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Re: Theropods, Body and Feet!

>I serve a similar role in the Dinosaur
>Forum on CompuServe, where I'm a sysop.  Not quite as scientific as the
>dino listserver, and not nearly as many noteable persons hang out there,
>but Jim Kirkland and Tracy Ford are the big two.  Greg Laden, a
>paleoanthropologist at Harvard also hangs out there.

BTW, could you send me Kirkland's and Ford's email addresses?

>        Safe to assume that the comments from Molnar, Currie, and Sereno
>are personall communiques?  Or are these opinions published somewhere?
>Whatever...hmmmm, _Cryolophosaurus_ as an allosauroid.  Interesting!

Molnar and Currie are pers communs, indeed.  However, Sereno has stated
that Cryolophosaurus is an allosaurid in the Afrovenator article (in
Science last October, with a half-dozen co-authors - don't have the ref on
me, though).

>        Thank you!  I probably won't be at Denver then; I've been accepted
>for grad study at SMU, under Lou Jacobs.  But I'll be here on the 'net,
>regardless.  I'd love to see your ideas!

Great (and congratulations!).

>        As an aside -- and, if you'll let me plug myself here for a sec --
>here's something possibly of interest to you:  I've got a paper (my first!)
>that's just been accepted for publication in _Cretaceous Research_ on some
>really fascinating 4-toed theropod footprints from the early Maastrichtian
>of Wyoming.  These aren't the expected
>"three-toes-with-a-hallux-hanging-off-a-heel-impression" tracks; this
>animal was functionally tetradactyl, and had a _very_ compact distal
>metatarsus, virtually identical to that of an emu, as seen from an emu's
>prints.  But it's certainly theropod:  long, skinny digits with clear claw
>impressions, and generally theropodian divarcations.  The biggest prints
>are over 30 cm; most are in this size range, bigger than a moa!  Not
>"carnosaurian" morphology; probably "coelurosaurian," but there aren't, of
>course, any theropods we yet recognize running around in that time period
>with four functional toes!  I doubt even that such an animal would fit into
>your Arctometatarsalia, except as something some node(s) above, where even
>the distal metatarsus is compact, if not fused.  Since you seem to be quite
>interested in theropods, I thought this might be of interest to you!

That is indeed interesting!  Wierd sounding...  Have you told Jim Farlow
about this?  He has been working on matching skeletal and imprint feet data
in bipedal dinosaurs, and would certainly be interested in this beastie.

Take care,

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