Thursday, December 31, 2015

[Paleontology • 2015] Sirindhorna khoratensis | สิรินธรน่า โคราชเอนซิส • A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand



สิรินธรน่า โคราชเอนซิส |  Sirindhorna khoratensis  Shibata, Jintasakul, Azuma & You, 2015

Fig 16. Skull of Sirindhorna khoratensis. (A) A composite skull reconstruction of Sirindhorna. Several elements are reversed. (B) Life restoration of the head of Sirindhorna by Yoko Ohnish.
Scale bar equals 10 cm. Dashed line indicates missing elements.

Abstract

A new basal hadrosauroid dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation of Thailand, Sirindhorna khoratensis gen. et sp. nov is described. The new taxon is based on composite skull and mandible including premaxilla, maxilla, jugal, quadrate, braincases, predentary, dentaries, surangular, and maxillary and dentary teeth. It is diagnostic by such characters as, sagittal crest extending along entire dorsal surface of the parietal and reaching the frontoparietal suture (autapomorphy), transversely straight frontoparietal suture, caudodorsally faced supraoccipital, no participation of the supraoccipital in the foramen magnum, mesiodistally wide leaf-shaped dentary tooth with primary and secondary ridges on the lingual surface of the crown, perpendicularly-erected and large coronoid process of dentary, and nonvisible antorbital fossa of the maxilla in lateral view. Phylogenetic analysis revealed S. khoratensis as among the most basal hadrosauroids. Sirindhorna khoratensis is the best-preserved iguanodontian ornithopod in Southeast Asia and sheds new light to resolve the evolution of basal hadrosauriforms.





Introduction

Fossil records of non-hadrosaurid hadrosauriform dinosaurs in Asia have been accumulated in this century. Although these discoveries mainly came from China and Mongolia, new findings have been known from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Japan and Thailand. However, well-preserved iguanodontian specimens were restricted in China and Mongolia; for instance, Jinzhousaurus yangi was known as the almost complete articulated skeleton found from Liaoning Province, Xuwulong yueluni was represented by an articulated skeleton without appendages from Gansu Province of China, and Probactrosaurus gobiensis from Inner Mongolia was described including several individuals of cranium and post cranial portions. In contrast, although two iguanodontians known from the Lower Cretaceous of Thailand, Siamodon (maxilla and referred braincase) and Ratchasimasaurus (dentary), none of them provides enough characters to discuss their phylogenies in detail. The new taxon in this study is known from extensive remains including a disarticulated skull and mandibles, and is much more complete than material of the aforementioned Thailand iguanodontians. This new material was collected from one locality of the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation during the first term of Japan-Thailand Dinosaur Project (abbreviated as JTDP), including the preliminary excavation by NRRU in 2005. We describe this material and discuss its phylogenetic position based on a cladistic analysis.


Fig 1. Locality map and stratigraphic column for Sirindhorna.
(A) Map of Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, (B) localities of Sirindhorna (star mark), Ratchasimasuarus (R) and Siamodon (S), (C) stratigraphic column for the Khorat Group.

Fig 3. Photo (A) and line drawing (B) of the left lateral side of the skull (NRRU3001-166).


   

Systematic Paleontology

Dinosauria Owen, 1842
Ornithischia Seeley, 1887

Iguanodontia Dollo, 1888 sensu Sereno, 2005 
Ankylopollexia Sereno, 1986 sensu Sereno, 2005 
Styracosterna Sereno, 1986 sensu Sereno, 2005 

Hadrosauriformes Sereno, 1997 sensu Sereno, 1998
Hadrosauroidea Sereno, 1986 sensu Sereno, 2005

Sirindhorna gen. nov.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:40C4FBA5-455F-45AE-AD5A-33B6A6FB8723

Sirindhorna khoratensis, sp. nov.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:act:54C342F2-EB92-4047-8F78-714025579CB5

Etymology: Dedication to the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Thailand, for her contribution to the support and encouragement of paleontology in Thailand. The specific name comes from the name of the locality, Khorat, which is the informal name of Nakhon Ratchasima Province, northeastern Thailand.

Diagnosis: Basal hadrosauroid distinguished by an autapomorphy: sagittal crest extending along entire dorsal surface of the parietal and reaching the frontoparietal suture, and the following unique combination of characters: relatively straight frontoparietal suture, caudodorsally faced supraoccipital, no participation of the supraoccipital in the foramen magnum, antorbital fossa of the maxilla not visible, slightly rostrally deepening dentary ramus, simple troughs for dentary alveoli with vertical walls and tooth crown-shaped base, vertical coronoid process expanded along rostral and caudal margins, and dentary teeth with primary and secondary ridges but no accessory ridges.

Holotype: An articulated braincase comprising the supraoccipital, exoccipitals, opisthotics, prootics, parietals, frontals, basioccipital, basisphenoid orbitosphenoids, parasphenoid and laterosphenoids, with postorbitals and squamosals (NRRU3001-166)

Referred materials: Disarticulated elements of skull and mandibles: a braincase articulating with a left postorbital (NRRU-A2035), dorsal half of a braincase (NRRU3001-65), caudal portion of a braincase (NRRU3001-179), a right premaxilla (NRRU-A3623), a left maxilla (NRRU-A2048), a right maxilla (NRRU-A2047), a right jugal (NRRU3001-7), a right quadrate (NRRU3001-175), a predentary (NRRU3001-169), a left dentary (NRRU3001-14), a right dentary (NRRU3001-167), a right surangular (NRRU3001-137), isolated maxillary teeth (NRRU-A1956, A3630, A3649, NRRU3001-157, 163), an isolated dentary tooth (NRRU3001-28).

Locality and horizon: In Ban (meaning “village”) Saphan Hin, Suranaree Subdistrict, Muaeng Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand. Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) Khok Kruat Formation.

