre Paleontologia de Dinosaurios y 
su Entorno. Colectivo Arqueológico-Paleontológico de Salas de los Infantes, 
Burgos.

ABSTRACT: Dinosaur tracks in Poland are mainly recognized in the Lower Jurassic 
(Hettangian) of the Holy CrossMountains. There are only few finds, so far 
reported, from the Upper Triassic of the Tatra Mountains and Silesia. Dinosaur 
footprints in the Upper Jurassic of the Holy CrossMountains are also little 
recognized. Field investigations, in 2006 and 2007, revealed new finds of 
dinosaur footprints in the Upper Triassic (Norian), Lower Jurassic 
(Pliensbachian) and Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) of the Holy Cross Mountains 
(central Poland), and the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) of the Roztocze 
region (southeastern Poland). Norian material comprises prosauropod tracks, 
which came from the coarse-clastic sequences exposed in the Skarszyny outcrops. 
New Jurassic finds, in the Holy Cross Mountains, are the Pliensbachian sauropod 
and small theropod footprints from the Smilow sandstone quarry, and the 
Oxfordian theropod, and small ornithopod tracks from Baltow limestones. 
Dinosaur footprins, in the Roztocze carbonates, are discovered in the lowermost 
part of Szopowe quarry on the Mlynarka Mount. The material from Mlynarka Mount 
resembles Asiatic ichnotaxa, a small didactyl maniraptoran track of 
Velociraptorichnus, bird-like ichnite similar to Saurexallopus and a large 
tetradactyl footprint of Macropodosaurus, a form recently supposed of the 
therizonosauroid origin.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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/

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

                                 -- unknown