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RE: Propanoplosaurus, nodosaur hatchling natural mold from Maryland
As I recall, *Mussaurus patagonicus* and *Podokesaurus holyokensis* are not
considered highly due to their ontogenetic nature or the quality of
preservation (respectively, where in the latter the type was destroyed _in
order_ to produce an "adequate" cast. The material have been relatively
strongly regarded as lacking diagnostic qualities, although the latter has been
supported by some authors (Matt Carrano's various papers continually refer to
it as potentially valid, following Colbert and Baird's revision) due to
apparently differently shaped dorsal neural spines ("fan shaped") and the
ischium, but this pends extensive revision of *Coelophysis bauri*. Provenance
alone should not support taxonomy, nor should apparent quality of proportions
when we lack this with purported close relatives. *Mussaurus patagonicus* is
almost exclusively coded from undescribed adult or subadult specimens, none of
which appear directly and/or exclusively related to the holotype hatchling.
This would be akin to me naming the Ukhaa Tolgod oviraptorid embryo as a new
taxon and differentiating it due to relative ossification and proportions!
I've not read the paper, so my statements bear only with the comments on the
abstract posted. I would be delighted to receive a copy, though.
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
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Subject: RE: Propanoplosaurus, nodosaur hatchling natural mold from Maryland
> Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 19:54:59 -0400
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu]
> > On Behalf Of Jaime Headden
> > A hatchling holotype ...
> What's more, a hatchling MOLD holotype: no bones about it...
> Specimen has been on display at the Smithsonian in their local dinosaurs case
> for a year or two.
> Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 301-405-4084
> Office: Centreville 1216
> Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
> Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
> Fax: 301-314-9661
> Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
> Fax: 301-314-9843
> Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
> Department of Geology
> Building 237, Room 1117
> University of Maryland
> College Park, MD 20742 USA
> > > Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2011 15:25:12 +0000
> > > From: email@example.com
> > > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > > Subject: Propanoplosaurus, nodosaur hatchling natural mold from
> > > Maryland
> > >
> > > From: Ben Creisler
> > > email@example.com
> > >
> > > In the new issue of Journal of Paleontology:
> > >
> > > Ray Stanford, David B. Weishampel and Valerie B. Deleon
> > > (2011)
> > > The First Hatchling Dinosaur Reported from the Eastern
> > United States:
> > > Propanoplosaurus marylandicus (Dinosauria:
> > > Ankylosauria) from the Early Cretaceous of Maryland, U.S.A.
> > > Journal of Paleontology 85(5):916-924.
> > > http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1666/10-113.1
> > > Abstract
> > > Abundant and diverse dinosaur footprints have been
> > discovered recently
> > > on bedding surfaces of the Lower Cretaceous Patuxent Formation of
> > > Maryland and Virginia.
> > > Found along with those ichnofossils is a fossil preserved
> > partially as
> > > natural casts and partially as natural molds of a baby nodosaurid
> > > ankylosaur so small as to justify interpreting it as a hatchling.
> > > Despite the rather unusual type of preservation, the find
> > is properly
> > > termed a body fossil and not an ichnite, per se, because it records
> > > not the action of an organism, but the body form and bone structure
> > > (including partial articulation) of a dinosaur. We here name it
> > > Propanoplosaurus marylandicus and provide a description of its
> > > diagnostic characteristics. Although actual skeletal
> > remains referable
> > > to P. marylandicus have not been found in the Patuxent Formation,
> > > other nodosaurids recognized from skeletal remains are
> > known from both
> > > the Lower and Upper Cretaceous strata of the Western
> > Interior of North
> > > America and Europe. P. marylandicus represents the only diagnostic
> > > nodosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of the eastern U.S.A.,
> > provides
> > > information on growth patterns among nodosaurids, and is the first
> > > direct evidence of a dinosaur hatchling and, deductively,
> > nesting, on
> > > the entire eastern seaboard
> > >