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Re: Bipedal apatosaurs and stegosaurs



[I sent a direct response to Brian; his response went to me but
 clearly appears to be intended for the list.  I'm thus sending it
 along.  He has my permission to publicly quote me as long as he
 removes the section that I just removed :-) -- MR ]

Mickey P. Rowe wrote:

> I sincerely thank you!!!  [...]  I hope you'll keep the list
> informed of the progress of your research.  Especially feel free to
> advertise any publications when they come out.
 
        I would like to thank the list for allowing me the opportunity to 
ramble about some of my data.  As for publications, one just appeared in the 
Paradox Basin Symposium Volume regarding juvenile sauropod 
material from the Dry Mesa Dinosaur Quarry (Morrison Formation, western 
Colorado).  The paper, written with Dewey Ray Wilhite, focuses on caudal 
vertebrae and some really neat appendicular material.  The symposium 
format allowed us (primarily Dewey Ray :)  ) to theorize and hypothesize 
about the Dry Mesa Quarry.    
        I have been perusing through the archives of this list and
noted some time ago a thread regarding the status of Ultrasauros
macintoshi, Supersaurus vivianae and Dystylosaurus edwini.  Myself and
2 colleagues (Ken Stadtman and Linda Curtice) have a paper that will
be appearing in the Continental Jurassic Symposium Volume (probably
out as I type).  Linda and I also gave a poster at SVP regarding these
taxa.  THe story on these taxa is: the holotype dorsal vertebra of
Ultrasauros macintoshi (BYU 9044) clearly belongs to a LARGE
diplodocid while the referred scapulocoracoid (BYU 9462) is
brachiosaurid.  Regarding the latter element, the scapula isn't even
as thick or wide as the thickest and widest scapulae from the
Tendaguru beds, and BYU 9462 is only marginally longer.  Even worse
for it, the coracoid is substantially smaller than that found with the
holotype material for Brachiosaurus altithorax, leading myself and my
colleagues to assign the scapulocoracoid to Brachiosaurus sp. for now.
We have a publication nearing completion that addresses Brachiosaurus
in great detail by fully describing the Brachiosaurus material from
North America that has been languishing on shelves throughout the
United States for many years.  The last hurdle will be surmounted
during a comparative trip to Europoe this summer.
        Supersaurus vivianae is definitely a valid sauropod.  The
"Osteology of Supersaurus vivianae Jensen, 1985" nears completion,
within it are descriptions of many new elements that have been
prepared (and recognized) in the last 2 years.  The referal of the
holotype dorsal vertebra of Ultrasauros to Supersaurus led to some
sticky nomenclatural problems (as well as explaining to Jim Jensen why
I chose to abolish the brachiosaurid charged name Ultrasauros).
However by referring the Ultrasauros type dorsal to Supersaurus many
of the Dry Mesa mysteries (like the B I G pelvis) were solved.  My
productivity on getting my thesis material out has been hampered by
having to take Human Gross Anatomy (doh!) but within a year I should
be unveiling the diplodocid, Madagascar and Lower Cretaceous sauropod
extravaganza, which should provide all sauropod fans as much glee as
it provided me!
        As for Dystylosaurus, in my thesis I question its validity,
and am now 90% convinced that it, too, belongs to Supersaurus.
However until I formally synonymize Dystylosaurus with Supersaurus I
suppose it must remain considered a valid genus.  Would that be
correct George?
        To answer Jonathan Wagner's question regarding the
ornithischian Mahjungatholis (sp? what happened to easily spelled
names like Supersaurus?), it most certainly is part of the theropod
Mahjungasaurus, the holotype for the formal actually being part of the
skull ornamenation of the latter.  As for Mahjungasaurus being
Indosuchus, I do not believe that the Stony Brook folk are willing to
go that far.  The Madagascar material is frighteningly well preserved
(as those of you who saw the SVP talks by Scott Sampson and Cathy
Forster can attest) and, when preparation is finished, will provide
much fodder for all saurischian lovers.
        One thing that has been on my mind, has anyone else noticed
that the cast of the Argentinosaurus dorsal vertebra that appeared at
Dino Fest in Tempe, Arizona and at SVP is actually a COMPOSITE of a
dorsal neural arch around number 3 (not position number 1 as said in
Bonaparte and Coria 1993 (check the location of the parapophysis!))
and a centrum from what is clearly a _very_ caudal dorsal (where the
centra are the largest).  Imagine taking number 3 centrum of
Diplodocus and putting on the neural spine of dorsal 9!  In my opinion
it is really a deceptive cast.  Any opinions?

        Brian Curtice
        Department of Anatomy
        SUNY Stony Brook