Fig 15. Comparisons with other Thailand iguanodontians.
(A) Holotypic left maxilla of Siamodon, (B) holotypic right dentary of Ratchasimasaurus, (C) left maxilla of Sirindhorna (NRRU-A2048), (D) left dentary of Sirindhorna (NRRU3001-167).
Scale bars equal 10 cm.    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145904

Conclusions
The Early Cretaceous hadrosauroid dinosaur, Sirindhorna khoratensis, is described based upon cranial elements. This is the first report of well-preserved ornithopod skull in Southeast Asia (See reconstruction, in Fig 16). Sirindhorna shows general morphological features of hadrosauriforms, such as the low-triangle shaped maxilla, a broad leaf-shaped dentary tooth crown with one prominent primary and one secondary ridges, exclusion of the supraoccipital from the foramen magnum, and the closure of the antorbital fenestra. Uniquely, the craniocaudally-elongated parietals form a long saggital crest extending to the frontoparietal suture in Sirindhorna. Moreover, upper and lower jaws of Sirindhorna show evident differences from the other two Thailand hadrosauriforms, Siamodon nimingami and Ratchasimasaurus suranareae. Phylogenetic analysis recovers Sirindhorna as the most basal hadrosauroid.



Masateru Shibata, Pratueng Jintasakul, Yoichi Azuma and Hai-Lu You. 2015. A New Basal Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Khok Kruat Formation in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Northeastern Thailand. PLoS ONE. 10 (12): e0145904.  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145904

 

Sirindhorna khoratensis: Fossils of unknown dinosaur found in Thailand | The Japan Times http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/01/15/national/science-health/fossils-unknown-dinosaur-found-thailand


โดยความร่วมมือของคณะสำรวจไทยจากมหาวิทยาลัยราชภัฏนครราชสีมา [Nakhon Ratchasima Rajabhat University: NRRU] และพิพิธภัณฑ์ไดโนเสาร์จังหวัดฟุกุอิ [Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum] ประเทศญี่ปุ่น ได้ศึกษาและขุดค้นภาคสนามที่ตำบลสุรนารี อำเภอเมืองนครราชสีมา จังหวัดนครราชสีมา ในชั้นตะกอนหินกรวดสีแดง ในหมวดชั้นหินโคกกรวด ซึ่งเป็นชั้นตะกอนหินที่ก่อตัวในช่วงต้นยุคครีเตเชียสเมื่อประมาณ 110 ล้านปีก่อน

การขุดค้นพบครั้งนี้ได้พบชิ้นส่วนฟอสซิลกระโหลกของไดโนเสาร์กินพืชกลุ่มออร์นิโธพอด ชิ้นกระดูกส่วนท้ายทอย ปลายจะงอยปากบน และกรามล่าง ซึ่งจากการศึกษาลักษณะเอกลักษณ์นั้น ฟอสซิลของไดโนเสาร์ตัวใหม่นี้มีลักษณะบางประการที่ดูคล้ายคลึงกับไดโนเสาร์ในกลุ่มอิกัวโนดอน แต่มีลักษณะของปลายจะงอยปากทรงสามเหลี่ยมแบนที่เป็นลักษณะของกลุ่มฮาโดรซอร์ที่พัฒนาขึ้น

. . . การค้นพบนี้คณะวิจัยได้ขอพระราชทานชื่อสายพันธุ์ไดโนเสาร์ชนิดใหม่นี้จากสมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดาฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี เพื่อเฉลิมพระเกียรติ โดยไดโนเสาร์สายพันธุ์นี้มีชื่อวิทยาศาสตร์ว่า สิรินธรน่า โคราชเอนซิส (Sirindhorna khoratensis) ซึ่งชื่อสายพันธุ์นั้นได้ใช้คำว่า โคราช ชื่อเดิมของจังหวัดนครราชสีมา 

สิรินธรน่า เป็นไดโนเสาร์กินพืชในกลุ่มฮาโดรซอร์ที่มีลักษณะโบราณมาก ซึ่งอาศัยอยู่ในช่วงเวลาและหมวดหินที่ใกล้เคียงกันอย่างไดโนเสาร์สายพันธุ์ สยามโมดอน (Siamodon nimingami) และราชสีมาซอรัส (Ratchasimasaurus suranareae) แม้ว่าการศึกษาจะระบุว่าสองสายพันธุ์ที่กล่าวมาจะอยู่ในกลุ่มอิกัวโนดอนมากกว่า

ฮาโดรซอร์ หรือไดโนเสาร์ปากเป็ดเป็นกลุ่มไดโนเสาร์กินพืชที่พัฒนาขนาดให้ใหญ่ขึ้นมากในช่วงปลายยุคครีเตเชียส ซึ่งเป็นหนึ่งในกลุ่มไดโนเสาร์กินพืชที่อาศัยอยู่ในภูมิภาคซีกโลกเหนืออย่างเอเชีย-ยุโรป และอเมริกาเหนือ และสูญพันธุ์ในช่วงปลายยุคครีเตเชียส


  

    


ผศ.ดร.ประเทืองเปิดเผยว่า การขุดค้นพบฟอสซิลไดโนเสาร์อิกัวโนดอนสายพันธุ์ใหม่ของโลกในครั้งนี้ เกิดขึ้นจากความร่วมมือระหว่างนักวิจัยจากประเทศไทย และนักวิจัยจากประเทศญี่ปุ่น โดยศาสตราจารย์ ดร.โยอิชิ อะซูมา ผอ.สถาบันวิจัยไดโนเสาร์ มหาวิทยาลัยฟูกุอิ และพิพิธภัณฑ์ไดโนเสาร์ฟูกุอิ ประเทศญี่ปุ่น เป็นหัวหน้าคณะทีมวิจัยฟอสซิลไดโนเสาร์จากแหล่งบ้านสะพานหิน ต.สุรนารี อ.เมือง จ.นครราชสีมา โดยเริ่มวิจัยตั้งแต่ปี พ.ศ. 2550 ซึ่งที่ผ่านมาได้มีการขุดพบฟอสซิลไดโนเสาร์อิกัวโนดอนต์สายพันธุ์ใหม่ของโลกมาแล้ว 2 สกุล ได้แก่ ราชสีมาซอรัส และสยามโมดอน ส่วนฟอสซิลอิกัวโนดอนต์ที่ทำการวิจัยครั้งนี้ ประกอบไปด้วย ชิ้นส่วนกะโหลก ขากรรไกรบน ล่าง ฟัน และชิ้นส่วนอื่นๆ รวม 19 ชิ้น จากชั้นหินกรวดมนปนปูน ในหมวดหินโคกกรวด มีอายุประมาณ 115 ล้านปีก่อน ที่มีระบบนิเวศเป็นแบบกึ่งแห้งแล้ง ซึ่งฟอสซิลอิกัวโนดอนต์ตัวนี้ มีความแตกต่างจากอิกัวโนดอนต์ 2 สกุลที่พบในโคราชมาก่อน เช่น มีขากรรไกรล่าง ที่มีอัตราส่วนระหว่างความยาวและความสูงน้อยกว่าราชสีมาซอรัส หรือมีขากรรไกรบนทรงต่ำหรือลาดเอียงมากกว่าสยามโมดอน เป็นต้น

