Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thai One On

Here's a blast from the past:
If you follow ostrich dinosaurs (and really, who doesn't?), you may have heard of a genus called "Ginnareemimus." This name has been popping up on genus lists enclosed in quotation marks for years. That's because, while the remains were found in Thailand over a decade ago, they have never been described and the name has only cropped up in a caption in some obscure journal published in 2000.

Well, this month the paper finally came out, only the name is... wait for it... Kinnareemimus! Subtle change to avoid (or because of) Jim Jenson's fate (see previous post for more on that)? Nah, some intrepid poster to the DML found the spelling "Kinnareemimus" in a Thai language journal article, from 1998 or 1999, so "Ginnareemimus" may just have been a typo all along (EDIT: Or, as mentioned in the comments, an alternate transliteration of Thai characters). The Thai article, if you're curious, can be downloaded here as a pdf. The crack team of dino fans at Wikipedia have already been able to translate the relevent bits. The journal is "Reports of the Annual Meeting of the Geology-something" (hey I said "crack team of dino fans" not "linguists") and the author appears to be Sasithorn Kamsupha.

So that's the saga of Ginnaree, err, Kinnareemimus. For all that, the remains aren't anything spectacular, just post-cranial bits including a severely pinched arctometatarsalian foot (i.e., it was probably a good runner). The authors found it to be more advanced within ornithomimosaurs than Harpymimus due to this, though its early Cretaceous age would make it the oldest known ornithomimosaur. However, Mickey Mortimer reckons it's not diagnostic enough of that group and might be a different kind of coelurosaur entirely. Still, it is kinda cool to get more of the Thai dinosaur record, which until now has consisted mostly of the possible spinosaur Siamosaurus and some tiny little eggs with an embryo that must have been laid by an unknown scansoriopterygid or something equally small in size.

[The image at left shows the metatarsals of Kinnareemimus khonkaenensis, from Buffetaut et al. 2009 and is copyright The Geological Society of London. Check out the severely pinched middle MT.]

4 comments:

  1. Perhaps this was just a transliteration/transcription problem – the letter ก (ko kai) is usually transliterated “k”, but sometimes “g” is also used.

    Sadly, the link doesn't work. :-(

    The wikipedia article, however, points to kinnaree as the origin of the name; and that word is indeed written with ก.

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  2. Fixed the link, apparently Blogspot has an issue with Thai characters in URLs :)

    The transliteration could be it. In the linked PDF the name is spelled out with Latin characters, not Thai, but I'm not sure if that's the case with whatever source "Ginnareemimus" came from.

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  3. Thanks for the link. The name in Thai (next to the Latin) is indeed written with ko kai, so it's a transcription issue. For further details however, you might want to ask a native speaker. I've seen a Thai Geoblog on the Geoblogosphere News: geothai.net.

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  4. Thailand has a few more dinosaurs than that: Psittacosaurus, Siamotyrannus, Phuwiangosaurus and Isanosaurus, off the top of my head.

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