2002 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 2002.

Plants[edit]

Gymnosperms[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Ginkgo dissecta[2]

Sp nov

Valid

Mustoe

Early Eocene

McAbee site, Kamloops Group

 Canada

Pinus matthewsii[3]

Sp nov

Valid

McKown, Stockey, & Schweger

Pliocene

Ch'ijee's Bluff, Bluefish Basin

 Canada

Angiosperms[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Hymenaea mexicana[4]

sp nov

Valid

Poinar & Brown

Late Oligocene - early Miocene

Mexican amber

 Mexico

A species of Hymenaea, producer of Mexican amber

Trifurcatua flabellata[5]

Gen. et sp. nov.

Valid

Mohr & Rydin

Lower Cretaceous

Crato Formation

 Brazil

Archosauromorphs[edit]

Dinosaurs[edit]

Data courtesy of George Olshevsky's dinosaur genera list[6] and Dr. Jeremy Montague's dinosaur genus database.[7]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Agnosphitys[8]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Fraser, Padian, Walkden, & Davis

late Triassic

 England

A possible chimera

Anabisetia[9]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Coria & Calvo

Late Cretaceous

Cerro Lisandro Formation

 Argentina

An Iguanodont

Aucasaurus[10]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Coria, Chiappe, & Dingus

Santonian

Anacleto Formation

 Argentina

An Abelisaurid

"Byranjaffia"[11]

gen nov

Nomen nudum

Novacek

Late Cretaceous

 Mongolia

Officially named Byronosaurus

Crichtonsaurus[12]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Dong

Late Cretaceous

Sunjiawan Formation

 China

An ankylosaurid

"Cryptovolans"[13]

gen et sp nov

Junior synonym

Czerkas, Zhang, Li, & Li

Aptian

Jiufotang Formation

 China

Jr synonym of Microraptor

"Epidendrosaurus"[14]

gen et sp nov

junior synonym

Zhang, Zhou, Xu, & Wang

Late Jurassic

Yixian Formation

 China

jr synonym of Scansoriopteryx

Erliansaurus[15]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Xu et al

Late Cretaceous

Iren Dabasu Formation

 Mongolia

A Therizinosauroid

"Fusinasus"[16]

gen et sp nov

Junior synonym of Eotyrannus

Hutt

Early Cretaceous

Wessex Formation

 England

Jr synonym of Eotyrannus

"Huaxiasaurus"

Nomen nudum

Rey

Officially named Huaxiagnathus in 2004

Incisivosaurus[17]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Xu, Wang, & Chang

Barremian

Yixian Formation

 China

An Oviraptorosaurid

Liaoceratops[18]

gen et sp nov

Valid

  • Xu et al

Berremian

Yixian Formation

 China

A Ceratopsian

Pycnonemosaurus[19]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Kellner & Campos

Bauru-type red conglomerate sandstone

Maastrichtian

 Brazil

An Abelisaurid

Scansoriopteryx[20]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Czerkas & Yuan

Late Jurassic

Yixian Formation

 China

Possible junior synonym of Epidendrosaurus

Sinovenator[21]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Xu et all

Early Cretaceous

Yixian Formation

 China

A Troodontid

Newly named birds[edit]

Name Status Novelty Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Adelalopus hoogbutseliensis [22]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Richard Smith

Early Oligocene

MP 21

 Belgium:

 Flemish Brabant

A Phoenicopteriformes, Palaelodidae Stejneger, 1885. This is the type species of the new genus.

Aegialornis germanicus [23]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Jirí Mlíkovský

Middle Eocene

MP 12

 Germany:

 Saxony-Anhalt

An Apodiformes, Aegialornithidae Lydekker, 1891.

Archaeotrogon nocturnus [23]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Jirí Mlíkovský

Eocene or Early Oligocene

Phosphorites du Quercy,

MP 16-28

 France

An Apodiformes, Archaeotrogonidae Mourer-Chauviré, 1980.

Athene trinacriae [24]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Marco Pavia

Cécile Mourer-Chauviré

Pleistocene

Sicily

 Italia:

 Sicily

A Strigidae.

Belonopterus downsi [25]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Kenneth E. Campbell, Jr.

Late Pleistocene

La Brea Tar Pits

 USA:

 California

A Charadriidae.

