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RE: Huaxiaosaurus, new giant hadrosaur from China



From: Ben Creisler
bscreisler@yahoo.com
When I found the ref for the proposed new genus Huaxiaosaurus, I posted it to 
the DML as soon as possible without any editing or further investigation. 
Obviously, the correct name for “Shandongosaurus” in the abstract is 
Shantungosaurus (spelled “Shandungosaurus” in the body of the article).
The name Huaxiaosaurus comes from Huaxia, an old name for China.
The specific name aigahtens apparently is some bizarre garbled respelling of 
“giganteus” with a for g, h for n, and n for u. The Chinese version of the 
specific name is “juda, ” meaning “gigantic, enormous.” 
I have not tried to the read the entire paper yet.
This is a rough translation of part of a news article at the link I also 
posted. It’s Google Translate with some editing and correction. However, I 
can’t guarantee it’s a totally accurate translation without more work.  It 
would appear that the separation of Huaxiaosaurus from Shantungosaurus is based 
mainly on certain details of the sacral vertebrae while the separation from 
Zhuchengosaurus is based on the fusion of 10 vertebrae in the sacrum 
(Zhuchengosaurus supposedly has 9; Shantungosaurus has 10 like Huaxiaosaurus). 
Given the larger size of Huaxiaosaurus, it seems plausible the differences in 
the number of sacral vertebrae fused are related to age and the different 
number of cervical and caudal vertebrae may reflect  individual variation,  as 
was explained by the authors who proposed the synonymy of Zhuchengosaurus with 
Shantungosaurus (see ref below).  I think it’s rather likely that Huaxiaosaurus 
represents a fully grown or mature
 Shantungosaurus, but maybe a specific distinction is possible. However, I 
leave that issue to the experts.
 
“According  to Professor Zhao’s  analysis, comparison and research, 
Huaxiasaurus aigahtens is related to the subfamily of the duck-billed dinosaur 
in terms of its skull, spine, scapula, ilium, femur, etc.  but is distinct as 
to genus and species. In particular the sacral vertebrae are smooth on the 
ventral side , not prominent, whereas Shantungosaurus giganteus has a deep 
longitudinal groove on the ventral side; Huaxiasaurus aigahtens has a sacrum 
with 10 vertebrae fused  together, and  Zhuchengosaurus maximus has 9 vertebrae 
sacral vertebrae connected together. These more obvious features show that 
Shantungosaurus and  Huaxiasaurus are very close, but are different; therefore, 
Huaxiaosaurus aigahtens should be another new genus, belonging to the 
Ornithischia Hadrosauridae in the subfamily of flat head duck-billed 
dinosaur-type Hadrosaurinae.....”
 
===
Ji Yannan, Wang Xuri, Liu Yongqing, & Ji Qiang (2011)
Systematics, Behavior and Living Environment of Shantungosaurus Giganteus 
(Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae).
Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 85(1): 58-65 
DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-6724.2011.00378.x
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-6724.2011.00378.x/abstract