1977 in paleontology

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Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils.[1] This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because mankind has encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred in the year 1977.

Molluscs[edit]

Bivalves[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Fordilla sibirica[2]

sp nov

Valid

Krasilova

Early Cambrian

Tyuser Formation

 Russia

early Cambrian bivalve species

Dinosaurs[edit]

Newly named dinosaurs[edit]

Data courtesy of George Olshevsky's dinosaur genera list[4] and Dr. Jeremy Montague's dinosaur genus database.[5]

Name Status Authors Notes Images
Fulengia[6] Nomen dubium. Possible synonym of Lufengosaurus.
  • Carroll
Opisthocoelicaudia[7] Valid taxon
  • Borsuk-Bialynicka
Othnielia[8] Valid taxon
Piveteausaurus[9] Valid taxon
  • Welles
Saichania[10] Valid taxon
"Shanshanosaurus"[11] Junior synonym of Tarbosaurus.
Tarchia[10] Valid taxon
Tuojiangosaurus[12] Valid taxon
  • Zhou S.
  • Zhang Y. H.
Valdosaurus[13] Valid taxon
Wannanosaurus[14] Valid taxon
  • Hou
"Yezosaurus" Nomen nudum. Non-dinosaurian marine reptile.
  • Obata
  • Muramoto

Newly named birds, remarks[edit]

  • Colin J. O Harrison and Cyril Walker described and named 16 fossils from the Early Eocene from very small fragments. It is not possible to describe taxa so old from those fragments, given the fact that in the Eocene many birds with a mix of characters existed (mosaics).

Newly named birds[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Argillipes aurorum [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002,[16] this is the type species of the new genus.

Argillipes paralectoris [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002.[16]

Buthierax pouliani [17]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Miklós Kretzoi

Middle Pleistocene

MQ 2a

 Greece

An Accipitridae Incertae Sedis, this is the type species of the new genus.

Cepphus storeri [18]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Late Pliocene

MN 16-17

 UK:

 England

An Alcidae.

Ciconia sarmatica [19]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Dan Grigorescu

Jenö Kessler

Early Miocene

Sarmatian, MN 8

 Romania

A Ciconiidae.

Cinclodes major [20]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Eduardo Pedro Tonni

Middle Pleistocene

 Argentina

A Furnariidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Coturnipes cooperi [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Olson, 1999, this is the type species of the new genus.

Gallus beremendensis [21]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Dénes Jánossy

Late Pliocene

MN 16a

 Hungary

A Phasianidae.

Limnofregata azygosternon [22]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Early Eocene

Green River Formatie, Fossil Bute Member

 USA:

 Wyoming

A Fregatidae, Limnofregatinae Olson, 1977, this is the type species of the new genus.

Malacorhynchus scarletti [23]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Holocene

± 3500 YBP

 New Zealand

An Anatidae.

Marinavis longirostris [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Procelariiformes, in its own family, Marinavidae Harrison et Walker, 1977, this is the type species of the new genus.

Microena goodwini [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Columbidae, placed in Aves Inceretae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002,[16] according to Mayr, 2009 perhaps a "Coraciiformes" or a "Caprimulgiformes"/Apodiformes, this is the type species of the new genus.

Neptuniavis minor [15]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

An ?Procellariidae, maybe a synonym of Dasornis toliapica (Owen, 1873).

Neptuniavis miranda [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

An ?Procellariidae, this is the type species of the new genus, maybe a synonym of Dasornis emuinus (Bowerbank, 1854), this is the type species of the new genus.

Oxyura zapatanima [24]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Rafael Alvarez

Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

Jocotopec Sand and Gravel Quarry

 Mexico

An Anatidae.

Parvicuculus minor [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

An Apodiformes, Hemiprocni Karkhu, 1992, Parvicuculidae Harrison, 1982, this is the type species of the new genus.

Parvigyps praecox [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Accipitridae, by Mlíkovský, 2002 placed in Aves Incertae Sedis,[16] this is the type species of the new genus.

Percolinus venablesi [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Phasianidae, transferred to the genus Gypsornis Milne-Edwards, 1871 in the Cariamidae by Mlíkovský, 2002,[16] this is the type species of the new genus.

