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Re: Regarding Phytodinosauria, Saurischia, and so forth



In a message dated 95-08-13 15:05:08 EDT, jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu (Jerry
D. Harris) writes:

>        Well, I have to disagree with you on this one, George, because I've
>already described a new dinosaur ichnogenus of a truly aberrant theropod
>with functionally tetradactyl feet, and the prints were _not_ made by
>therizinosauroids. The toes radiate out ina  stellate, not subparallel,
>manner, as in the therizinosauroids.  The toes are incredibly long and very
>skinny, and have short claws at the ends.  In fact, if you cut of the
>imprint of digit I, it's look almost exactly like an emu print, only with
>skinnier toes.  The creature had a very compact distal end of the
>metatarsus, not all splayed out like therizinosauroids.  The prints (no
>trackway as yet) average just over 30 cm long --  a moa sized creature.
>More likely than not, it was a "coelurosaurian" theropod, but with a
>functional, non-reversed digit I.  No dinosaur currently known from body
>fossils has a foot that could have easily made these prints.
>
>        The prints are from the Early Maastrichtian of the Harebell Fm. in
>Wyoming.  The paper will be in _Cretaceous Research_, hopefully within a
>year.  Also, as a peculiar sidenote, some of the prints may have webbing
>between the toes.
>
>        Anyway, the prints demonstrate that at least some theropods _did_
>reverse the "shrunken" nature of digit I that is seen as far back as the
>Late Triassic.  I personally don't find it nearly as likely that this
>animal -- or therizinosauroids -- are relics from the Triassic that have no
>fossil record whatsoever until the Cretaceous as they are reversals of the
>shrunken condition.  Not that I'm a big fan of evolutionary reversals, but
>they are possible.  Hey, after all, if such reversals didn't occur, then
>birds wouldn't have such a large digit I either, having been descended from
>reduced-hallux theropods (contra your BCF theory, sorry).
>
>
>

I see nothing in your description above that would lead me to believe you
have a THEROPOD ichnite(!), but quite a bit that would lead me to believe
you've misidentified it as a theropod. Why do you call it a coelurosaurian?
Why do you call it aberrant? Why is it not an aberrant ornithopod instead
(especially with the traces of webbing)? Well, you've got the footprints and
I don't...

So--I can't wait to see the paper!

G.O.