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Re: Quo vadis, T. rex?

In a message dated 96-02-01 20:37:01 EST, pharrinj@PLU.edu (Nicholas J.
Pharris) writes:

>What I do not agree with is the linking of tyrannosaurs with the much 
>more primitive (ornitholestid-grade) _Compsognathus_ purely on the 
>occurrence of the didactyl condition in these two taxa (or that the 
>arctomet foot evolved in tyrannosaurs from scratch, i.e. from a 
>completely uncompressed foot like that of _Compsognathus_).

Actually, take a look at the pelvic bones of _Compsognathus_ and see how
closely they resemble miniature versions of tyrannosaurid pelvic bones. Grow
a bit of pubic boot, lose a bit of distal ischial enlargement, and "Voila," a
tyrannosaurid pelvis.

It really begins to look as if tyrannosaurians grew into ferocious monsters
quite on their own, as a separate theropod lineage with no particularly close
sister groups among the other Cretaceous dinosaurs. Compy's not their
_direct_ ancestor, but it could well be close.