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Re: Theropod cladogram

On Sun, 11 Feb 1996, MC2 wrote:

> This is in response to the theropod cladogram dated 9 Feb 1996.
>         I thought "Megalosauridae" was taxonomically problematic, if not
> defunct.  I have the impression [and I'm speaking on the spur of the
> moment, so be gentle!-:)] that the Megalosauridae was sort of a catch-all
> group 

It was, until the evidence was reexamined and most of the species 
included were reassigned to other families.  It now really only includes 
_Megalosaurus_, _Poikilopleuron_ (probably referable to _Megalosaurus_), 
_Torvosaurus_, and _Edmarka_.  These are all fairly large, middle to late 
Jurassic tetanuran theropods with broad lower hip bones and extremely short 

> that included the Albertosaurs before they went to their (currently)
> rightful place in the Tyrannosauridae.  

I was not aware that _Albertosaurus_ was ever classified as a megalosaur, 
but as a lot of large theropods were, I wouldn't be surprised.

> ("The Dinosauria" calls the
> Megalosauridae a "taxonomic wadtebasket," p. 153.)

As mentioned above, it was; but it isn't anymore.

>         And don't forget Nanotyrannus lancensis.  It had been originally
> catalogued in the Cleveland Museum as a megalosaur 

It was catalogued as an albertosaur (actually as a gorgosaur, since 
nobody was using the genus _Albertosaurus_ at the time).

>         I'm pretty sure this is Greg Paul's position on the megalosaurs,
> and I haven't heard anything different lately. (George Ohlshevsky, what
> about you?)

In _Predatory Dinosaurs of the World_, Paul retains the family 
Megalosauridae, synonymizes _Megalosaurus_, _Poikilopleuron_, and 
_Torvosaurus_, and throws the abelisaurs into the Megalosauridae as well.

> T.A. Curtis, Proto-paleontologist

Nick Pharris
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447

"If you can't convince them, confuse them." -- Harry S Truman