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Re: Re: A few more...

At 8:53 AM 10/3/95, th81 wrote:
>And an autapomorphy of Sauropoda could be a reversal toward a longer
>metatarsal condition.  And that was exactly my point at the beginning of all

        A third option, of course, is that while the fifth metatarsal
remained small, but rather than re-elongating later, the other four digits
shortened to the point where they were hardly longer than the fifth
metatarsal.  This is actually a logical move, when moving towards a more
graviportal pedal morphology (hence the very stubby phalanges in sauropod
toes).  But...as much as I've searched through my somewhat meager sauropod
literature collection, I can find very little written on whether or not any
sauropods have phalanges associated with the fifth metatarsal -- that is,
was the fifth pedal digit potentially functional?  The only reference I've
come across was a possible ungual on digit V in _Dyslocosaurus_, which is
radically different from the unguals on the other digits of the same foot
and of which the authors (McIntosh et al) are rather unsure.  Anyone else
have some info?

Jerry D. Harris                       (214) 768-2750
Shuler Museum of Paleontology         FAX:  (214) 768-2701
Southern Methodist University         jdharris@lust.isem.smu.edu
Box 750395                            (Compuserve:  73132,3372)
Dallas  TX  75275-0395

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"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then
it is the sister taxon to, but cannot parsimoniously be, the direct
to all other ducks."

                                --  _not_ W. Hennig

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