Mystery Fossil #2 is.....

...the astragalus of the basal saurichian Chindesaurus bryansmalli. Kudos to Adam and Jaime who got it right. This element is from the holotype specimen, and one of the autapomorphies of the taxon as proposed by Long and Murry (1995) was an astragalus that is "glutealiform" in ventral view, which probably ranks as one of my favorite descriptive terms of all time. Unfortunately (if you are a fan of this character), we (Sterling Nesbitt, Randy Irmis, and myself) determined that the element is actually broken and worn and actually was similar to the astragalus of other basal saurischians including Saturnalia and Herrerasaurus (Nesbitt et al, 2007).

The SVP meeting was very well attended with a fabulous program of oral and poster presentations. It is always great to catch up with colleagues (and to meet lots of new people), although unfortunately I did have to miss the bloggers lunch. I was at the open SVP Executive Committee meeting and hopefully my absence at the lunch was understood. There were some excellent (and important ) Triassic talks which I may feature here in the near future. As directly blogging on the content of posters and talks is discouraged by the SVP, I will focus on the published abstracts and my take on their implications. Stay tuned.


Long, R.A., and P.A. Murry. 1995. Late Triassic (Carnian and Norian) tetrapods from the Southwestern United States. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 4:1–254.

Nesbitt, S.J., Irmis, R.B., and W.G. Parker. 2007. A critical re-evaluation of the Late Triassic dinosaur taxa of North America. Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 5:209-243.


  1. It was a fun meeting indeed. I enjoyed meeting you and many others in person.

  2. Well, CRAP. Am I violating the embargo by yammering on my blog about the content of the talks I attended? Should I take that post down?

    If so, I'm frustrated, because so many of those talks are awesome, and I'd like to blog on a few separately.

  3. You are OK. There is no more embargo and your short summaries don't violate any rules. You just shouldn't post the entire presentation (including pics of posters and such)on your site.

    Actually Jerry Harris had a VP server post today discussing how some authors were making their posers available on line through PDF. Obviously this is the right of the presenter.


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