ได้รับพระมหากรุณาธิคุณในวโรกาส 60 พรรษา สมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดาฯ สยามบรมราชกุมารี พระราชทานพระราชานุญาตให้ใช้พระนามของพระองค์ เป็นชื่อสกุลว่า “สิรินธรน่า” ส่วนชื่อชนิด ใช้ชื่อโคราชซึ่งเป็นแหล่งค้นพบ คือ โคราชแดนซิส รวมเป็นชื่อทางการว่า “สิรินธรน่า โคราชเอนซิส” โดยมีขนาดความยาวตั้งแต่หัวจรดหาง ประมาณ 6 เมตร สูงประมาณ 2 เมตร หนักประมาณ 1 ตัน มีอายุอยู่ในช่วงประมาณ 115 ล้านปีก่อน ทั้งนี้สำหรับไดโนเสาร์อิกัวโนดอน อยู่ในประเภทไดโนเสาร์กินพืชที่มีกระดูกสะโพกแบบนก ต่างจากไดโนเสาร์กินพืชพวกซอโรพอตหรือพวกคอยาวหางยาว ที่มีกระดูกสะโพกแบบสัตว์เลื้อยคลาน ไดโนเสาร์กลุ่มอิกัวโนดอนนี้ พบมากกว่า 60 สกุล เพราะมีวิวัฒนาการต่อเนื่องกันมานานกว่า 100 ล้านปี และพบกระจายกว้างขวางทั่วโลก ลักษณะเด่นของอิกัวโนดอนต์ คือมีฟันคล้ายฟันอิกัวน่า แต่มีขนาดใหญ่กว่ากันมาก ไม่มีฟันในส่วนหน้าของขากรรไกรบน-ล่าง แต่มีจงอยปากที่เป็นกระดูกแข็งแทน ขาหลังแข็งแรง ใหญ่ และยาวกว่าขาหน้า จึงเป็นไดโนเสาร์ที่วิ่งได้เร็วด้วย 2 เท้า แต่เวลาเดินหรือแทะเล็มกินใบไม้ยอดไม้ระดับต่ำ จะเดินด้วย 4 เท้า อาจแบ่งได้เป็น 2 พวกย่อย คือ พวกที่มีหัวแม่มือเป็นเดือยแหลม ไว้ป้องกันตัวหรือแกะเมล็ดไม้ที่มีเปลือกแข็ง เช่น อิกัวโนดอน จึงหมายถึงกลุ่มไดโนเสาร์ที่ประกอบด้วยสกุลอิกัวโนดอน และสกุลอื่นๆ ที่คล้ายอิกัวโนดอน สำหรับสิรินธรน่า จะจัดอยู่ในกลุ่มย่อยที่ 1 คือ พวกที่มีหัวแม่มือเป็นเดือยแหลม รวมทั้งราชสีมาซอรัสและสยามโมดอน ก็จัดอยู่ในอิกัวโนดอนกลุ่มย่อยนี้ด้วย

ขึ้นทะเบียนซากไดโนเสาร์พันธุ์ใหม่โลก "สิรินธรนา โคราชเอนซิส" อายุ 100 ล้านปี
news.thaipbs.or.th/content/261064 #ThaiPBS via @ThaiPBS
พระราชทาน ‘สิรินธรน่า โคราชเอนซิส’ ฟอสซิลไดโนเสาร์สายพันธุ์ใหม่ที่ขุดพบ: http://www.matichon.co.th/news/7220

Monday, December 28, 2015

[Paleontology • 2015] Ischioceratops zhuchengensis • A New Leptoceratopsid (Ornithischia, Ceratopsia) with a Unique Ischium from the Upper Cretaceous of Shandong Province, China


Ischioceratops zhuchengensis
He, Makovicky, Wang, Chen, Sullivan, Han & Xu, 2015

Fig 1.
Holotype of Ischioceratops zhuchengensis (ZCDM V0016) in right lateral view.
Photograph (A), drawing (B) and reconstruction of holotype individual (C).
Abbreviations: cv, caudal vertebrae; lil, left ilium; ot, ossified tendons; rfem, right femur; rfib, right fibula; ril, right ilium; ris, right ischium; rtib, right tibia.


Abstract
The partial skeleton of a leptoceratopsid dinosaur, Ischioceratops zhuchengensis gen. et sp. nov., was excavated from the bone-beds of the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng, Shandong Province, China. This fossil represents the second leptoceratopsid dinosaur specimen recovered from the Kugou locality, a highly productive site in Zhucheng. The ischium of the new taxon is morphologically unique among known Dinosauria, flaring gradually to form an obturator process in its middle portion and resembling the shaft of a recurve bow. An elliptical fenestra perforates the obturator process, and the distal end of the shaft forms an axehead-shaped expansion. The discovery of Ischioceratops increases the known taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity of the Leptoceratopsidae.


Introduction

The leptoceratopsids are a group of small, quadrupedal horned dinosaurs that have so far been found exclusively in the Upper Cretaceous (upper Santonian—upper Maastrichtian) of Asia and western North America. With a typical body length of about two meters, they are much smaller than the contemporary ceratopsids. The leptoceratopsids are characterized by robust jaws equipped with highly specialized large teeth and, unlike ceratopsids, lack horns and have extremely short frills. Nevertheless, leptoceratopsids share some of the advanced features seen in ceratopsids and are closely related to the latter group.

