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Re: DINOSAUR digest 777



In a message dated 95-12-23 16:56:19 EST, MarsSaxMan@aol.com writes:

>ObDinosaur: Any news on Bakker's 'Epanterias', specifically whether it is 
>indeed a separate genus or just a large specimen of an existing allosaur, 
>after all? There were a couple of messages on the list a while back, but 
>(unless my notoriously leaky memory has flaked out on me again) no 
>resolution was posted.
>
>

Bakker (Hunteria vol. 2 #6: 2) asserts that _Epanterias_ is a distinct genus
of giant allosaurid, but distinguishes it only by size from _Allosaurus
fragilis_. No other generic distinctions are provided, although Bakker
implies _Epanterias_ comes from stratigraphically higher in the Morrison
Formation than _Allosaurus_. Madsen (1976), however, asserts _Epanterias_ is
merely based on a large individual of _Allosaurus fragilis_. The holotype
_Epanterias_ cervical vertebrae (figured by Osborn & Mook) are indeed
indistinguishable from _Allosaurus fragilis_ vertebrae, just larger.

There _is_ a definable bigger carnivore in the Morrison than _Allosaurus_:
_Saurophaganax_, based on material previously referred to the doubtful genus
_Saurophagus_. It is possible that some _Epanterias_ material belongs to it.
If a complete enough skeleton is discovered that has both _Saurophaganax_ and
_Epanterias_ vertebrae in it, this would not mean that _Saurophaganax_ is a
junior synonym of _Epanterias_. Rather, it would certify the _Epanterias_
type specimen as indeterminate (the vertebrae could belong to _either_
_Allosaurus_ or _Saurophaganax_). (You have to have something on the _type
specimen_ to distinguish it.)