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Carcharodontosaurus & Deltadromaeus
I have seen the original paper for this, though I missed Paul Sereno's
press conference (I was typing in my Environmental Geology exam at the
The skull is referable to _Carcharodontosaurus saharicus_. It is a
GIGANTIC skull, although the exact figure of 1.6 m rests on the size
of the (currently unknown) premaxilla. Scaling up from the previous
specmen, this guy should have a 1.45 m femur (marginally bigger than
Sereno et omnia recognize a monophyletic Carcharodontosauridae (with
_Acrocanthosaurus_ and _Giganotosaurus_), as one part of an
allosauroid polytomy (the other branches being Sinraptoridae,
_Cryolophosaurus_, _Monolophosaurus_, and _Allosaurus_). This matches
very well with my abstract for SVP this year, so it's nice to see
we're all on the same track in this part of the clade...
The second theropod is a basal coelurosaur, _Deltadromaeus agilis_. No
skull material, whopping huge coracoids, an unpinched oviraptorid-like
foot, and similar in many ways to _Bahariasaurus_. I hope they find a
claw: I suspect it might be somewhat (if not very) similar to
_Dryptosaurus_. They place it as closer to other coelurosaurs than is
_Ornitholestes_, but _Compsognathus_ is still conspicuous by its
There is a phylogenetic data matrix in this paper (THANK YOU!!), so
I've got to go through those and add new ones to the ever-more
ponderous matrix of mine.
Paul and company, if you are reading this: On behalf of dinosaur
paleontologists everywhere, Thank you! These are wonderful new
additions (and clarifications) to our understanding of theropod
phylogeny and dinosaur biogeography.
(For those interested, the specimens are from the Kem Kem region of
Morocco, and are Cenomanian in age, contemporaneous with
The authorship is Sereno, Duthiel, Iarochene, Larsson, Lyon, Magwene,
Sidor, Varrichio, and Wilson. Theropod taxonomists will not forgive
this team when we have to type out the trinomial _Deltadromaeus
agiilis_ Sereno, Dutheil, Iarochene... 1996! :-)
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661
"There are some who call me... Tim."