Bestof2008 BW

A selection of the most important paleontological discoveries for the year 2008.

            List of years in paleontology       (table)
 1998 .  1999 .  2000 .  2001  . 2002  . 2003  . 2004 
2005 2006 2007 -2008- 2009 2010 2011
 2012 .  2013 .  2014 .  2015  . 2016  . 2017  . 2018 

Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, coprolites, palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because mankind has encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred in the year 2008.


Jenkins, F. A., jr, Shubin, N. H., Gatesy, S. M., and Warren, A., 2008, Gerrothorax pulcherrimus from the Upper Triassic Fleming Fjord Formation of East Greenland and a reassessment of head lifting in temnospondyl feeding: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, v. 28, n. 4, p. 935-950.

Newly named amphibiansEdit

Currently valid amphibian genera named in 2008
Name Status Authors Images
Beelzebufo[1] Valid taxon
  • Evans, Jones, & Krause,
Beelzebufo BW

An artist's depiction of Beelzebufo

Gerobatrachus[2] Valid taxon


  • Oviraptorosaurian eggs with embryonic skeletons are discovered for the first time in China.[3]
  • Mongolian Late Jurassic theropod fossils are found for the first time.[4]
  • A new study on morphological variation in shed theropod teeth from the Mil River Formation is published.[5]

Newly named dinosaursEdit

28 new dinosaur genera were erected in 2008. Data courtesy of George Olshevky's dinosaur genera list.[6]

Name Status Authors Notes Images
Albertonykus[7] Valid taxon
  • Longrich
  • Currie
Austroraptor[8] Valid taxon
  • Novas
  • Pol
  • Canale
  • Porfiri
  • Calvo
Dakotadon[9] Valid taxon
Daxiatitan[10] Valid taxon
Diceratus[11] Objective junior synonym of Nedoceratops; possible junior synonym of Triceratops
Dollodon[9] Valid taxon
Dongyangosaurus[12] Valid taxon
  • Azuma
  • Chen R.
  • Zheng
  • Jin X.
Duriavenator[13] Valid taxon
  • Benson
Eocarcharia[14] Valid taxon
Eomamenchisaurus[15] Valid taxon
  • Li T. G.
  • Zhong
  • Ji Q.
  • Li S. X.
Epidexipteryx[16] Valid taxon
  • Zhang F.
  • Zhou Z.
  • Xu X.
  • Wang X. L.
  • C. Sullivan
Gobiceratops[17] Valid taxon; possible junior synonym of Bagaceratops
  • Alifanov
Kryptops[14] Valid taxon
Loricatosaurus[18] Valid taxon
  • Barrett
  • Upchurch
Malarguesaurus[19] Valid taxon
  • González-Riga
  • Previtera
  • Pirrone
Microceratus[11] Nomen dubium
Orkoraptor[20] Valid taxon
  • Novas
  • Ezcurra
  • Lecuona
Peloroplites[21] Valid taxon
  • Carpenter
  • Bartlett
  • Bird
  • Barrick
Pitekunsaurus[22] Valid taxon
  • Filippi
  • Garrido
Qingxiusaurus[12] Valid taxon
  • Mo
  • Huang C.
  • Zhao Z.
Sahaliyania[23] Valid taxon
Similicaudipteryx[24] Valid taxon
  • He T.
  • Wang X. L.
  • Zhou Z.
Tastavinsaurus[25] Valid taxon
  • José I. Canudo
  • Rafael Royo-Torres
  • Gloria Cuenca-Bescós
Uberabatitan[26] Valid taxon
  • Salgado
  • Carvalho
Wulagasaurus[23] Valid taxon

Other publicationsEdit

  • Hutchinson, J.R., Miller, C., Fritsch, G., and Hildebrandt, T. 2008. The anatomical foundation for multidisciplinary studies of animal limb function: examples from dinosaur and elephant limb imaging studies; pp. 23–38 in Endo, H. and Frey, R. (eds.), Anatomical Imaging: Towards a New Morphology. Springer Verlag, Tokyo.
  • Witmer, L.M., Ridgely, R.C., Dufeau, D.L., and Semones, M.C. 2008. Using CR to peer into the past: 3D visualization of the brain and ear regions of birds, crocodiles, and nonavian dinosaurs; pp. 67–88 in Endo, H. and Frey, R. (eds.), Anatomical Imaging: Towards a New Morphology. Springer Verlag, Tokyo.

Cartilaginous fishEdit

  • Cicimurri, D. J., D. C. Parris and M. J. Everhart. 2008. Partial dentition of a chimaeroid fish (Chondrichthyes, Holocephali) from the Upper Cretaceous Niobrara Chalk of Kansas, USA. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28(1):34-40.


