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[dinosaur] La Rioja dinosaur footprints + orbitosphenoid in basal Epicynodontia + Nemegt Basin + F. von Huene

Ben Creisler

Some recent dino- and non-dino related papers:

Félix Pérez Lorente (2017)
Developments and contributions in the study of La Rioja dinosaur footprints (Spain).
Spanish Journal of Palaeontology 32(1):  171-184

In this paper the study of dinosaur tracks of La Rioja, which began in 1970, is presented as an example of knowledge development, achievements, and events occurring around a paleontological resource having strong media impact. Fieldwork, research, and dissemination since the publication of the first scientific works have been accompanied by activities to protect sites and consider them as natural and cultural heritage. Finally it is shown how a paleontological resource has also led to the development of the tourist infrastructure in the area.


Julien Benoit, Sandra C. Jasinoski, Vincent Fernandez & Fernando Abdala (2017)
The mystery of a missing bone: revealing the orbitosphenoid in basal Epicynodontia (Cynodontia, Therapsida) through computed tomography.
The Science of Nature 104:66 (advance online publication)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00114-017-1487-z

The basal non-mammaliaform cynodonts from the late Permian (Lopingian) and Early Triassic are a major source of information for the understanding of the evolutionary origin of mammals. Detailed knowledge of their anatomy is critical for understanding the phylogenetic transition toward mammalness and the paleobiological reconstruction of mammalian precursors. Using micro-computed tomography (μCT), we describe the internal morphology of the interorbital region that includes the rarely fossilized orbitosphenoid elements in four basal cynodonts. These paired bones, which are positioned relatively dorsally in the skull, contribute to the wall of the anterior part of the braincase and form the floor for the olfactory lobes. Unlike procynosuchids and the more basal therapsids in which the orbitosphenoids are well developed, dense, and bear a ventral keel, the basal epicynodonts Cynosaurus, Galesaurus, and Thrinaxodon display cancellous, reduced, and loosely articulated orbitosphenoids, a condition shared with many eucynodonts. The hemi-cylindrical orbitosphenoid from which the mammalian condition is derived re-evolved convergently in traversodontid and some probainognathian cynodonts.


Free pdf:

F. Fanti, P. Bell, P. Currie & K. Tsogtbaatar  (2017)
The Nemegt Basin — one of the best field laboratories for terrestrial Cretaceous ecosystems.
Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (advance online publication)
doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2017.07.014


The Nemegt Basin is perhaps the most important fossil-bearing region of Mongolia.
The unique fossils of Mongolia have sparked an explosion of illegal fossil poaching in the country.
We introduce multidisciplinary methodologies to understand the Cretaceous Nemegt ecosystem.
We discuss biotic response to local and large-scale Nemegt palaeocological dynamics.

One of the richest and most productive Late Cretaceous vertebrate regions, both in terms of numbers of specimens and represented biota, is the Gobi Desert confined within southern Mongolia. The Nemegt Formation is the gem of the region because of its highly diverse fauna confined within a discrete stratigraphic interval that is exposed in a relatively small area (175 by 50 km). The type locality for this stratigraphic unit is located south of Nemegt Uul (Nemegt Mountain), with half a dozen sites scattered through the northern parts of the Nemegt Basin. Although less documented, the Nemegt Formation is also exposed discontinuously in neighboring basins to the west and northwest. The history of development of the stratigraphy and palaeontology of this region is complex and encompasses more than 70 years of research activities, tens of fossil localities, hundreds of unique specimens, and remarkable efforts to challenge illegal fossil poaching in the country.

Carlos Roberto A. Candeiro & Silvia Fernanda M. Figueirôa (2017)
Early twentieth-century paleontological research of Freidrich von Huene: contributions to the knowledge of Late Cretaceous vertebrates of Central Brazil.
Historical Biology (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2017.1335311   

Friedrich von Huene’s important scientific research on tetrapod fossils from Central Brazil has received little attention, even though it represents a significant contribution to early studies of vertebrate paleontology in the country including the first discoveries of dinosaur fossils in Brazil. von Huene described five reptile taxa in two papers published in important German scientific journals and used these specimens to make paleogeographic inferences regarding the Cretaceous of the Southern Hemisphere. Von Huene warrants recognition as the first specialist to describe in detail the fossil reptile fauna of Central Brazil, which was made possible only by his network of contacts with important and influential naturalists of the cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.