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RE: Bonapartenykus, new alvarezsaurid from Argentina found with eggs

  As noted subtly by Ben, the date this paper will appear (where it is marked 
as an "accepted manuscript") is so likely NOT to appear in 2011. This means 
that, such as in the Wiki article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonapartenykus) 
that has mystically spawned in the time between the cited post's appearance and 
this one's, some one has already inserted the "new" taxon into the annals of 
Google. Elsevier, the producers of _Cretaceous Research_, I think are at fault 
for this, as it is their purpose to push unpublished works with new 
nomenclature, and this has caused all sorts of issues. Relatedly, Elsevier did 
this with the paper that will eventually describe an avian mandible once 
confused with that of a caenagnathid, but Lo! a response is already in the 
works and released before print of the formal publication! (The latter 
"publication" notes this.)

  I don't fault people for reporting this stuff, but I do fault Elsevier and 
other publications for pushing it. If I may be so unmitigatedly brash, I would 
caution people from submitting papers to journals that "publish" ahead of time 
online, often without note to the authors themselves or expressly against their 
wishes, and certainly if you seek to name new taxa. These journals eschew the 
notion of embargo, or timely release in concert with the authors, who may wish 
to prepare press packages, and instead are out there to try to make a quick 
buck at the scrambling expense of the scientist. Publicity is nice, and that's 
all to the good, but you could have had it just when the paper is formally 

  This is not a diatribe against online publication -- I am all for that -- but 
against the premise that print publication should be preceded by online 
versions, especially when aspects of the papers are data sensitive (such as 
taxonomy). The easiest solution, I think, would be to prefer submission to 
digital media with high prestige and turnover, such as _PLoS ONE_, which is 
increasing in impact rapidly, as it also allows no absolute length, color 
figures of no absolute size, a sized digital copy as well as online citation 
availability, permanent reposition as in accordance to the Codes (when 
relevant), and so forth. One should not rely on Elsevier (at the least) to make 
these decisions for you. Oh, and you get to keep your rights to the paper. 
That's a big plus for some.


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2011 12:27:43 -0800
> From: bscreisler@yahoo.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Bonapartenykus, new alvarezsaurid from Argentina found with eggs
> From: Ben Creisler
> bscreisler@yahoo.com
> A new online advance paper in Cretaceous Research:
> Federico L. Agnolin, Jaime E. Powell, Fernando E. Novas & Martin Kundrát 
> (2011 [2012])
> New alvarezsaurid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from uppermost Cretaceous of 
> north-western Patagonia with associated eggs.
> Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
> doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.11.014|
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667111001923
> The Alvarezsauridae represents a branch of peculiar basal coelurosaurs with 
> an increasing representation of their Cretaceous radiation distributed 
> worldwide. Here we describe a new member of the group, Bonapartenykus ultimus 
> gen. et sp. nov. from Campanian-Maastrichtian strata of Northern Patagonia, 
> Argentina. Bonapartenykus is represented by a single, incomplete postcranial 
> skeleton. The morphology of the known skeletal elements suggests close 
> affinities with the previously described taxon from Patagonia, Patagonykus, 
> and both conform to a new clade, here termed Patagonykinae nov. Two 
> incomplete eggs have been discovered in association with the skeletal remains 
> of Bonapartenykus, and several clusters of broken eggshells of the same 
> identity were also found in a close proximity. These belong to the new 
> ooparataxon Arraigadoolithus patagoniensis of the new oofamily 
> Arraigadoolithidae, which provides first insights into unique shell 
> microstructure and
> fungal contamination of eggs laid by alvarezsaurid theropods. The detailed 
> study of the eggs sheds new light on the phylogenetic position of 
> alvarezsaurids within the Theropoda, and the evolution of eggs among 
> Coelurosauria. We suggest that plesiomorphic alvarezsaurids survived in 
> Patagonia until the latest Cretaceous, whereas these basal forms became 
> extinct elsewhere.