Camusia quintanai [26]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Bartomeu Seguí

Vroeg-Midden Plioceen

Balearic Islands,

Minorca,

MN 15-16

 Spain:

 Minorca

A Gruidae.

Cathayornis aberransis [27]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Hou Lianhai

Zhou Zhonghe

Zhang F.

Gu Y.

Early Cretaceous

Valanginian,

Jiufotang Formation

 China

A Cathayornithidae Zhou, Jin et Zhang, 1992.

Cimolopteryx petra [28]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Sylvia Hope

Late Cretaceous

Maastrichtian,

Lance Formation

 USA:

 Wyoming

A Cimolopterygidae Brodkorb, 1963, transferred to the new genus Lamarqueavis Agnolin, 2010 by Federico Agnolin in 2010.[29]

Collocalia manuoi [30]

Valid

Sp. nov.

David W. Steadman

Quaternary

Mangaia, Cook Islands

 Cook Islands

An Apodidae.

Colymboides belgicus [22]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Richard Smith

Early Oligocene

MP 21

 Belgium:

 Flemish Brabant

A Gaviidae.

Delphinornis arctowskii [31]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Andrzej Myrcha

Pjotr Jadwiszczak

Claudia P. Tambussi

Jorge I. Noriega

Andrzej Gazdzicki

Andrzej Tatur

Rodolpho A. Del Valle

Eocene

La Meseta Formation,

Seymour Island

 Antarctica

A Spheniscidae.

Delphinornis gracilis [31]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Andrzej Myrcha

Pjotr Jadwiszczak

Claudia P. Tambussi

Jorge I. Noriega

Andrzej Gazdzicki

Andrzej Tatur

Rodolpho A. Del Valle

Eocene

La Meseta Formation,

Seymour Island

 Antarctica

A Spheniscidae.

Enaliornis seeleyi [32]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Peter M. Galton

Larry D. Martin

Early Cretaceous

Cambridge

 UK:

 England

An Hesperornithiformes Fürbringer, 1888, Enaliornithidae Fürbringer, 1888.

Eocathayornis walkeri [33]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Zhou Zhonghe

Early Cretaceous

Valanginian,

Jiufotang Formation

 China

An Enantiornithes Walker, 1981.

Giganhinga kiyuensis [34]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Andrés Rinderknecht

Jorge I. Noriega

Pliocene-Pleistocene

San José Formation

 Uruguay

An Anhingidae.

Gigantohierax suarezi [35]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Oscar Arredondo

Carlos Arredondo

Quaternary

Cave deposits

 Cuba

An Accipitridae.

Halimornis thompsoni [36]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Luis M. Chiappe

James P. Lamb

Per G. P. Ericson

Late Cretaceous

Early-Middle Campanian,

Mooreville Chalk Formation

 USA:

 Alabama

An Enantiornithes Walker, 1981, Euenantiornithes Chiappe, 2002.

Hesperornis bairdi [37]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Larry D. Martin

Jong-Deock Lim

Late Cretaceous

Campanian,

Pierre Shale Formation

 USA:

 South Dakota

A Hesperornithidae Marsh, 1872.

Hesperornis chowi [37]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Larry D. Martin

Jong-Deock Lim

Late Cretaceous

Campanian,

Pierre Shale Formation

 USA:

 South Dakota

A Hesperornithidae Marsh, 1872.

Hesperornis macdonaldi [37]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Larry D. Martin

Jong-Deock Lim

Late Cretaceous

Campanian,

Pierre Shale Formation

 USA:

 South Dakota

A Hesperornithidae Marsh, 1872.

Hesperornis mengeli [37]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Larry D. Martin

Jong-Deock Lim

Late Cretaceous

Campanian,

Pierre Shale Formation

 Canada:

 Manitoba

A Hesperornithidae Marsh, 1872.

?Idiornis anthracinus [38]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Middle Eocene

MP 13

 Germany

 Saxony-Anhalt

An Idiornithidae Brodkorb, 1965. The genus Idiornis Oberholser, 1899 is placed in synonymy with Dynamopterus Milne-Edwards, 1892 by Mourer-Chauviré, 2013 [39]

Jeholornis prima [40]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Zhou Zhonghe

Zhang Fucheng

Early Cretaceous

Jiufotang Formation

 China

A Jeholornithidae Zhou et Zhang, 2006.

