Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Zhao's nomina nuda Part 1: changduensis

Since I've now acquired Zhao's 1985 paper (graciously translated by Leo Sham), the next several posts will be different than usual in that they won't involve theropods.  Ever since I read Lambert's (1990) Dinosaur Data Book (the inspiration for my website's title, btw), I've been intrigued by the obscure dinosaurs named by Zhao- "Damalasaurus", "Tianchungosaurus", "Ngexisaurus", etc..  What were these?  As I learned more about dinosaurs, I found out even most professionals didn't know.  Over the past week I've poured over all of the available information on these taxa to present the most detailed treatment they've ever received.  Some material from my last post will be repeated, but I've also uncovered earlier uses for some genera than even Olshevsky's lists show, and have a few new ideas of my own.  The theropods are on my website already (with some minor updates forthcoming), but since it doesn't include sauropodomorphs or ornithischians, I've decided to place the non-theropod summaries on this blog. There are several references relevant to most taxa, and these are given below and not repeated in every entry.  The first taxon is one of the most obscure, largely because Zhao didn't create a new genus for it...

Lufengosaurus "changduensis" Zhao, 1985
Etymology- Changdu is an alternative spelling of Qamdo, the county it was discovered in.
Early Jurassic
Middle Daye Group, Qamdo County, Daye, Tibet, China
- This species is apparently illustrated by Yang (1986).  Weishampel et al. (2004) include it in their faunal list along with an undescribed prosauropod which may be the same thing.
Relationships- Listed as a plateosaurid by Chure and McIntosh (1989) and Fang et al. (2006), and as an undescribed anchisaurid by Weishampel (1990).  Lufengosaurus has more recently been placed as a basal massopod, but being undescribed, there is no published evidence "changduensis" belongs in Lufengosaurus or is distinct from L. huenei
Reference- Yang, 1986. The Jurassic System. in Yang, Cheng and Wang (eds.). The Geology of China. Clarendon Press. 140-152.

General References- Zhao, "1983" [unpublished]. The Mesozoic vertebrate remains of Xizang (Tibet), China. The Series of the Scientific Expeditions to the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau. Palaeontology of Xizang. 2, 1-200.

Zhao, 1983. Phylogeny and evolutionary stages of Dinosauria. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. 28(1-2), 295-306.

Zhao, 1985. The Jurassic Reptilia. In Wang, Cheng and Wang (eds.). The Jurassic System of China. Stratigraphy of China. 11, 286-289, 347, plates 10 and 11.

Zhao and Cheng, 1985. The Qamdo-Simao Subregion. In Wang, Cheng and Wang (eds.). The Jurassic System of China.  Stratigraphy of China. 11, 174-179.

Chure and McIntosh, 1989. A Bibliography of the Dinosauria (Exclusive of the Aves) 1677-1986. Museum of Western Colorado Paleontology Series #1. 226 pp.

Lambert, 1990. The Dinosaur Data Book. New York: Avon Books. 320 pp.

Weishampel, 1990. Dinosaurian distribution. in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmolska (eds.). The Dinosauria. University of California Press. 63-139.

Olshevsky, 1991. A Revision of the Parainfraclass Archosauria Cope, 1869, Excluding the Advanced Crocodylia. Mesozoic Meanderings. 2, 196 pp.

Glut, 1997. Dinosaurs - The Encyclopedia. McFarland Press, Jefferson, NC. 1076 pp.

Zhang and Li, 1997. Mesozoic Dinosaur Localities in China and Their Stratigraphy. In Wolberg, Sump and Rosenberg (eds.). Dinofest International, Proceedings of a Symposium sponsered by Arizona State University. A Publication of The Academy of Natural Sciences. 265-273.

Olshevsky, DML 1999.

Weishampel, Barrett, Coria, Le Loeuff, Xu, Zhao, Sahni, Gomani and Noto, 2004. Dinosaur Distribution. in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmolska (eds.). The Dinosauria: Second Edition.  University of California Press. 517-606.

Fang, Zhang, Lu, Han, Zhao and Li, 2006. Collision between the Indian Plate and the paleo-Asian late and the appearance of Asian dinosaurs. Geological Bulletin of China. 25(7), 862-873.


  1. You cited "The Dinosaur Data Book". A preacher is using a chart from this book or a book by the same name. Do you have the book that his chart comes from?

  2. It is from the same book I cited. I tried to set them straight, but don't consider it likely they will listen.

  3. Can you provide me with a larger image of that chart? His is a little hard to read. Also, the surrounding context would be great too. My nearest copy of this book is in a library over an hour a way.

  4. Unfortunately no. I recognized it as being from the book because I checked it out from the library so often back in the early 90s, but I don't own a copy. The text says "Ruling reptiles. This family tree shows the likely evolution of dinosaurs, birds, crocodilians and pterosaurs from within the ___ group of early archosaurs called thecodonts. For explanationms of names see chapters 2 and 3. A Triassic Period. B Jutassic Period. C Cretaceous Period. 1 Armored archosaurs. 2 Thecodonts. a Proterosuchians. b Erythrosuchids. c Rauisuchians. d Aetosaurs. e. Phyosaurs (alias parasuchians). f Ornithosuchids. g Euparkeriids. h Lagosuchids. 3 Crocodilians. 4 Pterosaurs. 5 Dinosaurs. i Herrerasaurs. 5A Saurischian dinosaurs (j-m are flesh-eaters collectively called theropods). j Deinonychosaurs. h Oviraptorosaurs. m Carnosaurs and coelurosaurs. n Segnosaurs. o Prosauropods. p Sauropods. 5B Ornithischian dinosaurs. q Fabrosaurids. r Scelidosaurs. s Stegosaurs. t Ankylosaurs. u Ornithopods. v Heterodontosaurids. w Ceratopsians. x Pachycephalosaurs. 6 Birds." For context, it's on pages 26-27 of Chapter 1: The Age of Dinosaurs.