Taxonomic validity of Petalodus ohioensis (Chondrichthyes, Petalodontidae) based on a cast of the lost holotype

Only a crude line drawing of the holotype tooth of the shark Petalodus ohioensis Safford, 1853 has ever been published, and the location of that specimen has long been unknown. The discovery of a cast
of the holotype in the collections of the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History demonstrates that P. alleghaniensis Leidy, 1856, is a junior subjective synonym of P. ohioensis, thus resolving a long-standing dispute.

History and geology of the Cope’s Nipple Quarries in Garden Park, Colorado—type locality of giant sauropods in the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation

The discovery in 1877 of what proved to be an extensive multi-taxa bonebed from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation helped kick-start the first Jurassic “Dinosaur Rush.” Located north of Cañon City, Colorado, the site, known today as Cope’s Nipple within the Garden Park National Natural Landmark, was worked by Oramel and Ira Lucas from 1877 to 1884, again by the Carnegie Museum in 1901, and sporadically by the Denver Museum of Natural History from 1991 to 1996. The history of this work is presented in depth for the first time using extensive archival records. The quarries occur in a single horizon around the base of Cope’s Nipple and represents a widespread bonebed in distal overbank silty mudstone that was subsequently modified by pedogenesis. Limited taphonomic data indicate the bonebed was a mix of allochthonous and autochthonous bone.

Redefining the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in Garden Park National Natural Landmark and vicinity, eastern Colorado: Geology of the Intermountain West

The Garden Park National Natural Landmark (GPNNL) is north of Cañon City, Colorado, and encompasses all of the major historical dinosaur quarries of the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation in this area. The formation there can be divided into the lower redefined Ralston Creek Member and an upper unnamed member. The Morrison Formation is bracketed below by the J-5 unconformity and above by the K-1 unconformity. The Ralston Creek Member is composed of up to 55 m of arkosic conglomerate, sandstone, siltstone, and gypsum conformably underlying the unnamed member. Fossil fishes previously used to infer a Middle Jurassic age are non-diagnostic. A diplodocid skeleton 4 m above the J-5 unconformity from the west-adjacent Shaws Park, and a radiometric date of 152.99 + 0.10 Ma from the Purgatoire River area demonstrate that the Ralston Creek rightly belongs in the Morrison Formation and correlates with the Tidwell and Salt Wash Members on the Colorado Plateau. The Ralston Creek was deposited in a broad playa complex analogous to those of central Australia and here called the Ralston Creek boinka. Groundwater flux played an important role in gypsum deposition in gypsisols and playa lakes. The overlying unnamed member in the GPNNL can be subdivided on the west side of Fourmile Creek into a lower part composed largely of mudstone with many thin, discontinuous channel sandstone beds, and a thicker upper part containing more persistent tabular sandstone beds; this subdivision does not occur east of Fourmile Creek. Several thin limestone beds occur in the Ralston Creek Member and in the lower part of the unnamed upper member. The limestone contains fresh water ostracods and aquatic mollusks indicating a lacustrine origin. However, these fauna are apparently stunted and the ostracod valves closed indicating periodic hypersaline conditions. All detrital rocks in the Morrison Formation at Garden Park are composed of varying amounts of quartz, potassic feldspar, and the clay minerals illite, smectite, and kaolinite. Mapping of the clay minerals in the unnamed member reflect various paleosols throughout the mudstone interval, including protosols and argillisols. At the top of the formation, a sandstone previously assigned to the Morrison is reassigned to the overlying Cretaceous Lytle Formation based on similar weathering characteristics, mineral content, and fabric. Thus, the K-1 unconformity between the Morrison and overlying Lytle rests on the uppermost occurrence of the Morrison Formation mudstone-sandstone-limestone complex and beneath the blocky, cliff-forming Lytle Formation.

A new atoposaurid crocodylomorph from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic) of Wyoming, USA

A left mandible of a small crocodyliform found in the Upper Jurassic Morrsion Formation of northeastern Wyoming represents the first occurrence of the atoposaurid Theriosuchus in North America. The specimen demonstrates lower jaw morphology, including heterodonty (as indicated by alveolus shape), similar to Theriosuchus and Knoetschkesuchus, but autapomorphies and a unique combination of characters among these taxa indicate that it is a distinct, new species of Theriosuchus.

Close-range photogrammetry of the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, Emery County, Utah

Bone distribution data are essential for taphonomic assessments of bonebeds. The Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry (CLDQ), an Allosaurus-dominated bonebed within the Upper Jurassic Morrison For¬mation, has been researched for nearly 100 years, but published maps are scarce considering the impor¬tance and density of the assemblage. Additionally, few detailed maps of bones from the CLDQ have been published in two dimensions, whereas the third, the stratigraphic/vertical, dimension has never been re¬corded. Utilizing standard field mapping techniques as well as photogrammetry, the three-dimensional orientations of bones currently exposed in the quarry have been analyzed for potential dispersal patterns. Additionally, a “living” or continuously updatable, photogrammetric map which allows for researchers to view the bones in three dimensions throughout the course of excavation has been created. Continued photogrammetry in future field seasons will allow visualization of bones in three dimensions even after the currently exposed bones have been removed. Utilizing these newly available data, two distinct clusters of bone within the South Butler Building at the quarry are identified. Based on statistically significant average orientations and depths of these bones, early-stage post-mortem transport of carcasses prior to disartic¬ulation (i.e., bloat and float) is supported as an important transport and depositional process within the quarry assemblage. Furthermore, possible evidence of multiple depositional events is discussed.

