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            List of years in paleontology       (table)
 1992 .  1993 .  1994 .  1995  . 1996  . 1997  . 1998 
1999 2000 2001 -2002- 2003 2004 2005
 2006 .  2007 .  2008 .  2009  . 2010  . 2011  . 2012 

Paleontology, palaeontology or palæontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, coprolites, palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because mankind has encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred in the year 2002.


Newly named dinosaurs[]

Data courtesy of George Olshevsky's dinosaur genera list[1] and Dr. Jeremy Montague's dinosaur genus database.[2]

Name Status Authors Notes Images
Agnosphitys[3] Valid taxon
  • Walkden
  • Davis
Anabisetia[4] Valid taxon
  • Calvo
"Archaeovolans"[5] Valid non-dinosaurian taxon; possible junior synonym of Yanornis
  • Stephen Czerkas
Aucasaurus[6] Valid taxon
  • Lowell Dingus
"Byranjaffia"[7] Nomen nudum; later named Byronosaurus
  • Michael Novacek
Crichtonsaurus[8] Valid taxon
"Cryptovolans"[9] Junior synonym of Microraptor
  • Stephen Czerkas
  • Zhang D.
  • Li J.
  • Li Y. X.
Epidendrosaurus[10] Valid taxon
  • Zhang F.
  • Zhou Z.
Erliansaurus[11] Valid taxon
  • Kuang
  • Han J.
  • Tan L.
"Fusinasus"[12] Junior synonym of Eotyrannus
  • Hutt
Huaxiasaurus Nomen nudum; later named Huaxiagnathus
  • Rey
"Incisivosaurus"[13] Junior synonym of Protarcheopteryx
  • Wang X.
  • Chang C.
"Jeholornis"[14] Junior synonym of Shenzhouraptor
  • Zhou Z.
  • Zhang F.
"Rutellum Lhuyd" Nomen oblitum; pre-Linnaean name.
  • cf. Delair and Sarjeant
"Jixiangornis"[15] Valid non-dinosaurian taxon.
  • Ji Qiang
  • Ji Shuan
  • Zhang Hongbin
  • You
  • Zhang J. P.
  • Wang L.
  • Yuan
  • Ji X.
Liaoceratops[16] Valid taxon
"Omnivoropteryx"[17] Valid non-dinosaurian taxon.
  • Stephen Czerkas
  • Ji Qiang,
Pycnonemosaurus[18] Valid taxon
  • Kellner
  • Campos
Scansoriopteryx[19] Possible junior synonym of Epidendrosaurus
  • Stephen Czerkas
  • Yuan
"Shenzhouraptor"[20] Valid non-dinosaurian taxon.
  • Ji Qiang
  • Ji Shuan
  • You
  • Zhang J. P.
  • Yuan, Ji X.
  • Li J.
  • Li Y. X.
Sinovenator[21] Valid taxon
  • Makovicky
  • Wu X.


  • In October, a partial Mesadacylus wing was discovered in the Kingsview Quarry of Colorado.[22] This find marks the first time that a Morrison pterosaur has been found at more than one site in the formation.[22]


