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Re: The 'gypsy' dinosaur (was Re: new titanosaur: Atsinganosaurus velauciensis)



For anyone with access to the paper: how big is Atsinganosaurus and how 
complete are the fossils?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Williams" <tijawi@yahoo.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Cc: tijawi@yahoo.com
Sent: Thursday, July 1, 2010 10:22:43 PM GMT -06:00 US/Canada Central
Subject: The 'gypsy' dinosaur (was Re: new titanosaur: Atsinganosaurus 
velauciensis)

The message was truncated when it arrived in my mailbox, but here are the 
details...


Garcia, G., Amico, S., Fournier, F., Thouand, E., and Valentin, X. (2010) A new 
titanosaur genus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Late Cretaceous of southern 
France and its paleobiogeographic implications.  Bull. Soc. gÃol. Fr. 181: 
269-277.


Abstract. "A new titanosaur, _Atsinganosaurus velauciensis_, gen. and sp. nov. 
is described from well-preserved remains from the new Upper Cretaceous locality 
of Velaux-La Bastide Neuve (Aix-en-Provence Basin, France).  This taxon is 
mainly diagnosed by a combination of characters, which differentiates it 
without ambiguity from other European Late Cretaceous taxa (_Lirainosaurus_, 
_Ampelosaurus_ and _Magyarosaurus_).  _Atsinganosaurus_ confirms the presence 
in western Europe during the latest Cretaceous of a third titanosaurian 
species, slender and less derived which allows us to better understand the 
evolutionary and paleobiogeographical history of this group during the 
Cretaceous."


The genus name derives from the Byzantine Greek word for "gypsy", 'atsinganos' 
(which still survives in many languages in one form or another, e.g. 
"tsigani").  When the Byzantines came up with the word, it may not have been at 
all complimentary - the word 'atsinganos' is supposed to mean 'untouchable' or 
'heathen'.  The gypsies (Roma) were regarded as foreign heretics by the 
medieval Byzantines.  Then again, the Byzantines were a tendentious and 
narrow-minded bunch, always banging on about heretics and heathens.  Anyway...


The specific name is in honor of the French city of Velaux (Latin Velaucio) 
from where the material was collected.  During the Late Cretaceous, it was part 
of a large Iberian-Armorican island (up to three times the size of modern 
Madagascar).

 
In any case, the name _Atsinganosaurus_ ("gypsy reptile") is "in reference to 
the existence of Late Cretaceous migrations between western and eastern Europe 
revealed by these remains."  Although there is no phylogenetic analysis, the 
authors su
osaurus_ might be closely related to _Malawisaurus_; the two are quite similar 
in many respects.  If so, _Atsinganosaurus_ documents the survival of basal 
lithostrotians late into the Cretaceous (late Campanian), which the authors 
suggest might have something to do with its island habitat.


Cheers

Tim


--- On Thu, 1/7/10, Ignacio Ruiz <jigruiz@gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Ignacio Ruiz <jigruiz@gmail.com>
> Subject: new titanosaur: Atsinganosaurus velauciensis
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Received: Thursday, 1 July, 2010, 5:09 AM
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