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Paleontology or palaeontology (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.[1] This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have 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 or were published in the year 1977.

List of years in paleontology (table)
In science
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1979
1980

Contents

Expeditions, field work, and fossil discoveriesEdit


PlantsEdit

AngiospermsEdit

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Nelumbo aureavallis[3]

Valid

Hickey

Ypresian

Camels Butte Member,
Golden Valley Formation

  USA;
   North Dakota

Peltandra primaeva[3]

Valid

Hickey

Ypresian

Camels Butte Member,
Golden Valley Formation

  USA;
   North Dakota

PinophytesEdit

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Pinus peregrinus[3]

Valid

Hickey

Clarkforkian

Bear Den Member,
Golden Valley Formation

  USA
   North Dakota

InvertebratesEdit

MollusksEdit

Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Fordilla sibirica[4]

sp nov

Valid

Krasilova

Early Cambrian

Tyuser Formation

early Cambrian bivalve species. synonym of Fordilla troyensis.

ConodontsEdit

German paleontologist and stratigrapher Heinz Walter Kozur (1942-2013) described the conodont genus Vjalovognathus[5]

VertebratesEdit

Non-avian dinosaursEdit

Data courtesy of George Olshevsky's dinosaur genera list.[6]

Name Status Authors Location Notes Images
Fulengia[7] Nomen dubium. Possible synonym of Lufengosaurus.
  • Carroll
Opisthocoelicaudia[8] Valid taxon
  • Borsuk-Bialynicka
A Titanosaur from Mongolia.
Othnielia[9] Valid taxon Now called Othnielosaurus.
Piveteausaurus[10] Valid taxon
  • Welles
a French Megalosaur.
Saichania[11] Valid taxon Name-Meaning: Beautiful
"Shanshanosaurus"[12] Junior synonym of Tarbosaurus.
Tarchia[11] Valid taxon Name-Meaning: Brain.
Tuojiangosaurus[13] Valid taxon
  • Zhou S.
  • Zhang Y. H.
Chinese Stegosaur.
Valdosaurus[14] Valid taxon a European Dryosaur.
Wannanosaurus[15] Valid taxon
  • Hou
A Primitive Pachycephalosaur
"Yezosaurus" Nomen nudum. Non-dinosaurian marine reptile.
  • Obata
  • Muramoto

BirdsEdit

  • Colin J. O Harrison and Cyril Walker described and named 16 fossils from the Early Eocene from very small fragments. It is not possible to describe taxa so old from those fragments, given the fact that in the Eocene many birds with a mix of characters existed (mosaics).
Name Novelty Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes Images

Argillipes aurorum [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002,[17] this is the type species of the new genus.

Argillipes paralectoris [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002.[17]

Buthierax pouliani [18]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Miklós Kretzoi

Middle Pleistocene

MQ 2a

An Accipitridae Incertae Sedis, this is the type species of the new genus.

Cepphus storeri [19]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Late Pliocene

MN 16-17

An Alcidae.

Ciconia sarmatica [20]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Dan Grigorescu

Jenö Kessler

Early Miocene

Sarmatian,

MN 8

A Ciconiidae.

Cinclodes major [21]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Eduardo P. Tonni

Middle Pleistocene

A Furnariidae.

Coturnipes cooperi [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Phasianidae, placed in Aves Incertae Sedis by Olson, 1999, this is the type species of the new genus.

Gallus beremendensis [22]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Dénes Jánossy

Late Pliocene

MN 16a

A Phasianidae.

Limnofregata azygosternon [23]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Early Eocene

Green River Formatie,

Fossil Bute Member

A Fregatidae, Limnofregatinae Olson, 1977, this is the type species of the new genus.

Malacorhynchus scarletti [24]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Holocene

± 3500 YBP (Years Before Present)

An Anatidae.

Marinavis longirostris [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Procelariiformes, in its own family, Marinavidae Harrison et Walker, 1977, this is the type species of the new genus.

Microena goodwini [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Columbidae, placed in Aves Inceretae Sedis by Mlíkovský 2002,[17] according to Mayr, 2009 perhaps a "Coraciiformes" or a "Caprimulgiformes"/Apodiformes, this is the type species of the new genus.

Neptuniavis minor [16]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

An ?Procellariidae, maybe a synonym of Dasornis toliapica (Owen, 1873).

Neptuniavis miranda [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

An ?Procellariidae, this is the type species of the new genus, maybe a synonym of Dasornis emuinus (Bowerbank, 1854), this is the type species of the new genus.

Oxyura zapatanima [25]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Rafael Alvarez

Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

Jocotopec Sand and Gravel Quarry

An Anatidae.

Parvicuculus minor [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

An Apodiformes, Hemiprocni Karkhu, 1992, Parvicuculidae Harrison, 1982, this is the type species of the new genus.

