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JP theropod names



>Well...since so many are discussing JP, I just have to add my 2 cents worth
>too.
>
>It really bugs me that they "enlarged" velociraptor - I mean by all accounts
>velociraptor was about the size of a wolf.

Actually, although Velociraptor mongoliensis was about as long as a wolf,
about half that was tail.  Since mass, not length, is a better descriptor
of "size" in biology, Velociraptor is a jackle-sized, not a wolf-sized,
dinosaur.

>If they wanted a larger clawed
>dinosaur, why didn't they use Deinonychus??!!  This has been a pet peave of
>mine with that movie from the very beginning.

Crichton seems to have followed Greg Paul's synonymization of Deinonychus
and Velociraptor (Velociraptor is the older name by 47 years).  Very few
other paleontologists go quite so far, although most of the rest of us
agree both were closely related, members of the subfamily Velociraptorinae
in the family Dromaeosauridae.

Another (probable) sign of Paulian (Paulesque?) synonymization is in the
embryo-storage unit.  Among the dinosaurs listed (including the mispelled
Stegosaurus) is Metriacanthosaurus.  Although it may be that the prop-staff
intended this to be the true very-poorly known Middle Jurassic English
theropod Metriacanthosaurus, it is more likely that they meant
Yangchuanosaurus (a very well-known Late Jurassic Chinese theropod, which
Paul lumped into Metriacanthosaurus).

                                
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.                                   
tholtz@geochange.er.usgs.gov
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
U.S.A.