Leptoceratopsidae was originally named by Nopcsa in 1923 as a subfamily, with Leptoceratops gracilis as the type species. In 2001, Makovicky redefined Leptoceratopsidae as a stem-based taxon consisting of all species closer to Leptoceratops gracilis than to Triceratops horridus. Leptoceratopsids were once known only from the Upper Cretaceous of North America, but three taxa have been described from the Upper Cretaceous of Asia: Asiaceratops salsopaludalis from Uzbekistan, Udanoceratops tschizhovi from Udan-Sayr, Mongolia, and Zhuchengceratops inexpectus from the Kugou locality, Zhucheng, China. Leptoceratopsids are a relatively basal clade within Neoceratopsia, whose success as a parallel radiation to Ceratopsidae has been demonstrated by several important discoveries over the past few decades, including that of Prenoceratops pieganensis, and Cerasinops hodgskissi.

Here we report a new leptoceratopsid dinosaur that was also excavated from the bonebeds of the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng. The new specimen, like Zhuchengceratops, comes from the Kugou locality. This locality, together with Longgujian (just 600 m north of Kugou) and Zangjiazhuang (5 km away from Kugou), has yielded numerous hadrosaurid bones. The Zangjiazhuang locality has also produced several tyrannosaurid elements and some material atrributable to Sinoceratops zhuchengensis, the only undisputed ceratopsid from outside of North America [16]. Though lacking cranial elements, the newly collected specimen possesses some morphological features that identify it as a non-ceratopsid neoceratopsian. In particular, the morphology of the ischium is unique among known Dinosauria. Discovery of this new taxon increases the taxonomic diversity and morphological disparity of the Leptoceratopsidae and has significant implications for interpretations of neoceratopsian biogeography.

Ischioceratops zhuchengensis 
 by Hyrotrioskjan Hyrotrioskjan.deviantart.com

Fig 1. Holotype of Ischioceratops zhuchengensis (ZCDM V0016) in right lateral view. 
Photograph (A), drawing (B) and reconstruction of holotype individual (C). 
Abbreviations: cv, caudal vertebrae; lil, left ilium; ot, ossified tendons; rfem, right femur; rfib, right fibula; ril, right ilium; ris, right ischium; rtib, right tibia.

Systematic palaeontology

Ornithischia Seeley, 1888
Ceratopsia Marsh, 1890

Leptoceratopsidae Nopcsa, 1923

Ischioceratops zhuchengensis gen. et sp. nov.
urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:71CD0FAE-070C-4CC4-96CC-B37D5B1071CE

Etymology: Genus name from ischium and ceratops (horn-face, Latinized Greek), in reference to the unique morphology of the ischium. The species name is in honor of Zhucheng, where the holotype specimen was discovered.

Holotype: Zhucheng Dinosaur Museum (ZCDM) V0016, an incomplete, partially articulated specimen (Figs 1–8) comprising the entire sacrum, a few ossified tendons, both halves of the pelvis, the anteriormost 15 caudal vertebrae in an articulated series, and the right femur, tibia and fibula.

Type locality and horizon: Kugou, Zhucheng, Shandong Province, China; Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group.

Diagnosis: The specimen can be referred as a basal ceratopsian and distinguished from other known Dinosauria based on the following combination of characters: ossified tendons confirme that the specimen belongs to an ornithischian dinosaur, nine sacral vertebare exclude it from basal Ornithopoda or Anklysauridae, the lateral outline of ilium without lateral everted shelf on the dorsal edge exclude it from Iguanodontidae, Hadrosauridae, and Ceratopsidae. The neural spines of proximal caudals increase in length towards middle part of tail as in several basal ceratopsian dinosaurs such as Koreaceratops, Protoceratops, Cerasinops and Montanoceratops.

The specimen can be referred to Leptoceratopsidae and distinguished from other known leptoceratopsids based on the following combination of characters: nine sacral vertebrae, more than in any other known basal (non-ceratopsid) ceratopsian but fewer than in ceratopsids; The ischium is unique and presumably autapomorphic, with a robust shaft that resembles that of a recurved bow and flares gradually to form a subrectangular-shaped obturator process in its middle portion. An elliptical fenestra perforates the obturator process.

Discussion

Well-established synapomorphies of Ceratopsia are mainly craniomandibular, and include the presence of a rostral bone, prominent jugal horns, a vaulted premaxillary palate, and a predentary with a broad base that supports the dentary symphysis. Unfortunately, few postcranial synapomorphies have been identified. However, the preserved postcranial skeletal elements that are available for Ischioceratops display features that preclude referral to any major ornithischian clade outside Ceratopsia, or identification of Ischioceratops as a ceratopsid. The nine sacral vertebrae exclude Ischioceratops from identification as a basal ornithopod or ankylosaurid and the lateral outline of ilium without a lateral everted shelf on the dorsal edge excludes Ischioceratops from iguanodontians, hadrosaurids, and ceratopsids. The increasing elongation of more posteriorly situated neural spines in the proximal half of the tail is similar to the condition in several basal ceratopsian dinosaurs, and a pendant, parallelogram-shaped fourth trochanter on the femur is similar to that in Montanoceratops.

The principal diagnostic feature of Ischioceratops is the fenestrated midshaft expansion of the ischial shaft. This highly unusual feature renders the ischium unlike that of any other dinosaur. While this unusual morphology prompts the question of whether it could be the result of pathology, several factors argue against this interpretation. Firstly, the expansion and opening occur symmetrically on both ischia, and both ischia bear a medial groove extending distally from the midshaft expansion. Furthermore the openings in the midshaft expansion appear to be true fenestrae with finished edges rather than the blind recesses sometimes observed in connection with tendon avulsions [86] or pus canals. We therefore assume that the ischial morphology observed in this specimen represents the normal condition in Ischioceratops, rather than a pathological anomaly.

