Ben Creisler | 21 Sep 20:19 2014


Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>


The seasons of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and spring in the
Southern Hemisphere bring to mind leaves on it may be as
good a moment as any to squelch a couple of etymological "myths" about
oak leaves.  The two "biggies" in vertpaleo are that  1) the Jurassic
dinosaur Dryosaurus Marsh, 1894 was named for teeth that resembled oak
leaves and that 2) the Miocene ape Dryopithecus Lartet, 1856 was named
after oak leaves found in the same deposits as the original fossil
bones. Based on primary sources, Dryosaurus means "tree lizard" (NOT
"oak lizard") and Dryopithecus means "tree ape" (NOT "oak ape")--and
neither name has anything to do with oak leaves.


Meanings of "Dryo-"

The Ancient Greek noun *drys* could mean a "tree" in general or an
"oak tree" in particular:

In Neo-Latin terminology and zoological nomenclature, compounds with
*drys* (*dry-*) commonly mean "tree" -- such as various generic names
proposed for tropical tree snakes (Dryophis "tree snake," Dryomedusa
"tree ruler," Dryonastes "tree dweller," Dryophylax "tree guardian"),
the mammal Dryoryx "tree pickax" (a synonym for Tamandua, a tropical
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Ben Creisler | 21 Sep 08:59 2014

Why dinosaurs have awesome names

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

The Dreadnoughtus effect: Why dinosaurs have awesome names

Ben Creisler | 20 Sep 09:01 2014

Plesiosaur found in Antarctica by Czech Geological Survey + more news

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

Some recent mainly international news stuff:

Plesiosaur found in Antarctica by Czech Geological Survey

In English

In Czech (with video)

Forests after K-PG extinction

Sciurumimus on display at Solnhofen Museum (in German);art596,2962319#plx2133919403


Stromer and Spinosaurus on Terra X television program (in German)
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Ben Creisler | 20 Sep 05:09 2014

"Dino Drone" and GPS used to map bone beds in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

A news story with video about mapping dinosaur bone beds in Dinosaur
Provincial Park

Richard W. Travsky | 19 Sep 22:07 2014

Spinosaurus reconstruction and cartilage

Just out of curiousity, was cartilage figured into the reconstruction 
(the CCF, cartilage correction factor)?

Is that even considered to be important, in general?

Ben Creisler | 19 Sep 05:35 2014

Dinosaurs of Brazil + more news

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

Some recent news and blog items:

Dinosaurs of Brazil with interactive galleries (in Portuguese)

21 Brazilian dinosaurs (interactive gallery):


How dinosaurs became fossils (with interactive gallery)


Paleoart revives dinosaurs


Rhoetosaurus under new study in Australia

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Tim Williams | 19 Sep 04:57 2014

Spinosaurus - the authors respond

The case for the affirmative...

It's also worth mentioning that evidence of an aquatic _Spinosaurus_
refutes a hypothesis put forward in the 1990s that non-avian theropods
were 'limited' in the potential niches they could exploit (including
aquatic/marine habitats), because they only possessed a single
locomotor 'module' (hindlimb + tail). By contrast birds, with three
separate 'modules' (wings, hindlimbs, tail) were far less constrained.
It is true that birds have exploited far more diverse ecological
niches than their non-avian counterparts... but the hypothesis that
non-avian theropods were anatomically precluded from becoming
semi-aquatic has been dealt a blow  by _Spinosaurus_.  I'd also be
surprised if _Spinosaurus_ was a 'one-off' in this respect.

This same hypothesis also proposed that the hindlimb of non-avian
theropods could not undergo any major modifications (such as for
aquatic locomotion) without severely compromising terrestrial
locomotion.  This would appear to hold water (so to speak).  In an
imponderable 'what if' of evolution, spinosaurs could have given rise
to obligate aquatic/marine predators similar to thalattosuchians or
mosasaurs or even penguins.