Phalacrocorax chapalensis [24]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Rafael Alvarez

Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

Jocotopec Sand and Gravel Quarry

 Mexico

A Phalacrocoracidae.

Pinguinus alfrednewtoni [25]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Early Pliocene

Yorktown Formatie, Chesapeake Group

 USA:

 Nebraska

An Alcidae.

Precursor litorum [15]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Glareolidae, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Precursor magnus [15]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Glareolidae, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Precursor parvus [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in the Glareolidae, this is the type species of the new genus, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Primodroma bournei [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

A Hydrobatidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Primoscens minutus [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described in a new family Primoscenidae Harrison et Walker, 1977, Passeriformes, placed in synonymy with the family Zygodactylidae Brodkorb, 1971, ?Piciformes by Mayr, 2008,[26] this is the type species of the new genus.

Procuculus minutus [15]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

 UK:

 England

Described as a Cuculidae, Harrison, 1982 placed it in his new family Parvicuculidae,[27] Olson, 1985 and Mayr, 2009 think it might be a synonym of Primapus lacki Harrison et Walker, 1975. Best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis, this is the type species of the new genus.

Quipollornis koniberi [28]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Patricia Vickers Rich

Allan R. McEvey

Early to Middle Miocene

Diatomite deposits on Chalk Mountain

 Australia

 New South Wales

An Aegothelidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Rallus richmondi [29]

Nom. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Late Miocene

MN 13

 Italy

A Rallidae, a new name for Rallus dubius Portis, 1887, a junior primary homonym of Rallus dubius Piller et Mitterpacher, 1783, so its objective junior synonym.

Sarmatosula dobrogensis [19]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Dan Grigorescu

Jenö Kessler

Middle Miocene

Sarmatian, MN 8

 Romania

A Sulidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Shandongornis shanwanensis [30]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Yeh Xiangkui

Middle Miocene

Shanwang Series

 China

An Phasianidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Xenicibis xympithecus [31]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

David W. Steadman

Quaternary

Cave deposits

 Jamaica

An Threskiornithidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Pterosaurs[edit]

New taxa[edit]

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes

Araripedactylus

Valid

Wellnhofer

late Aptian/early Albian

Santana Formation

 Brazil

A pterodactyloid of uncertain affinities.

Synapsids[edit]

Non-mammalian[edit]

Name Status Authors Discovery year Age Unit Location Notes Images

'

Valid

'

Valid

Plants[edit]

Angiospermae[edit]

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Nelumbo aureavallis[32]

Valid

Hickey

Ypresian

Camels Butte Member, Golden Valley Formation

North Dakota, USA

 USA

Peltandra primaeva[32]

Valid

Hickey

Ypresian

Camels Butte Member, Golden Valley Formation

North Dakota, USA

 USA

Pinophyta[edit]

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Pinus peregrinus[32]

