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Re: Theropod cladogram



>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 that included the Albertosaurs before they went to their (currently)
>rightful place in the Tyrannosauridae.  ("The Dinosauria" calls the
>Megalosauridae a "taxonomic wadtebasket," p. 153.)

Not quite correct.  Albertosaurs have always been regarded as tyrannosaurids
(or deinodonts, the older name).

Megalosauridae has been used to include almost every large theropod which is
not a tyrannosaurid from the Jurassic and Cretaceous.  Obviously, this was a
waste basket taxon.

HOWEVER, any family which includes Megalosaurus necessarily must be called
Megalosauridae, which is the oldest family name in the Theropoda.  Since it
appears that Torvosaurus, Edmarka, Poekilopleuron (which may BE
Megalosaurus), and a few other genera appear to form a family, this family
MUST be called "Megalosauridae".



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