STL Science Center

STL Science Center

01 August 2017

On Paper

A big year for Melanorosaurus recently was 2007. In that year both the forelimb and the first complete skull of the early sauropodomorph were described using new methods and new technologies. These new papers are not readily available online, but with a little digging they can either be found or the volume containing them can be purchased. The skull and forelimb papers both, for instance, are available via Wiley as individual articles in a larger publication that can be purchased at this link. The price tags on scientific literature are always a little higher than many other publications; despite what it looks like, that is actually not a terrible price. There are books that can be mostly read online (and are also available for purchase) that contain Melanorosaurus descriptive articles. The postcranial specimens that have been designated as members of Melanorosaurus are described by Galton, et al. in the 2005 book "Thunder-lizards: The Sauropodomorph Dinosaurs" and much of this chapter is free to view through Google books. There are missing pages, as there are with many Google books, but typically these are illustrations, graphs, or other figures and not too much text is missing; lost content is unfortunate either way of course. Melanorosaurus continues to be a heavily studied animal outside of textbooks and special publications though. There have been osteological studies published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology abstracts (stemming from a conference presentation).

Possibly one of the more important papers for Melanorosaurus in the past decade is de Fabregues and Allain 2016. This paper explores new material attributed to Melanorosaurus. In so doing, the authors revise the position a species of Melanorosaurus and name a new genus. Despite this paper being largely about splitting taxa, a lot is said about the genus and the anatomy of the dinosaur. This makes it very informative for our purposes this week.

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