Jiliniornis huadianensis [41]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Hou Lianhai

Per G. P. Ericson

Middle Eocene

Huadian Formation

 China

A Charadriidae.

Jinzhouornis yixianensis [27]

Valid ?

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Hou Lianhai

Zhou Zhonghe

Zhang F.

Gu Y.

Early Cretaceous

Yixian Formation

 China

A Confuciusornithidae L. H. Hou, Zhou, Gu et Zhang, 1995. This is the type species of the new genus. Possibly a synonym of Confuciusornis sanctus Hou, Zhou, Gu et Zhang, 1995.

Jinzhouornis zhangjiyingia [27]

Valid ?

Sp. nov.

Hou Lianhai

Zhou Zhonghe

Zhang F.

Gu Y.

Early Cretaceous

Yixian Formation

 China

A Confuciusornithidae L. H. Hou, Zhou, Gu et Zhang, 1995. Possibly a synonym of Confuciusornis sanctus Hou, Zhou, Gu et Zhang, 1995.

Jixiangornis orientalis [42]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Ji Qiang

Ji Shuan

Zhang Hongbin

You Hailu

Zhang Jianping

Wang Lixia

Yuan Chongxi

Ji Xinxin

Early Cretaceous

Jiufotang Formation

 China

An Avialae Gauthier, 1986.

Larus utunui [43]

Valid

Sp. nov.

David W. Steadman

Subrecent

Huahine,

Society Islands

 French Polynesia

A Laridae.

Marambiornis exilis [31]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Andrzej Myrcha

Pjotr Jadwiszczak

Claudia P. Tambussi

Jorge I. Noriega

Andrzej Gazdzicki

Andrzej Tatur

Rodolpho A. Del Valle

Eocene

Seymour Island

La Meseta Formation,

 Antarctica

A Spheniscidae.

Masillastega rectirostris [44]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Early Middle Eocene

Messel pit,

MP 11

 Germany:

 Hessen

A Sulidae.

Mesetaornis polaris [31]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Andrzej Myrcha

Pjotr Jadwiszczak

Claudia P. Tambussi

Jorge I. Noriega

Andrzej Gazdzicki

Andrzej Tatur

Rodolpho A. Del Valle

Eocene

Seymour Island

La Meseta Formation,

 Antarctica

A Spheniscidae.

Miodytes serbicus [45]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Vesna Dimitreijevich

Erika Gál

Eugen Kessler

Early Miocene

Valjevo Basin

 Serbia

A Podicipedidae.

Novacaesareala hungerfordi [46]

Valid

Gen nov. et Sp. nov.

David C. Parris

Sylvia Hope

Late Cretaceous

Latest Maastrichtian or Earliest Danian,

Hornerstown Formations

 USA:

 New Jersey

A ?Torotigidae Brodkorb, 1963.

Oligosylphe mourerchauvireae [22]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Richard Smith

Early Oligocene

MP 21

 Belgium:

 Flemish Brabant

A Piciformes, Sylphornithidae Mourer-Chauviré, 1988.

Omnivoropteryx sinousaorum [47]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Stephen A. Czerkas

Qiang Ji

Early Cretaceous

Jiufutang Formation

 China

An Omvivoropterygidae Czerkas and Qiang Ji, 2002.

Oxyura doksana [23]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Jirí Mlíkovský

Early Miocene

MN 4b

 Czech Republic

An Anatidae.

Paraortygoides radagasti [48]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Gareth J. Dyke

Bonnie E. Gulas

Early Eocene

Walton-on-the-Naze

London Clay

 UK:

 England

A Gallinuloididae Lucas, 1900.

Parasarcoramphus milneedwardsi [49]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Cécile Mourer-Chauviré

Middle Eocene-Late Oligocene

Phosphorites du Quercy

Quercy,

 France

A Cathartidae.

Plesiocathartes geiselensis [50]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Middle Eocene

MP 13

 Germany

 Saxony-Anhalt

A Leptosomidae.

Plesiocathartes kelleri [51]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Gerald Mayr

Middle Eocene

Messel pit,

MP 11

 Germany

 Hessen

A ?Leptosomidae.

