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Fwd: meet Tapuisaurus macedoi, a new titanosaur from Brazil

Dear list

I just talked with Mr. Herton Escobar, the science reporter of "O Estado de Sao 
Paulo", the author of this morning 
story on the new Brazilian titanosaur Tapuiasaurus macedoi.

Despite what I previously wrote in this forum, Mr. Escobar told me the story 
was not published without 
authotization of the principal investigator, Prof. Hussam Zaher, and the 
co-author Dr. Alberto Carvalho, both from 
the Zoology Museum, Universidade de Sao Paulo.

Mr. Escobar and the researchers had a previous agreement: never release any 
public information before the final 
approval of the paper by PLoS One and its publication online "in print".

But last Friday the story surfaced at Globo TV network. 

Of course, as a journalist, Mr. Escobar was afraid to lose his scoop. And so 
was his boss and the newspaper.

Mr. Escobar called Prof. Hussam to ask for permission to release the story 
ASAP, and, according to Mr. Escobar, 
Dr. Hussam gave his approval - with the express exception of the scientific 
name of the specimen, Tapuiasaurus 

Mr. Escobar told me he and the people at the newsdesk erased each and every 
mention of the scientific name from 
the whole story, published this morning as a special 8-page supplement of the 
daily newspaper.

But, as we all know, if something wrong can happen, sure it will! So the people 
of the newsdesk didn't notice one 
little single mention of the name of the dino in a small graphic... and the 
scientific name became public.

Because of my last post on this specimen, Dr. Carvalho sent me an email. He 
asked me to write to this forum, 
telling you all the release of the newspaper article was not unauthorized - 
only the name of the fossil.

I hope now every aspect of this story is clear. I do hope the release of the 
scientific name does not interfere in 
the reviewing process by PLoS One.


Peter Moon, Ph.D.
Sao Paulo

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: peluna@terra.com.br
                To: dinosaur@usc.edu
                Sent: Ter 14/09/10 17:12
                Subject: Fwd: meet Tapuisaurus macedoi, a new titanosaur from 

Dear list

Tapuisaurus macedoi is the 17th Brazilian dinosaur species described, the 9th 
titanosaur and a very special  
indeed, because of it complete wonderfull skull - the first titanosaur skull 
found in Brazil!

I just talked by phone with paleontologist Alberto Carvalho, of the Museu de 
Zoologia, Universidade de Sao Paulo 
(US), and co-author of the paper on Tapuiasaurus macedoi, 120 Ma. 

Since 2005 the researchers found at least 4 specimens in a small town named 
Coracao de Jesus (Jesus heart), right 
at the center of Minas Gerais State, SE Brazil.

The story leaked today at the daily newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Because of the leak, Dr. Carvalho refused to tell me the journal the paper was 
submited to - since it still is  
being reviewed for publication.

But after some investigation I learned it is PLoS One.

Carvalho told me the Museum will organize a press conference on October, 4th, 
about the new species, with the  
opening of an exibition of the specimen and a natural reconstruction of it.
The principal investigator is Prof. Hussam Zaher, the directo of the Zoology 
Museum-USP. He is in the US right now 
and I could not talk with him.


Peter Moon, Ph.D.
Sao Paulo