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Geosaurus revised



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

In case this paper has not been mentioned yet:

Young, Mark T., and Marco Brandalise de Andrade, 2009. 
What is Geosaurus? Redescription of Geosaurus giganteus 
(Thalattosuchia: Metriorhynchidae) from the Upper Jurassic 
of Bayern, Germany. Zoological Journal of the Linnean 
Society 157: 551-585.

A major heads up is that the most widely depicted image of 
Geosaurus with a narrow, rather elongated snout, is based 
on a nearly complete specimen E. Fraas called Geosaurus 
suevicus. The authors, however, place that species and 
other long-snouted fish-eating forms of Geosaurus in the 
genus Cricosaurus. Geosaurus itself had a fairly short 
muzzle with slicing teeth designed for attacking large 
prey. Various other species  formerly placed in Geosaurus 
or Dakosaurus are also shifted around. Dakosaurus and 
Cricosaurus are both considered valid.

A small nomenclatural fix the authors missed, however, is 
that Cricosaurus saltillense Buchy et al. 2006 (formerly 
Geosaurus saltillense) should be Cricosaurus saltillensis. 
The form "saltillense" is neuter in Latin, not masculine, 
and needs to be emended to match the gender of "saurus."

Some additional historical info on Geosaurus can be found 
in the Google books online version of the
Penny Cyclopædia of the Society for the Diffusion of 
Useful Knowledge By Society for the Diffusion of Useful 
Knowledge (Great Britain). (This 19th century work has 
lots of vintage articles on fossil animals that buffs of 
the history of paleontology may enjoy.)

The Geosaurus article explains that Cuvier intended the 
name to refer to Ge, the mother of the giants in Greek 
mythology, rather than expressing terrestrial habits. 
Geosaurus was originally called Lacerta gigantea.

http://books.google.com
http://www.archive.org/details/pennycyclopaedia04sociuoft