Kansas Mosasaurs

S. W. Williston
1891 Science  
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more » ... out Early Journal Content at http://about.jstor.org/participate--jstor/individuals/early-journal--content. JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not--for--profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. DECEMBER I8, I89I.] DECEMBER I8, I89I.] DECEMBER I8, I89I.] SCIE SCIE SCIE point may have been the obstruction. At that time the water, filled with floating ice, may have made the striae as it flowed over the top of this dam; until finally it cut a chasm through the obstruction. Another fact suggesting the same probability is that from this anticline for many miles up the river there are considerable Loess deposits. These may have been made before the obstruction was was cut through. But while the striae at this place might be thus accounted for, this would give no sufficient explanation of the presence of the bowlders. etc., scattered over these hills many miles from the river and several hundred feet above its bed. In fact there are now three or four feet of clay or soil overlaying the very rocks which have the supposed glacial scratches on them, and this clay, etc., has in it pebbles and small bowlders of the same kind as those scattered over the surface of this section. So. upon the whole, I think bowlders, striae, and all are of true glacial origin. J. W. KIRKPATRICK. Fayette, Mo.. Dec. 9. Mexican Featherwork. 'THE most famous surviving specimen is the standard, described by Hochstetter, which is now in the Vienna Ethnographical Museum"' (Science. Dec. 4, p. 311, 2d col., top). This splendid piece of old Mexican featherwork is the subject of special publications by Mrs. Julia Nuttall, entitled "Das Prachtstiick altmexicanischer Federarbeit aus der Zeit Montezuma's im Wiener Museum" (Reports of the Dresden Museum, 1887), and "Standard or Headdress" (Archaeol. and Ethnol. Papers, Peabody Mus., Harvard, 1888, Vol. I., No. 1). Both these papers are elaborately iltustrated and bring forward overwhelming evidence to show that what has hitherto been considered an Aztec standard is really a head decoration. X. Kansas Mosasaurs. HITHERTO, no adequate description or figure has ever been published of the complete anatomy, or even of the skull, of any member of the extinct group of reptiles known as the Mosasaurs or Pythonomorpha. Fortunately, however, my able friend Dr. Baur has recently had the opportunity to thoroughly study an excellent specimen of one of the Kansas forms, and his figures and descriptions, when published, will doubtless be of great interest. The University of Kansas has, within recent years, obtained one of the most valuable collections of these animals now extant. Among this, material, there is one specimen of especial interest, by reason of its remarkable completeness, consisting, as it does, of skull and connected vertebrae to the tip of the tail, with ribs, extremities, and cartilages in position. Before briefly describing this specimen, which belongs to a different genus from that studied by Dr. Baur, I may be permitted to offer the following remarks upon the nomenclature of the Kansas forms, based upon larger opportunities than have been enjoyed, I believe, by any other investigator. The following generic names have been proposed or adopted by various writers for the different forms of these reptiles from the Kansas Cretaceous: Liodon 0, en, Platecarpus Cope, C'lidastes Cope, Sironectes (Cope, Lestosaurus Marsh, Tylosaurus Marsh, Edestosaurus Marsh, and Holosaurus Marsh. Three genera, only, can be readily and positively distinguished among the material. The names now recognized for these, and with justice, are: Liodon, Platecarpus, and Clidastes. Two others, Sironectes and Holosaurus, have, possibly some claims for recognition, but the evidence in favor of either is, so far, very weak. Holosaurus is not synonymous with Sironectes, as affirmed by Cope and followed by Dl)lo. Holosaurus rests almost solely upon a single character, the non-emarginate coracoid; in other respects nothing is known to separate it from Platecarpus. In fact, Platecarpus itself may possess this very character. That the character was not considered by the author point may have been the obstruction. At that time the water, filled with floating ice, may have made the striae as it flowed over the top of this dam; until finally it cut a chasm through the obstruction. Another fact suggesting the same probability is that from this anticline for many miles up the river there are considerable Loess deposits. These may have been made before the obstruction was was cut through. But while the striae at this place might be thus accounted for, this would give no sufficient explanation of the presence of the bowlders. etc., scattered over these hills many miles from the river and several hundred feet above its bed. In fact there are now three or four feet of clay or soil overlaying the very rocks which have the supposed glacial scratches on them, and this clay, etc., has in it pebbles and small bowlders of the same kind as those scattered over the surface of this section. So. upon the whole, I think bowlders, striae, and all are of true glacial origin. J. W. KIRKPATRICK. Fayette, Mo.. Dec. 9. Mexican Featherwork.
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