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Dinosaur NM



I spotted this message yesterday while browsing the Internet, and I responded
directly to the mailers (Frans & Margot). So, NCLARK, it has been taken care
of. I hope they won't be too annoyed at getting a copy of my LONG letter,
which I took the liberty of appending to my response.

> From: fmeeren@iaehv.nl (Frans & Margot)
> Organization: Internet Access Eindhoven, the Netherlands
> Date: Thu, 20 Jul 95 23:05:34 PST
> Subject: Meat-eating dinosaur in Dinosaur NM
>  
> During our last visit to Dinosaur NM, sept. 1994, they announced in the
park
> guide a discovery of great importance - a meat eating dinosaur previously
> unknown to science. The 20-foot-long skeleton was found in 1990, excavated
> from the canyon in 1993 and was being freed from its casket at the time.
> We didn't hear anything about it since.
> Does anybody know more about it?
>  
> Frans & Margot van der Meeren
> From sedementary Holland.
>  
> fmeeren@iaehv.nl
>  
My response: 

I found your notice while recently surfing through the Internet paleo
newsgroup.

The Dinosaur NM theropod in your note represents a new genus of medium-size
but lightly built carnivorous dinosaur from the Morrison Formation, to be
described in a few years by Dan Chure. The skeleton is surprisingly complete,
with a vertebral column that runs from the tip of the tail to the very first
cervical vertebra: but there is NO SKULL (bitterly disappointing). It is the
first theropod skeleton that features a complete "wishbone" in position above
the sternal bones between the two scapulae. This is a very birdlike feature
and presents clear evidence of the phyletic link between birds and theropod
dinosaurs.

End of response.
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--
Some comments:

It may be closely related to (though different from) Allosaurus.

I should have said "first LARGE theropod skeleton" that features a wishbone
(furcula) in place.

Dan Chure has a name in mind for the genus, but he has asked me not to
divulge it until it is published. He had some "show and tell" stuff on this
dino at the 1993 SVP meeting in Albuquerque, and he may have more at the
Theropod Conference in Pittsburgh just before the 1995 SVP meeting.

George O.