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Re: Hell Creek ornithomimids



John R. Hutchison writes:

>> As far as a reference goes, I'm not sure, but at least here at the
>> UCMP we have evidence of many ornithomimids in the Hell Creek.

Tim Williams writes:

>I wonder if they are all really ornithomimids.  Maybe, just maybe,
>there's some elmisaur material (or even some tyrannosaur bits) mixed
>up among the bona fide ornithomimid parts.

Could be. There are certainly lots and lots of tyrannosaur bits there
(especially teeth). Elmisaurids? Maybe; there are plenty of odd bits and
pieces that could be just about any small theropod.

It's interesting to note that the abundance of many dinosaurs is gauged by
the presence of some of their more common fossils (i.e. teeth), so
edentulous taxa such as ornithomimids will more than likely be
underepresented in a faunal analysis, IMHO -- especially when the rest of
their bones are fragile. I've heard it said before that ornithomimids were
rare in the Cretaceous; I'm not so sure about that now, at least in the
Hell Creek area.


--John R. Hutchinson