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Re: Giganotosaurus and Epanterias

George Olshevsky wrote:

>I had to go to Toronto a couple of weeks ago (miserable trip, by the way--the
>place was hot and crowded, with constant stop-go traffic and absolutely no
>places to park) and stopped in at the ROM for a few minutes. They have a cast
>of an _Afrovenator_ skull on display. I checked out the teeth, and they're
>quite different from the teeth of _Allosaurus_: very bladelike, laterally
>compressed. Like _Carcharodontosaurus_ teeth, specifically. The rest of the
>skull seems to have more in common with Big C than with _Allosaurus_ and the
>sinraptorids, too. So on this feeble and superficial basis, I'd tentatively
>classify _Afrovenator_ with Big C and Big G in Carcharodontosauridae. It's
>quite a bit smaller than Big C and Big G; maybe I should call it Little A.

I got a chance to see the new skull material of Acrocanthosaurus, which has
a typical Allosaurus/Sinraptor type premaxilla (suggesting the Sereno et al.
reconstruction, with its pointy premax, may have artifically inflated the
size of the skull by a few centimeters) and noticed a few similarities with
Afrovenator.  Among others, the shape and position of Acro's promaxillary
foramen is much more similar to that in Afro than it is to the coelurosaur
condition.  Hmmm... Might Afrovenator be an early carcharodontosaurid?  Food
for thought.

>Incidentally, decades ago Friedrich von Huene (1956, maybe earlier) noted the
>gigantic size of _Carcharodontosaurus_, _Bahariasaurus_, and _Spinosaurus_
>("grosser als _Tyrannosaurus_!"), based on the sparse remains then known, but
>nobody seems to have listened.

Indeed!  He said it in the Phylogeny of the Lower Vertebrates, if not

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

"There are some who call me...  Tim."