Although it is tempting to homologize the ischial expansions of Ischioceratops with the obturator processes of more basal ornithopods/cerapodans, this is problematic for both topological and phylogenetic reasons. In basal ornithischians that have an obturator process, such as Hypsilophodon (Fig 8A3, and Tenontosaurus (FMNH PR 2173), this structure is restricted to the ventral border of the ischial shaft and is located well proximal to the midpoint of the shaft. By contrast, the expansion in Ischioceratops arises from the ventrolateral edge of the shaft and located distal to the midlength of the ischium. Furthermore, no other marginocephalian taxa exhibit obturator processes, and both of our phylogenetic analyses support a relatively derived position for Ischioceratops within Neoceratopsia. Thus, the ischial shaft expansion and fenestra are best viewed as a neomorphic character that is currently only known in Ischioceratops and unexpectedly increases the known morphological disparity of the otherwise rather conservative leptoceratopsid pelvis.

Another unique aspect of the Ischioceratops ischium is the knob-like distal expansion. This feature absent in other ornithischians, although a differently-shaped terminal expansion of the ischium is present in several non-hadrosauroid iguanodontians (Fig 8B3–8B5), some basal hadrosaurines (Fig 8C2–8C4) and some basal neoceratopsians (e.g. Auroraceratops, Fig 8E4, Protoceratops, Fig 8E5). In these species, the foot-like structure expands ventrally at a 90° angle from the main shaft, whereas in Ischioceratops the distal end of the ischium is expanded both dorsally and ventrally. The ischial shaft is unexpanded in most other neoceratopsian taxa in which it is known (Fig 8E2–8F4), although in Yinlong the middle portion of the ischium is ventrally expanded in lateral view. As with the midshaft expansion, the knob-like distal swelling appears to be an autapomorphy of Ischioceratops rather than a retained primitive feature.

In 2008, Zhuchengceratops inexpectus and Sinoceratops zhuchengensis were excavated from the bone-beds of the Upper Cretaceous Wangshi Group of Zhucheng, Shandong Province, at the Kugou and Zangjiazhuang localities respectively. Numerical phylogenetic analyses positioned Zhuchengceratops as a derived leptoceratopsid within a clade also containing Montanoceratops, Udanoceratops, and Leptoceratops.

The holotype of Ischioceratops was found at approximately the same stratigraphic level within the Kugou quarry as the holotype specimen of Zhuchengceratops, raising the question of whether the two specimens may be conspecific. Unfortunately, there are no overlapping skeletal elements between the two specimens. It depends on the recovery of overlapping material and future discoveries. Zhuchengceratops was recovered by our phylogenetic analysis has a close relationship with Ichioceratops in Leptoceratopsidae. Therefore, we provisionally consider Ischioceratops and Zhuchengceratops to be distinct taxa, although we acknowledge that future discoveries might reveal them to be synonymous.


Yiming He, Peter J. Makovicky, Kebai Wang, Shuqing Chen, Corwin Sullivan, Fenglu Han and Xing Xu. 2015. A New Leptoceratopsid (Ornithischia, Ceratopsia) with a Unique Ischium from the Upper Cretaceous of Shandong Province, China.
PLoS ONE.
10(12): e0144148. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144148





[Crustacea • 2015] Macrobrachium xmas • A New Stygobitic Prawn of the Genus Macrobrachium Spence Bate, 1864, from Anchialine Caves in Christmas Island, Indian Ocean; with A Rediagnosis of M. miyakoense Komai & Fujita, 2005 (Decapoda: Caridea: Palaemonidae)


Macrobrachium xmas  Fujita, Davie & Ng.,2015
Y. Fujita, P. J. F. Davie and P. K. L. Ng. 2015. RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 63

Abstract
 A new species of stygobitic palaemonid prawn of the genus Macrobrachium Spence Bate, 1864, is described from Christmas Island, Indian Ocean Territory, Australia. The new anchialine species resembles M. miyakoense Komai & Fujita, 2005, from Japan, but can be distinguished by its relatively longer and more slender rostrum, the proportionately smaller eye cornea with a more swollen eye stalk, and more teeth on the post-rostral margin of the carapace. The taxonomy of M. miyakoense is also discussed based on additional material recently obtained from Japan, and the species rediagnosed. Macrobrachium miyakoense was originally described from two young males collected from Miyako Island, Ryukyu Islands, Japan.

Key words. Palaemonidae, Macrobrachium, new species, anchialine cave, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, taxonomy

TAXONOMY

Family Palaemonidae


Macrobrachium miyakoense Komai & Fujita, 2005 (Figs. 1–3)
Macrobrachium miyakoense – Komai & Fujita, 2005: 14; De Grave & Fransen, 2011: 327.

Remarks. Macrobrachium miyakoense was originally described from two young males (pocl 14.70 mm and 12.60 mm). The present full-grown specimens are similar in morphology to the type specimens, but some adult characters differ markedly. We have therefore amended the original description of Komai & Fujita (2005) accordingly and provided new figures.


Macrobrachium xmas n. sp.
Macrobrachium microps – Short & Meek, 2000: 83–85, fig. 2
[not Macrobrachium microps Holthuis, 1978].



Color in life. Whole body (carapace, abdomens, and appendages) generally whitish to pale yellow (Figs. 13, 14).

Habitat and Biology. Macrobrachium xmas n. sp. was collected from three anchialine caves (Freshwater Cave, Runaway Cave and Whip Cave). Specific habitat information for these localities has been given by Humphreys & Eberhard (2001). Co-inhabiting decapod crustaceans reported from Christmas Island caves include: a procaridid Procaris noelensis Bruce & Davie, 2006, an alpheid Metabetaeus minutus (Whitelegge, 1897), a barbouriid Parhippolyte cf. uveae Borradaile, 1899, an atyid Antecaridina lauensis (Edmondson, 1935), and three crabs, Karstarma jacksoni (Balss, 1934) [Sesarmidae], Orcovita hicksi Davie & Ng, 2012, and Orcovita orchardorum Davie & Ng, 2012 [both Varunidae] (Anker, 2010; Bruce & Davie, 2006; Davie & Ng, 2012). In this study, two ovigerous females of M. xmas were collected, and the pre-eyed eggs are small, 0.56–0.70 mm (on female pocl 21.66 mm, ZRC 2015.281, average 0.64 mm, n = 10) in size, suggesting an amphidromous life cycle.

Distribution. Only known from Christmas Island thus far. 