Polarornis gregorii [52]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Sankar Chatterjee

Late Cretaceous

Seymour Island

 Antarctica

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

Sapeornis chaoyangensis [53]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Zhou Zhonghe

Zhang Fucheng

Early Cretaceous

Jiufotang Formation

 China

A Sapeornithidae Zhou, 2006. This is the type species of the new genus.

Septentrogon madseni [54]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Anette V. Kristoffersen

Late Paleocene-Early Eocene

Fur Formation

 Denmark

A Trogonidae. This is the type species of the new genus.

Shenzhouraptor sinensis [55]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Ji Qiang

Ji Shuan

You Hailu

Zhang Jianping

Yuan Chonxi

Ji Xinxin

Li Jinglu

Li Yinzian

Early Cretaceous

Jiufotang Formation

 China

An Avialae. This is the type species of the new genus. When you enter "Discovery of an Avialae Bird from China, Shenzhouraptor sinensis gen. et sp. nov." in google you get the pdf.

Spheniscus urbinai [56]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Marcello Stucchi

Late Miocene-Early Pliocene

Pisco Formation

 Peru

A Spheniscidae.

Taubatornis campbelli [57]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Storrs L. Olson

Herculano M. F. de Alvarenga

Late Oligocene or Early Miocene

Tremembé Formation

 Brazil

A Teratornithidae Miller, 1909, this is the type species of the new genus.

Teratornis olsoni [58]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Oscar Arredondo

Carlos Arredondo

Pleistocene

Cave deposits

 Cuba

A Teratornithidae Miller, 1909. Transferred to the new genus Oscaravis Suárez et Olson, 2009. by William Suárez Duque & Storrs Lovejoy Olson, they made it the type species of the new genus.[59]

Teratornis woodburnensis [60]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Kenneth E. Campbell

Alison T. Stenger

Late Pleistocene

± -12.760-12.050 BP

 USA:

 Oregon

A Teratornithidae Miller, 1909. If you search "A New Teratorn (Aves: Teratornithidae) from the Upper Pleistocene of Oregon" on google, you find the pdf

Teviornis gobiensis [61]

Valid

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Evgeny N. Kurochkin

Gareth J. Dyke

Alexandr A. Karhu

Late Cretaceous

Maastrichtian,

Nemegt Formation

 Mongolia

A Presbyornithidae Wetmore, 1926. This is the type species of the new genus.

Tyto cyrneichnusae [62]

Valid

Sp. nov.

Antoine Louchart

Late Pleistocene

Corsica;

Sardinia

 France:

 Corsica;

 Italy:

 Sardinia

A Tytonidae.

Plesiosaurs[edit]

New taxa[edit]

Name Status Authors Notes

Edgarosaurus

Valid

  • Druckenmiller

Kaiwhekea

Valid

  • Cruickshank
  • Fordyce

Vinialesaurus

Valid

  • Gasparini
  • Bardet
  • Vinent
  • Iturralde

Pterosaurs[edit]

In October, a partial Mesadacylus wing was discovered in the Kingsview Quarry of Colorado.[63] This find marks the first time that a Morrison pterosaur has been found at more than one site in the formation.[63]

New taxa[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Austriadactylus

gen et sp nov

Valid

Dalla Vecchia, Wild, & Reitner

Late Triassic

Seefelder Beds

 Austria

Hatzegopteryx[64]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Buffetaut, Grigorescu, & Csiki

Late Cretaceous

Densuș-Ciula Formation

 Romania

possibly a jr synonym of Quetzalcoatlus

Jeholopterus

gen et sp nov

Valid

Wang & Zhou

Late Jurassic

Daohugou Beds

 China

Piksi

gen et sp nov

Valid

Varricchio

Late Cretaceous

Two Medicine Formation

 United States

At first thought to be a bird, but subsequently reinterpreted as a pterosaur, likely a member of Ornithocheiroidea.[65]

Pterorhynchus

gen et sp nov

Valid

Czerkas & Ji

Late Jurassic

Daohugou Beds

 China

Thalassodromeus

gen et sp nov

Valid

Kellner & Campos

early Cretaceous

Santana Formation

 Brazil

Utahdactylus

gen et sp nov

Valid

Czerkas & Mickelson

Late Jurassic

Morrison Formation, Utah

 USA

Lepidosauromorphs[edit]

Newly named Squamates[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

"Lakumasaurus"[66]

Gen et sp nov

Jr synonym

Novas et al

Late Campanian

Santa Marta Formation

 Antarctica

Genus synonymized in 2007 with Taniwhasaurus

Synapsids[edit]

Non-mammalian[edit]

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Criocephalosaurus[67]

gen nov

Valid

Kammerer & Sidor

Upper Permian

 South Africa

A dinocephalian. Replacement name for Criocephalus Broom, 1928, preoccupied by Criocephalus Mulsant 1839.

