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In 2009, approximately 44 new non-avian dinosaur genera* were named from fossils around the world** These are as follows:

01. Adeopapposaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Massospondylidae)
02. Aerosteon (Theropoda; Neovenatoridae)
03. Albalophosaurus (Cerapoda incertae sedis)
04. Anchiornis (Theropoda; Troodontidae)
05. Angulomastacator (Hadrosauridae; Lambeosaurinae)
06. Arenysaurus (Hadrosauridae; Lambeosaurinae)
07. Australovenator (Theropoda; Neovenatoridae)
08. Baotianmansaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Macronaria)
09. Barrosasaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
10. Beishanlong (Theropoda; Ornithomimosauria)
11. Ceratonykus (Theropoda; Alvarezsauridae)
12. "Coahuilaceratops" (Cerapoda; Ceratopisa)
13. Diamantinasaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
14. Elrhazosaurus (Iguanodontia; Dryosauridae: new designation for Valdosaurus nigeriensis).
15. Helioceratops (Cerapoda; Ceratopsia)
16. Hesperonychus (Theropoda; Dromaeosauridae)
17. Kemkemia (Theropoda incertae sedis)
18. Kinnareemimus (Theropoda; Ornithomimosauria)
19. Kol (Theropoda; Alvarezsauridae)
20. Leshansaurus (Theropoda; Sinraptoridae)
21. Levnesovia (Iguanodontia; Hadrosauroidea)
22. Limusaurus (Theropoda; Ceratosauria)
23. Malarguesaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Titanosauria)
24. Minotaurasaurus (Ankylosauria; Ankylosauridae)
25. Miragaia (Thyreophora; Stegosauridae)
26. Owenodon (Ornithopoda; Iquandodontia: new designation for Iguanodon hoggi)
27. Panphagia (Saurischia; Sauropodomorpha)
28. Qiaowanlong (Sauropodomorpha; Brachiosauridae)
29. Raptorex (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
30. Ruyangosaurus (Sauropodomorpha; ?Titanosauria)
31. Shaochilong (Theropoda; Carcharodontosauridae)
32. Shidaisaurus (Theropoda; Tetanurae)
33. Sinotyrannus (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
34. Spinophorosaurus (Sauropodomorpha; Sauropoda)
35. Skorpiovenator (Theropoda; Carnotaurinae)
36. Tatankacephalus (Ankylosauria; Ankylosauridae)
37. Tawa (basal Theropoda)
38. Tethyshadros (Ornithopoda; Hadrosauroidea)
39. Tianyulong (Ornithischia; Heterodontosauridae)
40. Tianyuraptor (Theropoda; Dromaeosauridae)
41. Wintonotitan (Sauropoda; Titanosauria)
42. Xinghesaurus***
43. Xiongguanlong (Theropoda; Tyrannosauroidea)
44. Zanabazar (Theropoda; Troodontidae)

Even if 10-20% of these taxa should ultimately be judged to be invalid (for whatever reason), that's still a very good year for dinosaurs.

Oh, and behind the cut, Nobu Tamura's "2009 in Paleontology":







*I've not included new species named to preexisting genera, or this list would be a bit longer.
**Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List"
*** Invalid taxon

Comments

greygirlbeast
Jan. 13th, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)

Well, I've done it once myself, describing a new mosasaur genus and species, Selmasaurus russelli. The most important criteria for determining new taxa are morphological, of course. How much does this organism (or the fossil remains) look like preexisting taxa? But, to a much lesser extent, the age of the fossil is considered, and its geographical context. Many workers (myself included) draw a distinction between those taxa we can view only as fossils and those we can observe living in nature, as certain tests of relatedness that can be applied to living groups and individuals obviously cannot be applied to fossils.
robmacanthony
Jan. 13th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information. Makes sense. My background is in molecular biology, so back when I did this sort of thing the way I looked at relatedness was, of course, by DNA sequence (or maybe protein sequences).

I've always been impressed and somewhat amazed by the ability of paleontologists to distinguish fossils based on what appears (to my untrained eye) to sometimes be barely perceptible differences.