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Dynamosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, etc.



An additional comment on the early specimens of Tyrannosaurus rex:

Some material which was not listed in Horner's "Complete T. rex" that is
referrable to the Big Guy was discovered earlier than the Dynamosaurus type
(which, incidentally, is the specimen on display in London).

This material, collected by Hatcher in the 1890s, was assigned to the
species Ornithomimus grandis.  Gilmore (in the 1920s) correctly referred
these specimens to Tyrannosaurus rex due to morphology, size, and age, and
are now in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum
of Natural History.

The type material of Ornithomimus grandis Marsh 1890 has long been lost
(somewhere in transit between New Haven, Conn. & Washington, D.C.), and
represents the first tyrannosaurid bones (not teeth) found.  However, the
species "O." grandis (in quotation marks since it is definitely NOT
ornithomimid) is not the seinor synonym of Tyrannosaurus rex, since it is
considerably older (from the early Campanian Eagle Sandstone, not the late
Maastricthian Lance & equivalents).

Incidentally, if anyone happens to find a turn-of-the-century crate with
some large theropod bones in their basement, I'd be very interested in
finding out about it... :-)

                                     

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile
U.S. Geological Survey
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092

email:  tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov 
Phone:  703-648-5280
FAX:            703-648-5420