Valid

Hickey

Clarkforkian

Bear Den Member, Golden Valley Formation

North Dakota, USA

 USA

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 9780070887398. OCLC 46769716. 
  2. ^ Elicki, O.; Gürsu, S. (2009). "First record of Pojetaia runnegari Jell, 1980 and Fordilla Barrande, 1881 from the Middle East (Taurus Mountains, Turkey) and critical review of Cambrian bivalves". Paläontologische Zeitschrift 83 (2): 267–291. doi:10.1007/s12542-009-0021-9. 
  3. ^ "Previous Work," Trexler (2001); page 300.
  4. ^ Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List". Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  5. ^ Montague, Jeremy. "Dr. Montague's Database". Retrieved 2008-10-29. 
  6. ^ Carroll, R.L. and P.M. Galton. 1977. Modern lizard from the Upper Triassic of China. Nature 266: pp. 252-255.
  7. ^ Borsuk-Bialynicka, M. 1977. A new camarasaurid sauropod Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii, gen. n. sp. n. from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Palaeontol. Polonica 37: pp. 5-64.
  8. ^ Galton, P.M. 1977. The ornithopod dinosaur Dryosaurus and a Laurasia-Gondwanaland connection in the Upper Jurassic. Nature 268: pp. 230-232.
  9. ^ Taquet, P., and S. Welles. 1977. Redescription du crane de Dinosaure theropode de Dives (Normandie). Annales de Paleontologie, tomo 63 (fasc. 2): pp. 191-206.
  10. ^ a b Maryanska, T. 1977. Ankylosauridae (Dinosauria) from Mongolia. Paleontol. Polinica 37: pp. 85-151.
  11. ^ Dong, Z. 1977. On the dinosaurian remains from Turpan, Xinjiang. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 59-66.
  12. ^ Dong, Z., X. Li, S. Zhou, and Y. Chang. 1977. On the stegosaurian remain from Zigong (Tzekung), Szechuan Province. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 307-312.
  13. ^ Olshevsky, G. 1991. A Revision of the Parainfraclass Archosauria Cope, 1869, Excluding the Advanced Crocodylia. Mesozoic Meanderings 2 (1st printing): iv + 196 pages.
  14. ^ Hou, L. 1977. A new primitive pachycephalosauria from Anhui, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 198-202.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Colin J. O. Harrison & Cyril A. Walker (1977). "Birds of the British Lower Eocene". Tertiary Research Special Papers 3: 1–52. 
  16. ^ a b c d e Jíří Mlíkovský, (2002). "Cenozoic Birds of the World Part 1: Europe". Praha Ninox Press: 1–407. 
  17. ^ Miklós Kretzoi (1977). "The Fauna of Small Vertebrates of the Middle Pleistocene at Petralona". Anthropos (Athina) 4 (1-2): 131–143. 
  18. ^ Colin J. O. Harrison (1977). "A New Guillemot, Cepphus Species, from the Lower Pleistocene". Suffolk Natural History 17: 238–239. 
  19. ^ a b Dan Grigorescu & Jenö Kessler (1977). "The Middle Sarmatian Avian Fauna of South Dobrogea". Revue Roumaine de Géologie, Géophysique et Géographie, Série Géologie 21: 93–108. 
  20. ^ Eduardo P. Tonni (1977). "Un Furnárido (Aves: Passeriformes) del Pleistoceno Medio de la Provincia de Buenos Aires". Publicaciones del Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales de Mar del Plata Lorenzo Scaglia 2 (6): 141–147. 
  21. ^ Dénes Jánossy (1977). "Plio-Pleistocene Bird Remains from the Carpathian Basin. II. Galliformes. 2. Phasianidae". Aquila 83: 29–42. 
  22. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Lower Eocene Frigatebird from the Green River Formation of Wyoming". Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology 35: 1–33. 
  23. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "Notes on Subfossil Anatidae from New Zealand, Including A New Species of Pink-Eared Duck Malacorhynchus". Emu 77 (3): 132–135. 
  24. ^ a b Rafael Alvarez (1977). "A Pleistocene Avifauna from Jalisco, Mexico". Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology University of Michigan 24 (19): 205–220. 
  25. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Great Auk, Pinguinis [sic], from the Pliocene of Nebraska (Aves: Alcidae)". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 90 (3): 690–697. 
  26. ^ Gerald Mayr (2008). "Phylogenetic Affinities of the Enigmatic Avian Taxon Zygodactylus Based on New Material from the Early Oligocene of France". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6: 333–344. 
  27. ^ Colin J. O. Harrison (1982). "Cuculiform, Piciform, and Passeriform Birds in the Lower Eocene of England". Tertiary Research 4: 71–81. 
  28. ^ Patricia Vickers Rich & Allan R. McEvey (1977). "A New Owlet-Nightjar from the Early to Mid-Miocene of Eastern New South Wales". Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria 38: 247–253. 
  29. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Synopsis of the Fossil Rallidae". In “Rails of the World: A Monograph of the Family Rallidae“ by S.D. Ripley, Codline, Boston: 509–525. 
  30. ^ Yeh Xiangkui (1977). "[First Discovery of Miocene Birds in China]". Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15 (4): 244–248. 
  31. ^ Storrs L. Olson & David W. Steadman (1977). "A New Genus of Flightless Ibis (Threskiornithidae) and Other fossil Birds from Cave Deposits in Jamaica". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 90 (2): 447–457. 
  32. ^ a b c Hickey, Leo (1977). Stratigraphy and Paleobotany of the Golden Valley Formation (Early Tertiary) of Western North Dakota. Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America. pp. 110 & Plate 5. ISBN 0-8137-1150-9. 

References[edit]

  • Trexler, D., 2001, Two Medicine Formation, Montana: geology and fauna: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 298–309.