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NEOVENATOR CLASSIFICATION



Michael Keesey asks:

> Neovenator: All I've heard so far is that it's a theropod. Anything more
> specific?

_Neovenator salerii_ is an allosaurid, it's closest known relative being
_Allosaurus_. If the taxon Allosauridae has recently been disbanded by some,
the _Neovenator_-_Allosaurus_ clade calls for its reinstatement.

I cannot presently comment on characters gleaned from the _Neovenator_
material: I only have photos (of the skull) to hand, and diagnostic features
cannot be analyzed. Besides which, Steve Hutt would kill me. He probably
will when he finds the name has been published in any case... However.. the
remarkable thing about _Neovenator_ is the shape of the skull profile: this
has been described as 'puffin-like'. The naris is *huge*. A break in the
skull led me to initially think that the thing had a premaxillary notch
(cf. _Dilophosaurus_). The teeth have very much slipped out of their
sockets.

We await manuscript publication!

"Man is nature's sole mistake"
W.S. Gilbert                   [ What movie is that from, Darren? :-) -- MR]

DARREN NAISH