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Tendaguru paleobiology and European alvarezsauroids

From: Ben Creisler

Here a few recent items that I don't think have been 
mentioned on the DML yet:

Wolf-Dieter Heinrich, Robert Bussert & Martin Aberhan 
A blast from the past: the lost world of dinosaurs at 
Tendaguru, East Africa.
Geology Today 27( 3): 101?106, May/June 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2451.2011.00795.x

The superbly preserved dinosaurs and associated organisms 
from the Late Jurassic fossil Lagersttte Tendaguru in 
southern Tanzania mark an exceptional success story in 
palaeontology. The new permanent exhibits of the Museum 
für Naturkunde in Berlin, highlighting the spectacular 
dinosaurs (Fig. 1), are telling evidence. In more than 
100 years of research, geoscientists produced a 
considerable amount of knowledge about the composition 
and diversity of the ancient fauna and flora at 
Tendaguru, their unique palaeobiological characteristics, 
and the continental to marginal marine ecosystems in 
which they lived. Several questions are still open to 
debate. These include the detailed genesis of the 
Lagerstatte, aspects of dinosaur palaeobiology, and their 
biogeographical affinities to contemporaneous assemblages 
from the Northern Hemisphere.


Gareth J. Dyke and Darren Naish  (2011)
What about European alvarezsauroids?
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(22) 
(May 31, 2011)
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1101602108 

Xu et al. ( 1) reported the alvarezsauroid Linhenykus 
monodactylus from Inner Mongolia, a confirmed monodactyl 
Mesozoic dinosaur. Xu et al.?s ( 1) phylogenetic 
hypothesis for Linhenykus suggests that it is sister to a 
clade that includes all other Cretaceous Laurasian 
alvarezsauroids. On this basis, Xu et al. ( 1) discussed 
the paleobiogeographic history of Alvarezsauroidea, 
concluding that the lineage originated in Asia and then 
spread via successive dispersal events to South and ? 

Xing Xua,, Corwin Sullivan, Michael Pittman, Jonah N. 
Choiniere, David Hone, Paul Upchurch, Qingwei Tan, Dong 
Xiao, Lin Tan, and Fenglu Han  (2011)
Reply to Dyke and Naish: European alvarezsauroids do not 
change the picture
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(22) 
(May 31, 2011)
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1104155108  

Dyke and Naish ( 1) draw attention to three points that 
they consider to be ?serious shortcomings? of our recent 
paper on a monodactyl nonavian dinosaur ( 2). Here, we 
respond to each point in turn. 

Our paleobiogeographic hypothesis was based strictly on 
the phylogenetic tree we recovered ( 2), which did not 
include the European alvarezsauroid Heptasteornis because 
of the extremely fragmentary nature of the known material 
( 3). However, we did include this taxon in a section of 
our paper (albeit in ?