Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Silesaurus gets a minor revision?



I'm not really sure how much work's been done on my favorite supposedly non-dinosaurian dinosauriform, but Dzik & Sulej (2007) suggest that initial reports (Dzik 2003) placed it just outside of the Dinosauria proper, but the new paper briefly describes new material and suggests that Silesaurus is the most basal ornithischian known. This is a position I generally agree with--the original ornithischian is not going to look like Lesothosaurus. It's going to look more like Eoraptor or Herrerasaurus, because those two dinosaurs retain more plesiomorphic features, whereas Lesothosaurus is more specialized than either. Does anyone out there have strong opinions either way? Seems like you could get a lot of descriptive text out of Silesaurus, but aside from these two papers, I haven't seen much.

Also, how do you pronounce the name? It seems like there are a lot of possibilities. It's always said "SIGH-ul-SORE-us."

References:

Dzik, J. (2003). A beaked herbivorous archosaur with dinosaur affinities from the early Late Triassic of Poland. JVP 23: 556-574.
Dzik, J. & Sulej, T. (2007). A review of the early Late Triassic Krasiejow biota from Silesia, Poland. Palaeontologica Polonica 64.

3 comments:

Bill Parker said...

This would definitely solve the problem with the lack of ornithischians in the Late Triassic; however,this relationship can only be ascertained by a rigorous phylogenetic analysis, which is lacking in both of these papers.

I'm hoping that Randy Irmis handled this in his dissertation.

Brad said...

Why would the "le" be pronounced as "ul"? Is it a Polish thing?

Jaime A. Headden said...

As a derivative of Latin Silesia, all vowels will be long save the antepenultimate one, making it "sih-LEE-shah". In combination with sauros, you get "sih-leh-SAWR-ahs", as the antepenultimate syllable shifts posteriad, giving you a long "e" in the middle. On the DML back when this was published, it was jokingly and yet not nearly incorrectly pronounced "sil-lee-sawr-uhs", as this makes it sound like Silly-saurus. Close, but no cigar.