Newly named anapsidsEdit

Currently valid anapsid genera named in 2008
Name Status Authors Images
Odontochelys[27] Valid taxon
  • Li et al.
Odontochelys BW


Condorchelys[28] Valid taxon
  • Sterli


New papersEdit

  • Everhart, M.J. 2008. A bitten skull of Tylosaurus kansasensis (Squamata: Mosasauridae) and a review of mosasaur-on-mosasaur pathology in the fossil record. Kansas Academy of Science, Transactions 111(3/4):251-262
  • Everhart, M.J. 2008. The mosasaurs of George F. Sternberg, paleontologist and fossil photographer. Proceedings of the Second Mosasaur Meeting, Fort Hays Studies Special Issue 3, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, pp. 37–46.
  • Polcyn, M.J. and Everhart, M.J. 2008. Description and phylogenetic analysis of a new species of Selmasaurus (Mosasauridae: Plioplatecarpinae) from the Niobrara Chalk of western Kansas. Proceedings of the Second Mosasaur Meeting, Fort Hays Studies Special Issue 3, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, pp. 13–28.
  • Polcyn, M.J., Bell, G.L., Jr., Shimada, K. and Everhart, M.J. 2008. The oldest North American mosasaurs (Squamata: Mosasauridae) from the Turonian (Upper Cretaceous) of Kansas and Texas with comments on the radiation of major mosasaur clades. Proceedings of the Second Mosasaur Meeting, Fort Hays Studies Special Issue 3, Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, pp. 137–155.
  • Everhart, M.J. 2008. Rare occurrence of a Globidens sp. (Reptilia; Mosasauridae) dentary in the Sharon Springs Member of the Pierre Shale (Middle Campanian) of Western Kansas. p. 23-29 in Farley G. H. and Choate, J.R. (eds.), Unlocking the Unknown; Papers Honoring Dr. Richard Zakrzewski, , Fort Hays Studies, Special Issue No. 2, 153 p., Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS.


  • New placoderm genus Materpiscis discovered with fossilized embryo.

Newly named placodermsEdit

Currently valid placoderm genera named in 2008
Name Status Authors Images
Materpiscis[29] Valid taxon
  • J. A. Long
  • K. Trinajstic
  • G. C. Young
  • T. Senden

Model of Materpiscis on display at Museum Victoria, Australia


  • A new genus and species of horseshoe crab, Lunataspis aurora turns out to be the oldest known. Its remains date back to the Cambrian period about 445 million years ago.

Newly named xiphosuransEdit

Currently valid xiphosuran genera named in 2008
Name Status Authors Images
Lunataspis Valid taxon
  • Godfrey S. Nowlan
  • David M. Rudkin
  • Graham A. Young