Soft-bodied fossil of a lizard from the Parachute Creek Member, Green River Formation (Eocene), Utah

A rare specimen of soft tissue preservation of a lizard from the Parachute Creek Member of the Eocene Green River Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah, is described. The preservation is unusual in that it is a miner¬alized body lacking the skeleton. This, and other small boneless vertebrate specimens also from the Para¬chute Creek, indicate occasional demineralizing conditions in Lake Uinta, but not apparently in the other two lakes of the Green River Formation—Fossil Lake and Lake Gosuite.

Considerations on the replacement of a type species in the case of the sauropod dinosaur Diplodocus Marsh, 1878

“The sauropod dinosaur genus Diplodocus Marsh, 1878, is currently typified by a morphologically undi¬agnosable type species, D. longus Marsh, 1878. Only two caudal vertebrae and an associated partial chev¬ron of its holotype (Yale Peabody Museum [YPM] VP.001920) remain reasonably complete, but more, fragmentary caudal vertebrae are available, and provide additional morphological information. YPM VP.001920 can be referred to Diplodocus generally, but cannot be distinguished from other Diplodocus spe¬cies based on autapomorphies. Thus, the genus Diplodocus would have to be considered a nomen dubium. In order to resolve this unsatisfactory taxonomic issue, Tschopp and Mateus (2016) proposed to designate a new type species for the genus Diplodocus: namely, the well-known D. carnegii Hatcher, 1901.
Herein, we expand upon historical and taxonomic issues concerning the holotype of D. longus, in order to: (1) provide additional imagery and information on the specimen and (2) to address comments against the replacement of D. longus by D. carnegii as the type species of Diplodocus as proposed by Tschopp and Mateus (2016).”

Maraapunisaurus fragillimus, N.G. (formerly Amphicoelias fragillimus), a basal Rebbachisaurid from the Morrison Formation (Upper Jurassic) of Colorado

In 1878, Oramel Lucas shipped to E.D. Cope of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, a huge 1.5-m-tall neural spine from the dorsal vertebra of a sauropod (from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation) that Cope named and illustrated as Amphicoelis fragillimus.The holotype was lost and all that is known of the specimen is from Cope’s original publication. Reanalysis of Cope’s publication in light of other sauropods discovered since 1878 indicates that Amphicoelias fragillimus is a basal rebbachisaurid characterized by pneumatic neural spine and arch, and the unambiguous rebbachisaurid character of a festooned spinodiapophyseallamina. Because the specimen can no longer be referred to the basal diplodo­ coid Amphicoelias, the genus name is replaced with Maraapunisaurus n.g. As a rebbachisaurid, revised dimensions indicate a dorsal vertebra 2.4 m tall and a head-to-tail length for the animal of30.3 to 32m, significantly less than previous estimates.

Trace fossils and fluvial-lacustrine ichnofacies of the Eocene Uinta and Duchesne River Formations, northern Uinta Basin, Utah

Trace fossil assemblages in a fluvial-lacustrine sequence stratigraphic context hold significant poten-tial for expanding our understanding of environmental controls and continental basin-fill history. The succession of the Eocene Uinta Formation and four members of the Duchesne River Formation is ex¬tremely well-exposed in the Uinta Basin of northeastern Utah, revealing a robust stratigraphic framework to document broad-scale fluvial-lacustrine facies architectures and associated trace fossil assemblages. Greenish- and gray-colored mudstone beds with interbedded tabular sandstone representing lacustrine environments contain the trace fossils Arenicolites and Gordia (= Haplotichnus). In contrast, red mudstone beds with interbedded channelized sandstone representing upstream fluvial and alluvial environments contain a variety of insect trace fossils, including Scoyenia, Ancorichnus, and nest structures. Transitional, interfingering lithologies of wetland or shallow, short-lived lacustrine environments on the alluvial plain contain the trace fossil Steinichnus. Although there are many small-scale (bed-scale) physical sedimen¬tary structures and trace fossils from continental subenvironments, this study focuses on the large-scale (member-scale) change in trace fossil assemblages, with results indicating that the ichnofacies corroborate continental sequence stratigraphic interpretations in a fluvial-lacustrine setting.

A photo documentation of bipedal ornithischian dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation, USA

Bipedal ornithischian dinosaurs from the Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation are rare, forming only about 15% of the dinosaur specimens. Nevertheless, one of them was among the first dinosaurs named from what was then the ‘’Atlantosaurus Beds’’ of Colorado. Collecting and restudy for 140 years has in­creased the diversity from the initial 1877 discovery to the currently valid four genera and six species, viz., Fruitadens haagaroum, Nanosaurus agilis, Camptosaurus dispar, C. aphanoecetes, Dryosaurus altus, and D. elderae, which we briefly review. We demonstrate that the enigmatic Nanosaurus agilis is the senior name for Drinker nisti, Othnielosaurus consors, and Othnielia rex. In addition, a new species, Dryosaurus elderae is proposed for the Dryosaurus specimens from Dinosaur National Monument that are characterized by elongate cervical verebrae and a long, low ilium among other features.