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Re: Arcovenator, new abelisaurid theropod from Late Cretaceous of southern France

First of all, I am very happy to see too-long overlooked French dinosaurs coming back on screen !!

Also, I have some comments to add, regarding this paper. What is not stated in the abstract is that the authors defined a new abelisaurid subfamily, the Majungasaurinae, as "all the abelisaurids more closely related to *Majungasaurus crenatissimus* (Depéret, 1896) Lavocat, 1955 than to *Carnotaurus sastrei* Bonaparte and Novas, 1985".

While this procedure is perfectly understandable given their phylogenetic results, the definition of a subfamily of the Abelisauridae created de facto the corresponding subfamily with the same authors according to the ICZN. In that case, I wonder if it should not have been better to refer to *Abelisaurus* Bonaparte and Novas, 1985 instead of *Carnotaurus*.

It would have facilitated the taxonomy of abelisaurids, with:
1/ A clade of taxa closer to *Majungasaurus* than to *Abelisaurus*
2/ A second clade of taxa closer to *Abelisaurus* than to *Majungasaurus*
3/ A grade of taxa that are as close to the former than to the latter genera.

I am not as familiar with the PhyloCode as with the ICZN, but isn't there some rule - or at least some recommendation - that would be relevant in this case ?

What do you think ?


Le 13/12/2013 17:55, Ben Creisler a écrit :
From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Thierry Tortosa, Eric Buffetaut, Nicolas Vialle, Yves Dutour, Eric
Turini & Gilles Cheylan (2013)
A new abelisaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of southern
France: Palaeobiogeographical implications.
Annales de Paléontologie (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annpal.2013.10.003

The Abelisauridae are a family of mainly Cretaceous theropod dinosaurs
with a wide distribution across the Gondwanan land masses. Although
their presence in Europe was reported twenty-five years ago, it has
often been considered as controversial largely because of the
incompleteness of the available specimens. We report here the
discovery of well-preserved abelisaurid material, including a highly
diagnostic braincase, at a Late Cretaceous (late Campanian) locality
in the Aix-en-Provence Basin, near the eponym city in south-eastern
France. A new abelisaurid taxon is erected, Arcovenator escotae gen.
nov., sp. nov., on the basis of cranial and postcranial material. A
phylogenetic analysis reveals that the new Abelisauridae from Provence
is more closely related to taxa from India and Madagascar than to
South American forms. Moreover, Genusaurus, Tarascosaurus and the
previous Late Cretaceous discoveries are identified as basal
abelisaurids. Contrary to previously proposed palaeobiogeographical
models of abelisaurid evolution, the presence of the new taxon in
Europe suggests that Europe and Africa may have played a major role in
abelisaurid dispersal, which apparently involved crossing marine

"As a Professor of Science, I assure you we did in fact evolve from
filthy monkey men." Hubert J. Farnworth.