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>The oviraptorosaurs, for
>example, look like the kind of group you'd nominate to ordinal status. Whoa...
>deep water there, daz!

Which is why Barsbold coined the Infraorder Oviraptorosauria in the first

>Lambert (in Dinosaur Data book) tried fitting dinosaur families into the
>subgroups fashionable at the time, and one of his most interesting quirks was
>to put _Avimimus_ among oviraptorosaurs. Tom Holtz put it nearer his
>Arctometatarsalia. Actually, I can't quite remember what he did with it. Can
>remind me please? Any case, what's your opinion on _Avimimus_ as an
>oviraptorosaur? Anyone?

I had _Avimimus_ among the arctomets, but it did tend to screw things up.
Some people think Avimimus is a chimera (an oviraptorosaur skull, bird
vertebrae, an elmisaurid [or Mononykus!] hind limb, and so on).  Others
think its legit.  It does have some very oviraptorosaur-like features, and
it is also very "birdy" in others.

>So what do you folks think about the way therizinosaurs ate? AFAI can tell, 3
>published options. Avec my criticesementes...   (pigeon-french)
>1) They were fish eaters. Ha ha ha! What?

ESPECIALLY difficult for the Djadochta Formation and Barun Goyot Formation

>2) They ate termites/ants, which they dug out with their big claws. Ok, maybe.
>But just tell me how heavy a BIG therizinosaur weighed. Now ask if it's
>to eat enough ants for a body that size...
>3) Boring old herbivores. That gets my vote: you have a beak, a MASSIVE gut, a
>totally non-predacious bod, and some good foliage-hookers and diggers thrown in
>too (them claws). This might also help us out with oviraptorids and
>caenagnathids. I really can't see them as molluscivores, but a small-vertebrate
>eating lifestyle seems kinda reasonable.

Actually, Russell & Russell consider them chalicothere-analogs.  I consider
them megathere-analogs.  Of course, since we don't have modern
chalicotheres or megatheres, this doesn't help too much...

                 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                  Phone: 703-648-5280      
                 Vertebrate Paleontologist         Fax:    703-648-5420
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov ------------>       th81@umail.umd.edu
U.S. Geological Survey          ------------->       University of Maryland
Branch of Paleontology & Stratigraphy ---->       Department of Geology
MS 970 National Center
Reston, VA  22092               ------------->        College Park, MD  20742