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RE: Bellubrunnus, new Jurassic pterosaur from Germany
This is a great paper. The authors have really done a fantastic job setting
out all the possible issues with identifying this juvenile specimen as a new
taxon. While I remain adamantly opposed to the practice of making new taxonomic
nomenclature for juvenile taxa, given the often impossible task of proving
diagnostic comparative adult features, this paper has taken pains to assure
readers that several characteristics can only become exaggerated with age,
implying the adult would be MORE diagnostic than the juvenile. Despite lacking
any autapomorphic features, there is a diagnostic autapomorphic suite of
characters, and this is pretty nice.
"Bellubrunna" -- should be "Bellibrunna," as "bellum" (pretty, beautiful)
combines as "belli-", not "bellu-".
I would also note the continued attempt to seep "zygopophysis" into the
literature, over "zygapophysis," which is otherwise prevalent.
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: Thu, 5 Jul 2012 14:03:37 -0700
> From: email@example.com
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Bellubrunnus, new Jurassic pterosaur from Germany
> From: Ben Creisler
> New in PLoS ONE:
> David W. E. Hone, Helmut Tischlinger, Eberhard Frey & Martin Röper (2012)
> A New Non-Pterodactyloid Pterosaur from the Late Jurassic of Southern Germany.
> PLoS ONE 7(7): e39312.
> The ‘Solnhofen Limestone’ beds of the Southern Franconian Alb,
> Bavaria, southern Germany, have for centuries yielded important
> pterosaur specimens, most notably of the genera Pterodactylus and
> Rhamphorhynchus. Here we describe a new genus of non-pterodactyloid
> pterosaur based on an extremely well preserved fossil of a young
> juvenile: Bellubrunnus rothgaengeri (gen. et sp. nov.).
> Methodology/Principal Findings
> The specimen was examined firsthand by all authors. Additional
> investigation and photography under UV light to reveal details of the
> bones not easily seen under normal lighting regimes was completed.
> This taxon heralds from a newly explored locality that is older than
> the classic Solnhofen beds. While similar to Rhamphorhynchus, the new
> taxon differs in the number of teeth, shape of the humerus and femur,
> and limb proportions. Unlike other derived non-pterodacytyloids,
> Bellubrunnus lacks elongate chevrons and zygapophyses in the tail, and
> unlike all other known pterosaurs, the wingtips are curved anteriorly,
> potentially giving it a unique flight profile.