Ben Creisler | 18 Sep 06:37 2014

Dinosaurs exhibit at University of Alberta + Michael Habib + more news

I'll try again by tweaking the subject line. I've tried sending this twice...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Ben Creisler <bcreisler <at>>
Date: Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 8:43 PM
Subject: Discovering Dinosaurs at University of Alberta + Michael
Habib + more news
To: dinosaur <at>

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

A number of news stories:

New dinosaur exhibit Discovering Dinosaurs at University of Alberta

Article about Michael Habib

Utah dinosaur tracks removed for protection

Dinosaur tracks found in Sichuan, China (photos)
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Ben Creisler | 17 Sep 18:27 2014

Rhinorex, new hadrosaurid from Upper Cretaceous of central Utah (free pdf)

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

A new online paper:

Terry A. Gates & Rodney Scheetz (2014)
A new saurolophine hadrosaurid (Dinosauria: Ornithopoda) from the
Campanian of Utah, North America.
Journal of Systematic Palaeontology (advance online publication)

A new hadrosaurid is described from the Upper Cretaceous Neslen
Formation of central Utah. Rhinorex condrupus gen. et sp. nov. is
diagnosed on the basis of two unique traits, a hook-shaped projection
of the nasal anteroventral process and dorsal projection of the
posteroventral process of the premaxilla, and is further
differentiated from other hadrosaurid species based on the morphology
of the nasal (large nasal boss on the posterodorsal corner of the
circumnarial fossa, small protuberences on the anterior process,
absence of nasal arch), jugal (vertical postorbital process),
postorbital (high degree of flexion present on posterior process), and
squamosal (inclined anterolateral processes). This new taxon was
discovered in estuarine sediments dated at approximately 75 Ma and
just 250 km north of the prolific dinosaur-bearing strata of the
Kaiparowits Formation, possibly overlapping in time with Gryposaurus
monumentensis. Phylogenetic parsimony and Bayesian analyses associate
this new taxon with the Gryposaurus clade, even though the type
specimen does not possess the diagnostic nasal hump of the latter
genus. Comparisons with phylogenetic analyses from other studies show
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Ben Creisler | 17 Sep 07:16 2014

Thescelosaurus skull gets CT scan + more news

Ben Creisler
bcreisler <at>

A number of news and blog items...

Thescelosaurus skull gets CT scan in Colorado (with video)


Digital creation of Spinosaurus skull


Australian dinosaur coin series starts with Australovenator


Have theropods become media hogs that overshadow other dinosaurs?


How birds got "lightweight" skeletons
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Ben Creisler | 17 Sep 06:55 2014

Re: Rukwatitan, new titanosaur from Cretaceous of Tanzania (free pdf)

Note that the pdf is now free in open access....

On Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 7:05 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler <at>> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler <at>
> Here's the full ref in the new JVP:
> Eric Gorscak, Patrick M. O'Connor, Nancy J. Stevens & Eric M. Roberts (2014)
> The basal titanosaurian Rukwatitan bisepultus (Dinosauria, Sauropoda)
> from the middle Cretaceous Galula Formation, Rukwa Rift Basin,
> southwestern Tanzania.
> Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(5): 1133-1154
> DOI:10.1080/02724634.2014.845568
> Whereas titanosaurians represent the most diverse and cosmopolitan
> clade of Cretaceous sauropod dinosaurs, they remain rare components of
> Cretaceous African faunas. Currently recognized continental African
> titanosaurians include Aegyptosaurus baharijensis and Paralititan
> stromeri from early Upper Cretaceous deposits near Bahariya Oasis,
> Egypt, and Malawisaurus dixeyi and Karongasaurus gittelmani from the
> Lower Cretaceous (∼Aptian) Dinosaur Beds of Malawi, in addition to
> several undesignated and fragmentary forms across the continent. Here,
> we describe a new titanosaurian taxon, Rukwatitan bisepultus, on the
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