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Fwd: meet Tapuisaurus macedoi, a new titanosaur from Brazil
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
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.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Ter 14/09/10 17:12
Subject: Fwd: meet Tapuisaurus macedoi, a new titanosaur from
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.