Etymology. The new species name is a common arbitrary abbreviation of “Christmas” and is derived from the type locality, Christmas Island. The name is used as a noun in apposition.


Yoshihisa Fujita, Peter J. F. Davie and Peter K. L. Ng. 2015. A New Stygobitic Prawn of the Genus Macrobrachium Spence Bate, 1864, from Anchialine Caves in Christmas Island, Indian Ocean; with A Rediagnosis of M. miyakoense Komai & Fujita, 2005 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Palaemonidae). RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 63: 610–625. 


Saturday, December 26, 2015

[Paleontology • 2015] Leyvachelys cipadi • The First South American Sandownid Turtle from the Lower Cretaceous of Colombia


Leyvachelys cipadi  Cadena, 2015

Abstract

Sandownids are a group of Early Cretaceous-Paleocene turtles that for several decades have been only known by cranial and very fragmentary postcranial elements. Here I report and describe the most complete sandownid turtle known so far, including articulated skull, lower jaw and postcranial elements, from the Early Cretaceous (upper Barremian-lower Aptian, >120 Ma), Paja Formation, Villa de Leyva town, Colombia. The new Colombian sandownid is defined here as Leyvachelys cipadi new genus, new species and because of its almost identical skull morphology with a previously reported turtle from the Glen Rose Formation, Texas, USA, both are grouped in a single and officially (ICNZ rules) defined taxon. Phylogenetic analysis including L. cipadi supports once again the monophyly of Sandownidae, as belonging to the large and recently redefined Pan-Chelonioidea clade. The morphology of L. cipadi indicates that sandownids were not open marine turtles, but instead littoral to shallow marine durophagous dwellers. Leyvachelys cipadi not only constitutes the first record of sandowinds in South America, but also the earliest global record for the group.


Systematic Paleontology

TESTUDINES Batsch, 1788
PAN-CRYPTODIRA Cope, 1868

SANDOWNIDAE sensu Tong & Meylan, 2013

Leyvachelys gen. nov.

Etymology. Combining ‘Leyva’ (from Villa de Leyva, town of where the discovery took place) and ‘chelys’ (Greek, turtle).

Leyvachelys cipadi sp. nov.

Etymology. cipadi’ (dedicated to the CIP, Centro de Investigaciones Paleontológicas)

Holotype. FCG-CBP-71 (housed at the CIP, Villa de Leyva, Colombia, Fig. 1C), articulated skull and lower jaw, nearly complete carapace, three cervical vertebrae, right humerus and coracoid, both femora, tibiae, and pelvic girdle, and two caudal vertebrae.


Paleoecology and paleobiogeography of sandownids

The morphology of the shell of Leyvachelys cipadi (FCG-CBP-71 specimen), allows the support of previously hypothesized habitat adaptations for sandownids; in particular, that they inhabited littoral to near-shore shallow marine environments Tong & Meylan (2013), and that their general body-plan was not designed for leading an open marine lifestyle. They nevertheless potentially shared niches with open marine turtles, as evidenced by the occurrence of protostegids from the same stratigraphical horizons (Cadena & Parham, 2015). The abundant occurrence of mollusks, principally ammonites, some of them preserved associated with the carapace of L. cipadi, suppose a potential source of food for its durophagous diet adaptation which could have also included artropods, as for example crabs.

Leyvachelys cipadi not only expands back to the upper Barremian-lower Aptian (>120 Ma) the fossil record of sandownids, but also expands their paleogeographical distribution, being the first record of sandownids in South America. Paleotectonic reconstructions for the Barremian-Aptian of the Gulf of Mexico and the porto-caribbean (Pindell & Kennan, 2009; Blakey, 2011) (Figs. 1E and 10), suggest the existence of an almost continuous littoral areas between the Gulf of Mexico and northern South America, which could have served as a corridors for the dispersion or migrations of marine-littoral vertebrates including Leyvachelys cipadi giving explanation to its occurrence in Glen Rose Formation of Texas and Paja Formation of Colombia. As mentioned by Tong & Meylan (2013), the evolutionary history and dispersion of sandownids (now with a Barremian to Paleocene stratigraphic range and a geographical distribution including South America, North America, Europe, and Africa) was influenced by the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. This seems to be also the case for other groups of littoral to costal turtles, as for example the bothermydid pleurodires (Gaffney, Tong & Meylan, 2006; Cadena, Bloch & Jaramillo, 2012).


Cadena E. 2015. The First South American Sandownid Turtle from the Lower Cretaceous of Colombia. PeerJ. 3:e1431 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1431

Friday, December 25, 2015

[Botany • 2015] Newmania sessilanthera • A New Species (Zingiberaceae) from central Vietnam


Newmania sessilanthera  Lưu & Škorničk 
Fig. 1. Newmania sessilanthera Lưu & Škorničk. A. Habit. B. Flowers. C. Leaves (abaxially). D. Flower enclosed in bract. E. Base of leafy shoot with inflorescences.
From type Lưu Hồng Trường, Trần Giỏi, Đỗ Cao Trí PY29 (Photos: Lưu Hồng Trường)
H.T. Lưu, J. Leong-Škorničková, L.X.B. Nguyễn, et al. 2015.Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 67(2) 

ABSTRACT

Newmania sessilanthera Lưu & Škorničk., a new species from Phú Yên province
in central Vietnam, is described and illustrated here. Notes on this species, the third described
to date, and a new key to the species of Newmania N.S.Lý & Škorničk. are provided.

Keywords. Conservation, Phú Yên province, species key


Distribution. So far the species has been collected from three localities in Sông Hinh and Tây Hòa districts, all in Phú Yên province in central Vietnam.

Habitat and phenology. Understorey of lowland evergreen tropical forests, growing on moist soils on granite and along streams. Flowering occurs from June to August, followed by fruiting which likely extends to September or early October. 

Etymology. The specific epithet reflects the lack of the filament in this species.

Provisional IUCN conservation assessment. Endangered (EN B1ab(iii)). So far three localities, each with fewer than 100 scattered individuals, have been observed. The known EOO is currently slightly less than 100 sq.km. but there is enough suitable habitat in the vicinity that it is likely the real EOO is more than 100 sq.km.  but certainly less than 5000 sq.km.
The type locality is adjacent to agricultural land, recently established from cleared forest. Further deforestation may occur posing a threat to the population. The other two populations are within large forested areas with no obvious threats. 