Kitchinganomodon[68]

Gen nov

Valid

Maisch

Upper Permian

 South Africa

A dicynodont. New genus for "Platycyclops" crassus Broom, 1948.

Kwazulusaurus[69]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Maisch

Upper Permian

Beaufort Group

 South Africa

A dicynodont. The type species is Kwazulusaurus shakai.

Lanthanocephalus[70]

gen et sp nov

Preoccupied

Modesto, Rubidge, & Welman

Upper Permian

Koonap Formation

 South Africa

Genus preoccupied by Lanthanocephalus Williams & Starmer, 2000, moved to the replacement Lanthanostegus in 2003

Neotrirachodon[71]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Tatarinov

Middle Triassic

Donguz Formation

 Russia

A cynodont. The type species is Neotrirachodon expectatus.

Ruhuhucerberus[72]

gen et sp nov

Valid

Maisch

Upper Permian

Kawinga Formation

 Tanzania

A gorgonopsian. The type species is Ruhuhucerberus terror.

Titanogorgon[72]

gen nov

Valid

Maisch

Upper Permian

Kawinga Formation

 Tanzania

A gorgonopsian. New genus for "Gorgonognathus" maximus von Huene, 1950.

References[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. ^ Mustoe, G.E. (2002). "Eocene Ginkgo leaf fossils from the Pacific Northwest". Canadian Journal of Botany 80: 1078–1087. doi:10.1139/b02-097. 
  3. ^ McKown, A.D.; Stockey, R.A.; Schweger, C.E. (2002). "A New Species of Pinus Subgenus Pinus Subsection Contortae From Pliocene Sediments of Ch'ijee's Bluff, Yukon Territory, Canada". International Journal of Plant Sciences 163 (4): 687–697. doi:10.1086/340425. 
  4. ^ Poinar, G.; Brown, A. (2002). "Hymenaea mexicana sp. nov. (Leguminosae: Caesalpinioideae) from Mexican amber indicates Old World connections". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 139 (2): 125–132. doi:10.1046/j.1095-8339.2002.00053.x. 
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  12. ^ Dong, Z.-M. 2002. A new armored dinosaur (Ankylosauria) from Beipaio Basin, Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 40 (4): pp. 276-285.
  13. ^ Czerkas, S.A., D. Zhang, J. Li, and Y. Li. 2002. Flying Dromaeasaurs. In S.J. Czerkas (ed.), Feathered Dinosaurs and the origin of flight. The dinosaur Museum Journal, Volume 1. The Dinosaur Museum of Blanding, Utah.
  14. ^ Zhang, Fucheng; Zhou, Zhonghe; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin (2002). "A juvenile coelurosaurian theropod from China indicates arboreal habits". Naturwissenschaften 89 (9): 394–8. doi:10.1007/s00114-002-0353-8. PMID 12435090. 
  15. ^ Xu X., X.-H. Zhang, P. Sereno, X.-J. Zhao, Xu.-W. Kuang, J. Han, and L. Tan. 2002. A new therizionosauroid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Iren Dabau Formation of Nei Mongol. Vertebrate Palasiatica 40 (3): pp.228-240.
  16. ^ Hutt, S. 2002. "Mr Leng's dinosaur." The Geological Society of the Isle of Wight Newsletter 2 (6): pp. 12–14.
  17. ^ Xu X., Cheng Y.-N., Wang X.-L., Chang C.-N. (2002). "An unusual oviraptorosaurian dinosaur from China". Nature 419 (6904): 291–293. doi:10.1038/nature00966. PMID 12239565. 
  18. ^ Xu X., Makovicky P.J., Wang X.-L., Norell M.A., Hou H.L. (2002). "A ceratopsian dinosaur from China and the early evolution of Ceratopsia". Nature 416 (6878): 314–317. doi:10.1038/416314a. PMID 11907575. 
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