STL Science Center

STL Science Center

11 December 2012

Translations of Descriptions

Many thanks must go out to Matthew Carrano for translating so many works into English for so many paleontologists worldwide that do not know more than one language or, like myself, know a handful but only in enough detail to hold conversation for a bit. For those of us that do not know enough of other languages to read long scientific papers, his Polyglot Paleontologist site saves us all a lot of troubles. For people like me, who took French, German, Latin, or Japanese but never Spanish, today that site and Carrano's translation allow us to read Bonaparte and Novas' paper naming and describing Abelisaurus from a lone skull discovered in the Allen Formation (Rio Negro Province) of Argentina. As we know from the past papers we have read from Bonaparte, a lot of his work has been done in Argentina and he has become the modern day South American equivalent of a Cope, Marsh, or even a Brown or Sternberg (because he's out there finding things himself sometimes). In the abstract the new family is already proposed based on differences from Tyrannosaurs and "other Cretaceous carnosaur families"; Bonaparte and Novas leave us no empty space to conjecture through by coming straight out and telling us why they propose a new family. Though that is often the case with abstracts, leaving it as the closing sentence is equivalent to leaving us with a cliffhanger because they do not give us the differences or explain why they merit a new family until page 3 where it is again lightly touched upon and then definitively comparing the new skull to previously known skulls on pages 7 through 9.

I have uncovered a second paper of interest today written by Roberto Ebner, a medical doctor, and Leonardo Salgado. In this paper Ebner and Salgado used CT scans to measure the optic canal of Abelisaurus. They note in the paper that the scanning has led them to think that Abelisaurus had only a few hundred grams of brain matter and that, despite poor preservation on one side of the skull, the optic canals were scanned and imaged quite nicely; though it does not say to what purpose beyond scanning them. The scan appears below.
Arch Ophthalmol. 2003;121:294-295

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