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Re: Re: giganotosaurus...article from boston globe



>This "bigger than _T. rex_" business isn't as clear-cut as I previously
>thought, either. The femur is a few inches longer than that of "Sue," but the
>whole leg is about the same size;

This isn't surprising.  Tyrannosaurids (like other arctometatarsalian
theropods) have proportionately longer tibiae and metatarsi than other
theropods of the same femoral length.  The epipodial material (metapodials
are still unknown) are much more massive than the relatively slender
elements of T. rex.

> the skull is a few inches longer,

Actually, given the fragmentary nature of the beast, this is uncertain.

> but the
>body is about the same length as "Sue's." The quoted body weight is well
>within published estimates of _T. rex_ body size.

Only because almost every pre-1987 mass estimate for T. rex was greatly
inflated!! If accurate scale models of actual T. rex specimens are used, the
mass for the AMNH mount is about 5.6 tonnes, and the Horner specimen and Sue
about 6 tonnes.  Estimates for Giganotosaurus are about 6-8 tonnes, more
massive than those of typical T. rex specimens.

> When I first heard about
>this beast, the skull was said to be TWICE the length of that of _T. rex_. It
>shrank a bit since then.

I never heard this estimate quoted.  The first mention I heard of
Giganotosaurus indicated it was only slightly larger than Sue (1.44 m
femoral length vs 1.38 m).

>Now, if you want to get a really big theropod--if it IS a theropod and not a
>misidentified sauropod or something else--try _Bruhathkayosaurus matleyi_,
>with a tibia(?) 2 meters long and a femur(?) 75 cm across the distal
>condyles.

I am very underwhelmed by this specimen.  The drawings and photographs of
the fossil are horrible, and I see no evidence that these aren't petrified
wood!  Ralph Molnar will/has take/taken a look at it: I await his report
with great interest!

>These are published data. And Dong Zhiming is rumored to be working
>on a nearly complete theropod vertebral column 22 meters long (the working
>name is _Kelmayisaurus gigantus_).


A new Kelmayisaurus?  Hmmmm.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084