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DD1991

A new paper regarding a new hadrosaurid from the eastern US is available online:

Albert Prieto-Marquez, Gregory M. Erickson and Jun A. Ebersole (2016). "A primitive hadrosaurid from southeastern North America and the origin and early evolution of ‘duck-billed’ dinosaurs". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Online edition: e1054495. doi:10.1080/02724634.2015.1054495.

It's no surprise that we have been deciphering the evolution of hadrosauroids and hadrosaurids in North America during the late Turonian to Santonian interval, but the discovery of Eotrachodon provides new insights into the early evolution of hadrosaurids in North America by showing that hadrosaurids co-existed with non-hadrosaurid hadrosauroids in North America during the Santonian. However, the statement by Prieto-Marquez et al. regarding the geographical origin of Hadrosauridae should be taken with a grain of salt because Sebastian Dalman informed me of a soon-to-be-published tyrannosaur species from the Cenomanian of New Jersey and it's possible that a small number of Cenomanian-Turonian species from Asia currently classified as Hadrosauroidea incertae sedis could end up as basal hadrosaurids, in which case it may be clear that hadrosaurids in Laramidia made it to Appalachia during the Cenomanian before the Western Interior Seaway cut off Appalachia from Laramidia.

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FossilDAWG

Unfortunately my University has a cheap subscription that includes a 6-month embargo, so I won't be able to read this paper until somewhere around September. I'm very curious about it, as I (along with several members of a fossil club) was involved in the discovery of a remarkably complete hadrosaurid in Santonian strata in Alabama a few years ago. This specimen included a complete skull, mandibles, much of the vertebral column and ribs, and some of the limbs including a foot. I strongly suspect the paper describes that specimen, which I have wondered about for quite a while.

Don

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Troodon

Have not had a chance to read the paper but the holotype is a nearly complete skull from outcrops of uppermost Santonian (Late Cretaceous) strata of the Mooreville Chalk near Montgomery, Montgomery County, Alabama, southeastern U.S.A.

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FossilDAWG

The specimen I mentioned was collected from the base of the Mooreville near Montgomery. If I can confirm that the specimen is the one described in the paper I'll post some photos and tell the story of the discovery. I did not discover the specimen myself by the way, but I was on the trip, helped with the initial excavation, and was the first to realize we had a hadrosaurine, not a jumble of plesiosaur bones. I'll not reveal the exact locality though unless it is given in the paper.

Don

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Troodon

The acknowledgements read as follows:

We thank the members of the Birmingham Paleontological Society, Inc., for discovering and bringing MSC 7949 to the attention of McWane Science Center and James Parham for contacting APM and GME about the specimen. James Lamb (University of West Alabama) skillfully excavated and prepared the specimen.

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FossilDAWG

That's the one!

Don

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JohnJ

Don, this is one of those special fossil collecting stories. :) Thank you for the backstory a published description often cannot cover. I love it. :D

I've moved this great example of amateur and professional cooperation to the Partners in Paleontology forum.

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Auspex

...I think this saga is a perfect example of how amateurs can be the eyes and ears for professional paleontologists. This fossil could have ended up in a private collection, never to be seen by science, or it could have been sold (again only to be lost to science), or it could have been ruined by unskilled collectors. Instead it has become part of our shared experience and knowledge of the natural world...

Amen, Brother Don! :fistbump:

Just s couple years to publication? That is comparatively quick.

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FossilDAWG

Well more than a couple of years, but still pretty quick. About 5 or 6 I think.

Don

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dirtdauber

Great report, Don! Thanks. --- George

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Tennessees Pride

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!! It has been released, i've been waiting for this!

About a month ago Jun told me a new Hadrosaur would be publicised, and I've just been here chewing my nails in anticipation. :D

Has anyone actually read the new published material? I'm not subscribed to this Journal sadly.

I was emailing Jun in regards to Hadrosaur bones I've recovered, at which time, an interest was expressed in regards to any Hadrosaur teeth I had recovered in association. Now that the story is out, I presume it to be okay to post what was told to me; the new Hadrosauridae sp. is difficult to determine with postcranial bones, the teeth of this dinosaur are diagnostic, also the cranial bones.

I have been and still am extremely interested in pics of the teeth and skull. Awhahaha, I been about to jump out of my shoes waiting on photos of the teeth. ;) Don,thank you so much for posting the tooth pic (among others) & that outstanding report. DD1991, thank you also for bringing this Journal release to everyone's attention!

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Tennessees Pride

Don, is there anything further that you can relate about the teeth? Or any other teeth photos you may have?

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Auspex

Don, is there anything further that you can relate about the teeth? Or any other teeth photos you may have?

The name "Eotrachodon" gives a clue: "trachodon" means "rough tooth".

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FossilDAWG

Now that the paper on Eotrachodon orientalis has been published, the Birmingham Paleontological Society has set up a web page to publicize the story of the discovery and excavation of the specimen. I made a couple of errors in my account, the most significant of which was that the specimen was initially discovered by BPS member Dr. Jan Novak, not Becky. Also the entire excavation took about three weeks.

The BPS page can be found here. Not only is the full story given, there are several pages of photos of the excavation. The excavation was directed by Dr. James Lamb, but the enthusiastic participation of many BPS members is highly evident in the photos.

Don

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FossilDAWG

Don, is there anything further that you can relate about the teeth? Or any other teeth photos you may have?

Check the photos in the link, there are a few that show the teeth.

Don

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Tennessees Pride

Thank you sir,you are a tremendous help, and a very outgoing person when asked for assistance.

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FossilDAWG

The link to the BPS page worked for me at home, but on my work computer it does not (I get an "access forbidden" message). If people try it, can they post a quick note about if it worked for them or not?

Thanks,

Don

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Auspex

...post a quick note about if it worked for them or not?

Like a charm :)

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Tennessees Pride

It works on Chrome mobile.

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FossilDAWG

Great! Must be some weird firewall at work.

Don

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