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RE: Huaxiaosaurus, new giant hadrosaur from China
From: Ben Creisler
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
Ji Yannan, Wang Xuri, Liu Yongqing, & Ji Qiang (2011)
Systematics, Behavior and Living Environment of Shantungosaurus Giganteus
Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 85(1): 58-65