Notes. Newmania, now with three species, remains endemic to central Vietnam, although preliminary studies from various researchers suggest further species extending throughout the Annamite mountain range to southern Vietnam. Newmania species seem to be steno-endemic and, therefore, susceptible to any rapid habitat changes. This has implications for any conservation effort. The lack of a filament in Newmania sessilanthera differentiates it readily from the other two currently known species. Additional differences from Newmania orthostachys are outlined above in the diagnosis. It is somewhat similar to Newmania serpens by the presence of a striking red patch on the purple and white labellum, but differs by its erect inflorescences composed of compact spikes (vs. inflorescence
prostrate on the ground with more or less lax spikes). 


H.T. Lưu, J. Leong-Škorničková, L.X.B. Nguyễn, C.T. Đỗ and T.T. Hoàng. 2015. Newmania sessilanthera (Zingiberaceae): A New Species from Vietnam. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore. 67(2): 351–355. DOI:  10.3850/S2382581215000289

[Botany • 2011] Newmania N.S. Lý & Škorničk.: A New Ginger Genus (Zingiberaceae) from central Vietnam




Abstract
A new genus of Zingiberaceae from Vietnam, Newmania N.S. Lý & Škorničk., with two species Newmania serpens N.S. Lý & Škorničk. and Newmania orthostachys N.S. Lý & Škorničk., is described and illustrated. Its relationship with Haniffia Holttum and phylogenetic position in the tribe Zingibereae is investigated using nrITS and trnK and matK plastid sequence data. The phylogenetic position of Kedhalia C.K. Lim, another recently described ginger genus from the same tribe, is also discussed briefly.

Keywords: Haniffia; ITS; Kedhalia; matK; trnK; Zingibereae 





Leong-Škorničková, J., Lý, Ngoc-Sâm, Poulsen, Axel Dalberg, Tosh, James and Forrest, Alan. 2011. Newmania: A New Ginger Genus from central Vietnam. Taxon. 60(5): 1386–1396.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/41317542.pdf?acceptTC=true


  

  
  

[Herpetology • 2014] New Data on the Morphology and Distribution of the Enigmatic Schouteden’s Sun Snake, Helophis schoutedeni (de Witte, 1922) from the Congo Basin


FIGURE 2. Photos of a living specimen of Helophis schoutedenifound in 2012 in Kinshasa.
 
From top left, clockwise: dorsal view of the specimen; ventral view of the specimen; dorsolateral view of the forepart of the animal; ventral view of the head. 

Abstract

The Schouteden’s sun snake is the sole representative of its genus, and was originally described by the Belgian herpetologist Gaston-François de Witte as a colubrid, Pelophis schoutedeni (de Witte 1922). Twenty years later, the new generic name Helophis was established by de Witte & Laurent (1942) because the generic name Pelophis was preoccupied by Pelophis Fitzinger, 1843 [type species: Brachyorrhos (now Enhydris) alternans Reuss, 1834]. De Witte (1922) and de Witte & Laurent (1942) gave data on two syntypes (Fig. 1), which are preserved in the herpetological collection of the Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren, Belgium. One, RMCA R.2468, was found in Tondu (at Lac Tumba, Équateur Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo = DRC), while the other, RMCA R.2469, was collected in Kwamouth (“Moyen-Congo”, now Bandundu Province, DRC). Both were collected by Henri Schouteden in 1921. In the original description, no information was given about the sex of the syntypes. De Witte & Laurent (1942) reported a third specimen (RMCA R.11551) from Léopoldville (today Kinshasa), which was collected in 1937 by Henrard. Since then, this snake species was almost forgotten, and the genus has remained monotypic. To our knowledge, no photographs of living specimens of this species have been published so far. In general, very little is known about the distribution, biology, conservation status or even the phylogenetic relationships of this vividly colored snake species. Although several works listed Helophis schoutedeni as being part of the Congo Basin (DRC) snake fauna (e.g. Kusamba 1990; Meirte 1992; Trape & Roux-Estève 1995; Broadley 1998) sometimes including a basic identification key, no new information was given. Moreover, no recent field guides of the Central African region (e.g., Chippaux 2006) include this snake species. Regarding its classification, Broadley (1998) considered it as a natricine species (Natricinae) while in The Reptile Database (Uetz & Hošek 2013) it is listed as Colubridae incertae sedis, similarly like in Pyron et al. (2013), where Helophis was missing from their phylogenetic meta-analysis.

Keywords: Congo Basin, sun snake, Helophis schoutedeni, new data


FIGURE 2. Photos of a living specimen of Helophis schoutedeni, found in 2012 in Kinshasa.
From top left, clockwise: dorsal view of the specimen; ventral view of the specimen; dorsolateral view of the forepart of the animal; ventral view of the head.

Discussion:
 Since the majority of distribution records are coming from the Eastern Congolian swamp forests upriver the Congo River and its tributaries, it opens a question about the origin of the specimens collected in Léopoldville/Kinshasa. The strong current of the Congo River often carries floating vegetation islands, which occasionally introduce fauna and flora from the upriver into the Lower Congo region (MC, pers. observ.). This phenomenon might also explain the findings of the Schouteden’s sun snake outside the swamp forests. Ecologically, Helophis schoutedeni is obviously a semi-aquatic snake as indicated by its dorsally-oriented nostrils, narrow triangular internasals, small eyes with round pupil and stout body. Furthermore, during a short period in captivity, the observed Schouteden’s sun snake preferred to stay in water. Helophis shows an extreme similarity to the genus Hydraethiops, as de Witte (1922) indicated in the original description. He, however, also mentioned that two differences between them, i.e., the double internasals and the lower number of teeth in Helophis, justified the erection of a new genus. Boulenger (1904), in his description of Hydraethiops laevis, indicated, based on the observations that he made on the two syntypes, that the internasals could be divided or semi-divided. The third known individual of Hydraethiops laevis, from the Chaillu Massif in Gabon, shows a single internasal (Pauwels et al. 2002). The condition of the internasals is variable in Hydraethiops melanogaster as well; for example, the individual illustrated by de Witte (1962) shows a partly divided internasal. Helophis shows 16 or 17 maxillary teeth (de Witte 1922; Meirte 1992), while Hydraethiops shows 20 to 22 (Chippaux 2006). The internasals’ condition in Helophis is thus not a character  separating  it  from  Hydraethiops.  The  slightly  lower  number  in  maxillary  teeth  does  not  justify  alone  the  placement in a distinct genus. Pending a genetic analysis, the genus Helophis could be regarded as valid while doubtful with  regard  to
,  but  at  least  its  placement  within  Natricinae  along  with  Hydraethiops  as  proposed  by  Broadley (1998) seems justified on a morphological basis


