Donnerstag, 14. Mai 2009

PALHERP Bonn 2009

The Meeting of the German Paleoherpetologists was launched in 1997 as an act of rebellion against the old mammal establishment which ruled the regular vertebrate workshops of the German Paleontological Society. A particular aspect of the Palherp is the relaxed atmosphere giving students the chance to present ideas and results without unfair senior criticism.

Last weekend the 13th Palherp meeting was held in Bonn. As the Steinmann Institute of Bonn University houses the German Research Foundation Unit on Sauropod Biology you can call it one of centres of paleoherpetology in Germany. Given the focus of the Bonn working group many of this year's presentations covered dinosaurs and/or bone histology.

Saturday: Martin Sander's keynote lecture on sauropod biology was followed by presentations on sauropodlet longbone histology, on rib histology and sauropod reproduction strategies.

The lower tetrapod session covered chroniosuchians, a pelycosaur jaw fragment as the earliest German amniote find, parareptiles and a basal diapsid.

In the afternoon a presentation on didactyle theropod footprints from the Oberkirchen Sandstone and a discussion of arguments/ phylogenetic analyses in favour of convergent flight origins in the Eumaniraptora followed. Furthermore a talk on finds from the Lower Muschelkalk of Winterwijk. H. Haubold discussed problems related to the continental P/T mass extinction event if it is taken as a dogma.

Sunday talks included the introduction of a new basal sauropod (from Niger), dinosaur palaeopathology, tooth morphology, isotope palaeontology, and 19th century history of dinosaur science.

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