Related happenings in geologyEdit



  1. ^ Evans, Susan E.; Jones, Marc E. H.; Krause, David W. (2008). "A giant frog with South American affinities from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 105 (8): 2951–2956. doi:10.1073/pnas.0707599105. PMID 18287076. 
  2. ^ Anderson J.S., Reisz R.R., Scott D., Fröbisch N.B., & Sumida S.S. 2008. A stem batrachian from the Early Permian of Texas and the origin of frogs and salamanders. Nature 453: 515-518.
  3. ^ Cheng, Y.-N., Ji, Q., Wu, X.-C., and Shan, H.-Y. 2008. Oviraptorosaurian eggs (Dinosauria) with embryonic skeletons discovered for the first time in China. Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 82(6):1089-1094.
  4. ^ Watabe, M., Tsogtbaatar, K., and Barsbold, R. 2008. First discovery of a theropod (Dinosauria) from the Upper Jurassic in Mongolia and its stratigraphy. Paleontological Research 12(1):27-36. doi:10.2517/1342-8144(2008)12[27:FDOATD]2.0.CO;2.
  5. ^ Larson, D.W. 2008. Diversity and variation of theropod dinosaur teeth from the uppermost Santonian Milk River Formation (Upper Cretaceous), Alberta: a quantitative method supporting identification of the oldest dinosaur tooth assemblage in Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 45(12):1455-1468. doi:10.1139/E08-070.
  6. ^ Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List". Retrieved on 2008-08-07. 
  7. ^ Longrich, Nicholas R.; and Currie, Philip J. (2008). "Albertonykus borealis, a new alvarezsaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Maastrichtian of Alberta, Canada: Implications for the systematics and ecology of the Alvarezsauridae". Cretaceous Research online preprint: 239. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2008.07.005. 
  8. ^ Novas, Fernando E.; Diego Pol, Juan I. Canale, Juan D. Porfiri and Jorge O. Calvo (2008-12-16). "A bizarre Cretaceous theropod dinosaur from Patagonia and the evolution of Gondwanan dromaeosaurids". Proceedings of the Royal Society B (The Royal Society). doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.1554. Retrieved on 2008-12-18. 
  9. ^ a b Paul, Gregory S. (2008). "A revised taxonomy of the iguanodont dinosaur genera and species". Cretaceous Research 29 (2): 192–216. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2007.04.009. 
  10. ^ You, H.-L.; Li, D.-Q.; Zhou, L.-Q.; and Ji, Q (2008). "Daxiatitan binglingi: a giant sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of China". Gansu Geology 17 (4): 1-10. 
  11. ^ a b Mateus, O (2008). "Two ornithischian dinosaurs renamed: Microceratops Bohlin 1953 and Diceratops Lull 1905". Journal of Paleontology 82 (2): 423. doi:10.1666/07-069.1. 
  12. ^ a b Lu Junchang; Yoichi Azuma; Chen Rongjun; Zheng Wenjie; and Jin Xingsheng (2008). "A new titanosauriform sauropod from the early Late Cretaceous of Dongyang, Zhejiang Province". Acta Geologica Sinica (English Edition) 82 (2): 225–235. 
  13. ^ Benson, R.B.J. (2008). "A redescription of "Megalosaurus" hesperis (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Inferior Oolite (Bajocian, Middle Jurassic) of Dorset, United Kingdom". Zootaxa 1931: 57-67. Accessed 2009-06-19. Archived 2009-06-22.
  14. ^ a b Sereno, Paul C.; and Brusatte, Stephen L. (2008). "[ Basal abelisaurid and carcharodontosaurid theropods from the Lower Cretaceous Elrhaz Formation of Niger]" (pdf). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 53 (1): 15–46. Archived from the original on 2008-03-26. Template:Dead link
  15. ^ Lu Junchang; Li Tianguang; Zhong Shimin; Ji Qiang; and Li Shaoxue (2008). "A new mamenchisaurid dinosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Yuanmou, Yunnan Province, China". Acta Geologica Sinica 82 (1): 17–26. 
  16. ^ Zhang, Fucheng; Zhou, Zhonghe; Xu, Xing; Wang, Xiaolin and Sullivan, Corwin. "A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran from China with elongate ribbon-like feathers". <> Nature 455, 1105-1108 (23 October 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature07447
  17. ^ Alifanov, V.R. (2008). "The tiny horned dinosaur Gobiceratops minutus gen. et sp. nov. (Bagaceratopidae, Neoceratopsia) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia". Paleontological Journal 42 (6): 621-633. 
  18. ^ Maidment, Susannah C.R.; Norman, David B.; Barrett, Paul M.; and Upchurch, Paul (in press). "Systematics and phylogeny of Stegosauria (Dinosauria: Ornithischia)". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology 6: 1. doi:10.1017/S1477201908002459. 
  19. ^ González Riga, Bernardo J.; Previtera, Elena; and Pirrone, Cecilia A. (2008). "Malarguesaurus florenciae gen. et sp. nov., a new titanosauriform (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous of Mendoza, Argentina". Cretaceous Research (online preprint): 135. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2008.06.006. 
  20. ^ Novas, F.E.; Ezcurra, M.D.; and Lecuona, A. (2008). "Orkoraptor burkei nov. gen. et sp., a large theropod from the Maastrichtian Pari Aike Formation, Southern Patagonia, Argentina". Cretaceous Research 29 (3): 468–480. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2008.01.001. 
  21. ^ Carpenter, Kenneth; Bartlett, Jeff; Bird, John; and Barrick, Reese (2008). "Ankylosaurs from the Price River Quarries, Cedar Mountain Formation (Lower Cretaceous), east-central Utah". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28 (4): 1089-1101. 
  22. ^ Filippi, L.S.; and Garrido, A.C. (2008). "Pitekunsaurus macayai gen. et sp. nov., new titanosaur (Saurischia, Sauropoda) from Upper Cretaceous Neuquén Basin, Argentina". Ameghiniana 45 (3): 575-590. 
  23. ^ a b Godefroit, Pascal; Hai Shulin; Yu Tingxiang; and Lauters, Pascaline (2008). "New hadrosaurid dinosaurs from the uppermost Cretaceous of north−eastern China" (pdf). Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 53 (1): 47–74. Template:Dead link
  24. ^ He, T., Wang, X.-L., and Zhou, Z.-H. (2008). "A new genus and species of caudipterid dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of western Liaoning, China." Vertebrata PalAsiatica, 46(3): 178-189.
  25. ^ Canudo, José I.; Royo-Torres, Rafael; and Cuenca-Bescós, Gloria (2008). "A new sauropod: Tastavinsaurus sanzi gen. et sp. nov. from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian) of Spain". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 28 (3): 712-731. 
  26. ^ Salgado, Leonardo; and Carvalho, Ismar de Souza (2008). "Uberabatitan ribeiroi, a new titanosaur from the Marília Formation (Bauru Group, Upper Cretaceous), Minas Gerais, Brazil". Palaeontology 51 (4): 881–901. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2008.00781.x. 
  27. ^ Li, C.; Wu, X.-C.; Rieppel, O.; Wang, T.-L. & Zhao, L.-J. 2008. An ancestral turtle from the Late Triassic of southwestern China. Nature 456: 497-501.
  28. ^ Sterli, J. 2008. A new, nearly complete stem turtle from the Jurassic of South America with implications for turtle evolution. Biology Letters 4: 286-289.
  29. ^ Long, J. A.; Trinajstic, K.; Young, G. C. & Senden, T. 2008. Live birth in the Devonian period. Nature 453 (7195): 650–652.
  30. ^ Dickenson, W.R., and Gehrels, G.E. 2008. U-Pb ages of detrital zircons in Jurassic eolian and associated sandstones of the Colorado Plateau: evidence for transcontinental dispersal and intraregional recycling of sediment. Geological Society of America Bulletin 121(3/4):408-433. doi:10.1130/B26406.1.

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