Zoltán T. Nagy, Vaclav Gvozdik, Danny Meirte, Marcel Collet and Olivier S. G. Pauwels. 2014. New Data on the Morphology and Distribution of the Enigmatic Schouteden’s Sun Snake, Helophis schoutedeni (de Witte, 1922) from the Congo Basin. 
 ZOOTAXA. 3755(1):96-100. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3755.1.5

Thursday, December 24, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Phrynocephalus sakoi • A New Species of Phrynocephalus (Agamidae, Sauria) from Al Sharqiyah Sands, Northeastern Oman, Dedicated to the Memory of Sako Tuniyev (1983 – 2015)


Phrynocephalus sakoi 
 Melnikov, Melnikova, Nazarov, Al-Johany & Ananjeva, 2015

Phrynocephalus
sp. nov.
in the vicinity of Filim, Al Sharqiyah Sands, northeastern Oman.
Photo by Daniel Melnikov.

Abstract

A revision of taxonomic structure of Phrynocephalus arabicus Anderson, 1894 complex was presented in our previous paper. However further investigations showed that specimens from southern Arabia do not refer to one species. A new species from Al Sharqiyah Sands, northeastern Oman is described. It differs morphologically from all other representatives of Ph. arabicus complex by body and tail proportions, dorsal coloration, undertail coloration and genetic characters. Phrynocephalus arabicus sensu stricto is distributed in Yemen, southwestern Oman, UAE, and southern Saudi Arabia. Phrynocephalus nejdensis Haas, 1957 is valid species, based on the morphological and genetic difference. Taxonomic status of Phrynocephalus macropeltis Haas, 1957 needs further confirmation with material from the type locality.

Keywords: Squamata; Acrodonta; Agamidae; Phrynocephalus sp. nov.; Al Sharqiyah Sands, northeastern Oman


Phrynocephalus sakoi sp. nov. 

Holotype: ZISP 28705, adult male (Fig. 4).
Paratypes: ZISP 28706 – 28710, ZISP 27089, CAS251008, 251022, 251023 (Fig. 5, Table 3).

Type locality. Al Sharqiyah Sands, Filim vicinity, northeastern Oman.

Diagnosis. A large and “heavy” Phrynocephalus species  with  tail  longer  than  body  in  both  sexes;  five-star shape bright orange pattern on head in females and black in males, two bright orange stripes on the neck in female sand black in males, two longitudinal rows of six bright orange (salmon) patches on the dorsum in females and black in males; with white under tail coloration without bands in both sexes with black distal third in males and black quarter in females  (two  bands)  and  no  bands  in white proximal part.

Etymology. Species dedicated to the memory of our close friend and colleague Sako Tuniyev, who tragically passed away on January 5, 2015. His death was shockand big tragedy for all who know him. The new species dedicated to the memory of young zoologist in the beginning of his carrier, with many fresh ideas and new collaborative projects, to a good son of distinguished father, to a father of two kids and a good husband, to our brother and colleague. We will always keep him in our hearts

Distribution. Species expected to be isolated in Al Sharqiyah Sands, northeastern Oman.


Fig. 7. Variation of dorsal coloration in living Phrynocephalus sakoi sp. nov. males in situ:
a,b, hard substrate (gravel) form;c,d, fine sand form.

DISCUSSION: Additional studies of Ph. arabicus sensu lato from southern Arabia showed that it is polytypical complex. Ph. sakoi sp. nov. from Al Sharqiyah Sands is characterized by morphological and genetic differences. This isolated desert consists of many large North-South linear dunes that are separated from each other by 2–3 km intervals (Radies et al., 2004; Edgell, 2006). A new species of endemic gecko Stenodactylus sharqiyahensis was also described from the Al Sharqiyah Sands (Metallinou and Carranza, 2013). Arabia is characterized by high speciesdiversity of lizards, as indicated by descriptions of manynew species in the last years (Carranza and Arnold, 2012; Melnikov and Pierson 2012; Melnikov et al., 2012a,2013a, 2013b, 2014; Nazarov et al., 2013). Some areas like Al Sharqiyah Sands are characterized by high level of endemism and needs special study. 

According to the molecular phylogenetic analyses and morphological results Ph. arabicus complex represent at least four well distinguished taxa. They are: Ph. arabicus sensu stricto from the southern Arabia (Yemen, southwestern Oman, southern Saudi Arabia, UAE), Ph. nejdensis from the northwestern Arabia (southern Jordan, northern and central Saudi Arabia), Ph. ahvazicus from the northwestern Iran, and Ph. sakoi sp. nov. represented by an isolated population in the Al Sharqiyah Sands, northeastern Oman. This four species are divided into two groups: southwestern Arabian Ph. arabicus + northeastern Arabian Ph. ahvazicus and northwestern Arabian Ph. nejdensis + southeastern Ph. sakoi sp. nov. Taxonomic status of Ph. macropeltis from the eastern coastal Arabia (eastern Saudi Arabia) needs further confirmation with material from the type locality (work in progress).

Daniel Melnikov, Ekaterina Melnikova, Roman Nazarov, Awadh Al-Johany and Natalia Ananjeva. 2015. A New Species of Phrynocephalus (Agamidae, Sauria) from Al Sharqiyah Sands, Northeastern Oman, Dedicated to the Memory of Sako Tuniyev (1983 – 2015). Russian Journal of Herpetology. 22(4): 301–309.
 
http://rjh.folium.ru/index.php/rjh/article/view/1030