  1. ^ Olshevsky, George. "Dinogeorge's Dinosaur Genera List". Retrieved on 2008-08-07. 
  2. ^ Montague, Jeremy. "Dr. Montague's Database". Retrieved on 2008-10-29. 
  3. ^ Fraser, N.C., K. Padian, G.M. Walkden, and A.L.M. Davis. 2002. Basal dinosauriform remains from Britain and the diagnosis of the Dinosauria. Palaeontology 45: pp. 79-95.
  4. ^ Coria, R.A. and J.O. Calvo. 2002. A new iguanodontian ornithopod from Neuquen Basin, Patagonia, Argentina. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22 (3): pp. 503-509.
  5. ^ Czerkas, S.A. and X. Xu. 2002. A new toothed bird from China. In: Feathered Dinosaurs and the origin of flight (S.J. Czerkas, ed.). The Dinosaur Museum Journal (Volume 1), the Dinosaur Museum of Blanding, Utah.
  6. ^ Coria, R.A., L.M. Chiappe, and L. Dingus. 2002. A new close relative of Carnotaurus sastrei Bonaparte 1985 (Theropoda: Abelisauridae) from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22: pp. 460-465.
  7. ^ Novacek, M.J. 2002. Time Traveler. In: Search of Dinosaurs and Ancient Mammals from Montana to Mongolia. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 368 pages.
  8. ^ Dong, Z.-M. 2002. A new armored dinosaur (Ankylosauria) from Beipaio Basin, Liaoning Province, northeastern China. Vertebrata PalAsiatica 40 (4): pp. 276-285.
  9. ^ Czerkas, S.A., D. Zhang, J. Li, and Y. Li. 2002. Flying Dromaeasaurs. In S.J. Czerkas (ed.), Feathered Dinosaurs and the origin of flight. The dinosaur Museum Journal, Volume 1. The Dinosaur Museum of Blanding, Utah.
  10. ^ Zhang, F., Z. Zhou, X. Xu, X. Wang. 2002. A juvenile coelurosaurian theropod from China indicates arboreal habits. Naturwissenschaften, DOI 10.1007/s00114-002-0353-8.
  11. ^ Xu X., X.-H. Zhang, P. Sereno, X.-J. Zhao, Xu.-W. Kuang, J. Han, and L. Tan. 2002. A new therizionosauroid (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Upper Cretaceous Iren Dabau Formation of Nei Mongol. Vertebrate Palasiatica 40 (3): pp.228- 240.
  12. ^ Hutt, S. 2002. "Mr Leng's dinosaur." The Geological Society of the Isle of Wight Newsletter 2 (6): pp. 12–14.
  13. ^ Xu, X., Y.-N. Cheng, X.-L. Wang, and C.-N. Chang. 2002. An unusual oviraptorosaurian dinosaur from China. Nature 419: pp. 291-293.
  14. ^ Zhou Z. and F. Zhang. 2002. A long-tailed, seedeating bird from the Early Cretaceous of China. Nature 418: pp. 405–409.
  15. ^ Ji Q., S. Ji, H. Zhang, H. You, J. Zhang, L. Wang, C. Yuan, and X. Ji. 2002. A New Avialan Bird -- Jixiangornis orientalis gen. et sp. nov. -- from the Lower Cretaceous of Western Liaoning. Journal of Nanjing University (Natural Sciences) 38 (6): pp. 723-736.
  16. ^ Xu, X., P.J. Makovicky, X.-L. Wang, M.A. Norell, and H.L. Hou. 2002. A ceratopsian dinosaur from China and the early evolution of Ceratopsia. Nature 416: pp. 314 – 317.
  17. ^ Czerkas, S.A. and Q. Ji. 2002. A new rhamphorhynchoid with a headcrest and complex integumentary structures. In: Feathered dinosaurs and the origin of flight (S.J. Czerkas, ed.). The Dinosaur Museum Journal, Vol. 1. The Dinosaur Museum of Blanding, Utah.
  18. ^ Kellner, A.W.A. and D.A. Campos. 2002. On a theropod dinosaur (Abelisauria) from the continental Cretaceous of Brazil. Arquivos do Museu Nacional Rio de Janeiro 60 (3): pp. 163- 170.
  19. ^ Czerkas, S.A. and C. Yuan. 2002. An aboreal maniraptoran from northwest China. In: Feathered Dinosaurs and the origin of flight (S.J. Czerkas, ed.). The Dinosaur Museum Journal 1 (Dinosaur Museum of Blanding, Utah).
  20. ^ Ji, Q., Sh. Ji, H. You, J. Zhang, C. Yuan, X. Ji , J. and Y. Li. 2002. Discovery of an avialae bird Shenzhouraptor sinensis gen. et sp. nov. -- from China. Geological Bulletin of China 21 (7): pp. 363-369.
  21. ^ Xu, X., M.A. Norell, X.-L. Wang, P.J. Makovicky, and X.-C. Wu. 2002. A basal troodontid from the Early Cretaceous of China. Nature 415: pp. 780- 784.
  22. ^ a b Foster, J. (2007). "Mesadactylus ornithosphyos." Jurassic West: The Dinosaurs of the Morrison Formation and Their World. Indiana University Press. pp. 159-160.