Sinopliosaurus

Name: Sinopliosaurus ‭(‬Chinese Pliosaurus‭)‬.
Phonetic: Sy-no-ply-o-sore-us.
Named By: C.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Young‭ ‬-‭ ‬1944.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Sauropterygiia,‭ ‬Plesiosauria,‭ ‬Pliosauria.
Species: S.‭ ‬weiyuanensis‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Piscivore/Carnivore.
Size: Unavailable.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Fusui County.
Time period: Aptian/Abian of the Cretaceous.‭
Fossil representation: Partial remains.

       There is a lot of confusion about the pliosaur genus Sinopliosaurus,‭ ‬all stemming from a misidentification of some spinosaurid dinosaur teeth as those belonging to a marine reptile.‭ ‬The first species of Sinopliosaurus,‭ ‬S.‭ ‬weiyuanensis was established by C.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Young,‭ ‬and was established as a pliosaur.‭ ‬Then in‭ ‬1975‭ ‬a second species was added to the Sinopliosaurus genus as S.‭ ‬fusuiensis,‭ ‬but only based upon the description of teeth.‭ ‬Then in‭ ‬2008‭ ‬these teeth were identified as actually belonging to a spinosaurid dinosaur,‭ ‬and not a pliosaur.
       The problem with the teeth of‭ ‘‬S‭’‬.‭ ‬fusuiensisis is that by themselves they are not distinct enough to name a new genus.‭ ‬In addition the teeth can no longer be named Sinopliosaurus,‭ ‬as this name is already occupied by the original fossil material of S.‭ ‬weiyuanensis,‭ ‬the pliosaur,‭ ‬and‭ ‬under international rules governing the naming of animals,‭ ‬no two animals may share the same name,‭ ‬even if they are different types of animal.‭ ‘‬Sinopliosaurus‭’ ‬fusuiensisis only exists with quotations and without italics to mark them out in a way to avoid further confusion.‭ ‬Despite this many writers have still credited Sinopliosaurus fusuiensis as a distinct genus of spinosaurid dinosaur,‭ ‬when it simply isn’t.‭ ‬For the record,‭ ‬the teeth credited as‭ ‘‬Sinopliosaurus‭’ ‬fusuiensisis are similar to those of another dubious genus of spinosaurid from Thailand,‭ ‬Siamosaurus.


Further reading
-‭ ‬On the reptilian remains from Weiyuan,‭ ‬Szechuan,‭ ‬China.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Bulletin of the Geological Society of China‭ ‬24‭(‬3‭–‬4‭)‬:187-205‭ ‬-‭ ‬C.‭ ‬C.‭ ‬Young‭ ‬-‭ ‬1944.
-‭ ‬Fossil reptiles from Fusui,‭ ‬Kwangshi.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Vertebrata PalAsiatica‭ ‬13‭(‬1‭)‬:24-33‭ ‬-‭ ‬L.-H.‭ ‬Hou,‭ ‬H.-K.‭ ‬Yeh‭ & ‬X.-J.‭ ‬Zhao‭ ‬-‭ ‬1975.
-‭ ‬An Early Cretaceous spinosaur theropod from southern China.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Geological Magazine‭ ‬145‭ (‬5‭)‬:‭ ‬745‭–‬748.‭ ‬-‭ ‬E.‭ ‬Buffetaut,‭ ‬V.‭ ‬Suteethorn,‭ ‬H.‭ ‬Tong‭ & ‬R.‭ ‬Amiot‭ ‬-‭ ‬2008.





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