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Re: Deinonychus & Velociraptor -- together at last?



>John Ostrom, and quite a few others, have protested against this lumping.
> "Deinonychus and Velociraptor the same genus -- hmmph, preposterous!"  I
>have hardly seen anyone taking faith in the lumping.  People are still
>calling 'Velociraptor antirrhopus' Deinonychus now, as we near 1996.  More
>and more evidence is bringing the two species closer together.  Or is it?...

The in-group systematics of the Dromaeosauridae are being examined by
several workers.  Their results are not yet published.  Suffice to say that
the consesus is that Deinonychus is more closely related to Velociraptor
than either are to Dromaeosaurus or Utahraptor, for instance.

>V. mongoliensis's skull is longer and more depressed.  The rest of the body
>is rather similar, almost identical in design, but the hands show some
>differences -- it appears that Deinonychus's hands are much more like those
>of Archaeopteryx (the mother of dromaeosaurs).  

Where did you get that?  Pretty much all dromaeosaurid hands (heck, most
nonavian, nonornithomimid, nontyrannosaurid maniraptoriform hands) are very,
very similar in design.
>
>6 feet tall -- perhaps they goofed once too many.  But when two species are
>CLOSELY RELATED, similar enough in form to be placed in the same genus, size
>doesn't have to matter -- the minke whale and the blue whale are in the same
>genus, despite their difference in size.

Actually, depending upon the current trend, minke and blue whales are
sometimes in the same genus, sometimes in different genera.
>
> Deinonychus lived in the Cloverly Formation in the late Early Cretaceous
>Period, and I cant remember exactly, but V-raptor lived SOMETIME in the Late
>Cretaceous.  (Don't pick on me for forgetting.) Does this mean there is no

Aptian-Albian for Deinonychus, Campanian for Velociraptor.


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