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Re: Was Godzilla a member of the T-rex family?

Gojirasaurus godzilla (my suggested taxonomic name for the big guy) is not a
tyrannosaurid, or else went through a lot of evolutionary reversals.  Using
the pre-mutated state (as shown in the very recent Gojira tai King Gidorah),
he has four fingers and (I think) four toes.  These are very primitive
features.  Coupled with the retention of dermal armor, I'd guess he
represents a seperate lineage of carnivorous dinosaurs derived from a
pre-herrerasaurid-grade form.  Having the Pacific coral atolls as its
habitat, it is unlikely that many fossils of the Gojirasauridae will be
discovered, given the short life-cycle of those islands.  (A submarine
expedition to the Emporer Seamounts might be worth it...)

As for the ability to breath underwater (which is present in the non-mutated
form), I have no idea (that's a REALLY primitve feature for an amniote, much
less a dinosaur).

Thomas R. HOLTZ
Vertebrate Paleontologist, Dept. of Geology
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)