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Re: dinosaur textbook

>>or contraversial (Rioarribasaurus
>>for Coelophysis,
>so has anything yet been settle with Coelophysis or is it still controversial?

No word as of yet.  The comments in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature
(or whatever that journal is called) seem to be pretty evenly balanced pro-
vs con-Rioarribasaurus.  Hopefully they'll get around to ruling on the case

>> Ceratopsinae and Pachyrhinosaurinae for Chasmosaurinae and
>>Centrosaurinae) names.
>Now that I look I see that he did that. Are these new names or did he just
>go of on a tangent with these???

They are old names raised from the grave.  He contends that Ceratops
montanus is determinate to the subfamilial level, so the proper name for
the long-snouted, brow-horned ceratopsids would be Ceratopsinae (and he may
have a good case here).  He argues (probably incorrectly) that Centrosaurus
is preoccupied, so rather than calling the family Eucentrosaurinae, he uses
the older name Pachyrhinosaurinae (formerly -idae rather than -inae).  In
this case he seems to be wrong, as the earlier (lizard name) Centrosaurus
has only been used in faunal lists (rather than discussions of specimens or
anatomy), so it probably isn't valid.  Therefore, it seens almost certain
that the short-snouted, nose-horned ceratopsids are properly

>> The dinosaur
>>bones and skeletons are often inaccurate, traced by an artist apparently
>>unfamiliar with dinosaur anatomy.  In one case, the Smithsonian
>>Ceratosaurus mount is traced over, the horn erased, and passed off as
>>Allosaurus (for those who don't know, Ceratosaurus and Allosaurus are VERY
>>differnt theropods).
>Yes now that you mention it and I take some time to look at that drawing it
>is indeed a Ceratosaurus when you start to look at it. Does he do that with
>any others that I may have missed.

As I remember, that's the only one of these, but boy is it a doozy!

>I admit I only gave the book a quick
>read over and thought it a well-organized book (like you say) and
>recommended it as an introductory text.  I liked alot of the general
>illustrations for terminology which I felt was the best set of general
>illustrations I have seen for indroducing my field course participants to
>dinosaur bone terminology.

On this we definately agree.

>>So, my recommendations: either buy this book, but take the specifics with a
>>grain of salt, or don't buy it, and instead wait for the other couple of
>>dino textbooks that are coming out.
>So when and what are the other textbooks comming out. Are they going to be
>better to use for introductory courses? I want something that can be
>utilized by my field participants to quickly familiarize themselves with
>dinosaurs and anotomical terms. Dinosauria might be a good technical
>reference but for most of them this is not what they need.

I don't know if I'm supposed to be giving out the names of the books or the
authors/editors, so I'll just say that one is in press, and the other is
still in preparation.  Expect the former soon (maybe this year, maybe
next), and the other a few years off.  There may be others in the works,
but I haven't heard of them.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
Vertebrate Paleontologist in Exile                  Phone:      703-648-5280
U.S. Geological Survey                                FAX:      703-648-5420
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092