Parvigyps praecox [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Accipitridae, by Mlíkovský, 2002 placed in Aves Incertae Sedis,[17] this is the type species of the new genus.

Percolinus venablesi [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Phasianidae, transferred to the genus Gypsornis Milne-Edwards, 1871 in the Cariamidae by Mlíkovský, 2002,[17] this is the type species of the new genus.

Phalacrocorax chapalensis [25]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Rafael Alvarez

Late Pliocene-Early Pleistocene

Jocotopec Sand and Gravel Quarry

A Phalacrocoracidae.

Pinguinus alfrednewtoni [26]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Early Pliocene

Chesapeake Group

An Alcidae.

Precursor litorum [16]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Glareolidae, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Precursor magnus [16]

Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Glareolidae, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Precursor parvus [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in the Glareolidae, this is the type species of the new genus, best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis.

Primodroma bournei [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

A Hydrobatidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Primoscens minutus [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described in a new family Primoscenidae Harrison et Walker, 1977, Passeriformes, placed in synonymy with the family Zygodactylidae Brodkorb, 1971, ?Piciformes by Mayr, 2008,[27] this is the type species of the new genus.

Procuculus minutus [16]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Colin J. O. Harrison

Cyril A. Walker

Early Eocene

MP 8-9

Described as a Cuculidae, Harrison, 1982 placed it in his new family Parvicuculidae,[28] Olson, 1985 and Mayr, 2009 think it might be a synonym of Primapus lacki Harrison et Walker, 1975. Best treated as Aves Incertae Sedis, this is the type species of the new genus.

Quipollornis koniberi [29]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Patricia Vickers Rich

Allan R. McEvey

Early to Middle Miocene

Diatomite deposits on Chalk Mountain

An Aegothelidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Rallus richmondi [30]

Nom. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

Late Miocene

MN 13

A Rallidae, a new name for Rallus dubius Portis, 1887, a junior primary homonym of Rallus dubius Piller et Mitterpacher, 1783, so its objective junior synonym.

Sarmatosula dobrogensis [20]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Dan Grigorescu

Jenö Kessler

Middle Miocene

Sarmatian,

MN 8

A Sulidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Shandongornis shanwanensis [31]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Yeh Xiangkui

Middle Miocene

Shanwang Series

A Phasianidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

Xenicibis xympithecus [32]

Gen. nov. et Sp. nov.

Valid

Storrs L. Olson

David W. Steadman

Quaternary

Cave deposits

A Threskiornithidae, this is the type species of the new genus.

PterodactylsEdit

Name Status Authors Age Unit Location Notes

Araripedactylus

Valid

Wellnhofer

late Aptian/early Albian

A pterodactyloid of uncertain affinities.

