Saturday, June 12, 2010

The third Dinosaurus

Here's a quickie before I leave for work.  Everyone knows about the Dinosaurus that's a synapsid, and the "Dinosaurus" that's a sauropodomorph.  But did you know there's a third "Dinosaurus"?

"Dinosaurus" Lessem and Glut, 1993

Comments- Lessem and Glut (1993) included an entry for a genus named Dinosaurus in their popular book "The Dinosaur Society's Dinosaur Encyclopedia". This was supposed to be a theropod from the Late Cretaceous of India known from fragmentary ribs and a caudal vertebra. However, personal communication with Glut (2000) indicates that the entry was an error by Lessem and does not reflect any real specimen.

Dinosaurus is the name of two other proposed genera though. Dinosaurus murchisoni (Fischer, 1845) Fischer, 1847 is a junior synonym of the anteosaurid synapsid Brithopus priscus. Contra some sources, Seeley (1895) did not try to name another genus Dinosaurus, but rather described a femur he referred to Dinosaurus that has been subsequently referred to the dinocephalan synapsid Phreatosuchus qualeni. "Dinosaurus gresslyi" was named without a description by Rutimeyer (1856a), so was a nomen nudum. It needed to be renamed due to Fischer's genus anyway, so was officially described as Gresslyosaurus ingens by Rutimeyer later that year (1856b). As "Dinosaurus gresslyi" was invalid, Olshevsky's (2000) claim the species name should still be gresslyi is incorrect. The species is a plateosaurid and is often placed in Plateosaurus itself, though this is a matter of personal preference.

References- Fischer, 1845. Beitrag zur naeheren Bestimmung des von Hrn. Wangenheim von Qualen abgebildeten und beschriebenen Saurier-Schaedels. Bulletin de la Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou. 18, 540-543.

Fischer, 1847. Bemerkungen uber das Schadel-Fragment, welches Herr Major Wangenheim von Qualen in dem West-Ural entdeckt und der Gesellschaft zur Beurteilung vorgelegt hat. Bulletin de la Societe Imperiale des Naturalistes de Moscou. 20, 263-267.

Rutimeyer, 1856a. Dinosaurus gresslyi. Bibliotheque Universelle des Sciences Belles-Lettres et Arts, Geneve. September, 53.

Rutimeyer, 1856b. Reptilienknochen aus dem Keuper. Allgemeine Schweizerische Gesellschaft fur de Gesammten Naturwissenschaften. 41, 62-64.

Seeley, 1895. Researches on the structure, organization and classification of the fossil Reptilia. Part IX, section 1. On the Therosuchia. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, series B. 185(21), 987-1018.

Lessem and Glut, 1993. The Dinosaur Society's Dinosaur Encyclopedia. New York: Random House.

Olshevsky, 2000. An annotated checklist of dinosaur species by continent. Mesozoic Meanderings. 3, 1-157.

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