Popular cultureEdit

LiteratureEdit

  • The Year of the Dinosaur Edwin H. Colbert and illustrated by his wife, Margaret was published. This story describes a year in the life of a "brontosaur" and was an attempt to educate the reader about prehistory through a fictional portrayal of it.[33]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Gini-Newman, Garfield; Graham, Elizabeth (2001). Echoes from the past: world history to the 16th century. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. ISBN 9780070887398. OCLC 46769716.
  2. ^ Trexler, D., 2001, Two Medicine Formation, Montana: geology and fauna: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, pp. 298–309.
  3. ^ a b c Hickey, Leo (1977). Stratigraphy and Paleobotany of the Golden Valley Formation (Early Tertiary) of Western North Dakota. Boulder, Colorado: Geological Society of America. pp. 110 & Plate 5. ISBN 0-8137-1150-9.
  4. ^ Elicki, O.; Gürsu, S. (2009). "First record of Pojetaia runnegari Jell, 1980 and Fordilla Barrande, 1881 from the Middle East (Taurus Mountains, Turkey) and critical review of Cambrian bivalves" (PDF). Paläontologische Zeitschrift. 83 (2): 267–291. doi:10.1007/s12542-009-0021-9.
  5. ^ Vjalovognathus nom. nov. replaces Vjalovites Kozur, 1976. H. Kozur, Journal of Paleontology, July 1977, volume 51, issue 4
  6. ^ Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List". Retrieved 2008-08-07.
  7. ^ Carroll, R.L. and P.M. Galton. 1977. Modern lizard from the Upper Triassic of China. Nature 266: pp. 252-255.
  8. ^ Borsuk-Bialynicka, M. 1977. A new camarasaurid sauropod Opisthocoelicaudia skarzynskii, gen. n. sp. n. from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Palaeontol. Polonica 37: pp. 5-64.
  9. ^ Galton, P.M. 1977. The ornithopod dinosaur Dryosaurus and a Laurasia-Gondwanaland connection in the Upper Jurassic. Nature 268: pp. 230-232.
  10. ^ Taquet, P., and S. Welles. 1977. Redescription du crane de Dinosaure theropode de Dives (Normandie). Annales de Paleontologie, tomo 63 (fasc. 2): pp. 191-206.
  11. ^ a b Maryanska, T. 1977. Ankylosauridae (Dinosauria) from Mongolia. Paleontol. Polinica 37: pp. 85-151.
  12. ^ Dong, Z. 1977. On the dinosaurian remains from Turpan, Xinjiang. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 59-66.
  13. ^ Dong, Z., X. Li, S. Zhou, and Y. Chang. 1977. On the stegosaurian remain from Zigong (Tzekung), Szechuan Province. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 307-312.
  14. ^ Olshevsky, G. 1991. A Revision of the Parainfraclass Archosauria Cope, 1869, Excluding the Advanced Crocodylia. Mesozoic Meanderings 2 (1st printing): iv + 196 pages.
  15. ^ Hou, L. 1977. A new primitive pachycephalosauria from Anhui, China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 15: pp. 198-202.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Colin J. O. Harrison & Cyril A. Walker (1977). "Birds of the British Lower Eocene". Tertiary Research Special Papers. 3: 1–52.
  17. ^ a b c d e Jíří Mlíkovský, (2002). "Cenozoic Birds of the World Part 1: Europe" (PDF). Praha Ninox Press: 1–407. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
  18. ^ Miklós Kretzoi (1977). "The Fauna of Small Vertebrates of the Middle Pleistocene at Petralona" (PDF). Anthropos (Athina). 4 (1–2): 131–143.
  19. ^ Colin J. O. Harrison (1977). "A New Guillemot, Cepphus Species, from the Lower Pleistocene". Suffolk Natural History. 17: 238–239.
  20. ^ a b Dan Grigorescu & Jenö Kessler (1977). "The Middle Sarmatian Avian Fauna of South Dobrogea". Revue Roumaine de Géologie, Géophysique et Géographie, Série Géologie. 21: 93–108.
  21. ^ Eduardo P. Tonni (1977). "Un Furnárido (Aves: Passeriformes) del Pleistoceno Medio de la Provincia de Buenos Aires". Publicaciones del Museo Municipal de Ciencias Naturales de Mar del Plata Lorenzo Scaglia. 2 (6): 141–147.
  22. ^ Dénes Jánossy (1977). "Plio-Pleistocene Bird Remains from the Carpathian Basin. II. Galliformes. 2. Phasianidae" (PDF). Aquila. 83: 29–42.
  23. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Lower Eocene Frigatebird from the Green River Formation of Wyoming" (PDF). Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology. 35: 1–33. doi:10.5479/si.00810266.35.1.
  24. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "Notes on Subfossil Anatidae from New Zealand, Including A New Species of Pink-Eared Duck Malacorhynchus". Emu. 77 (3): 132–135. doi:10.1071/mu9770132.
  25. ^ a b Rafael Alvarez (1977). "A Pleistocene Avifauna from Jalisco, Mexico" (PDF). Contributions from the Museum of Paleontology University of Michigan. 24 (19): 205–220.
  26. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Great Auk, Pinguinis [sic], from the Pliocene of Nebraska (Aves: Alcidae)" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 90 (3): 690–697.
  27. ^ Gerald Mayr (2008). "Phylogenetic Affinities of the Enigmatic Avian Taxon Zygodactylus Based on New Material from the Early Oligocene of France". Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. 6: 333–344. doi:10.1017/s1477201907002398.
  28. ^ Colin J. O. Harrison (1982). "Cuculiform, Piciform, and Passeriform Birds in the Lower Eocene of England". Tertiary Research. 4: 71–81.
  29. ^ Patricia Vickers Rich & Allan R. McEvey (1977). "A New Owlet-Nightjar from the Early to Mid-Miocene of Eastern New South Wales" (PDF). Memoirs of the National Museum of Victoria. 38: 247–253. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-09-12. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  30. ^ Storrs L. Olson (1977). "A Synopsis of the Fossil Rallidae" (PDF). In “Rails of the World: A Monograph of the Family Rallidae“ by S.D. Ripley, Codline, Boston: 509–525.
  31. ^ Yeh Xiangkui (1977). "[First Discovery of Miocene Birds in China]" (PDF). Vertebrata PalAsiatica. 15 (4): 244–248.
  32. ^ Storrs L. Olson & David W. Steadman (1977). "A New Genus of Flightless Ibis (Threskiornithidae) and Other fossil Birds from Cave Deposits in Jamaica" (PDF). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 90 (2): 447–457.
  33. ^ Sarjeant, W. A. S., 2001, Dinosaurs in fiction: In: Mesozoic Vertebrate Life, edited by Tanke, D. H., and Carpenter, K., Indiana University Press, p. 504-529.