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Re: Velociraptor footprints
> In a message dated 97-08-04 09:49:19 EDT, email@example.com (Joshua
> Smith) writes:
> << In this discussion of thousands of theropod footprints here and there and
> everywhere being correlated to this skeleton and such and such taxon here
> and there, you are neglecting to account for the fact that there are NO
> CONFIRMED THEROPOD FOOTPRINTS ANYWHERE. >>
> There is Tyrannosauropus (or is it Tyrannosauripus?--my reference is not with
> me in San Diego yet), which is based on a large print that can only be that
> of Tyrannosaurus, the only dinosaur capable of leaving a print of that size
> and shape.
I think it is _Tyrannosauripus_. My reference is here somewhere...
Oh come on, George. Ten years ago _Tyrannosaurus_ was the
"largest" theropod, too. Just because there isn't another theropod in the
current fossil record from the New Mexico Maastrichtian that is large
enough to create _Tyrannosauripus_ does not mean that one didn't exist.
_Tyrannosaurus_ is the only theropod WE CURRENTLY KNOW OF that is capable
of making that track. That means nothing. Don't believe me? I give you
the Newark Supergroup "theropod" ichnotaxon _Eubrontes_ Hitchcock, 1845.
There is no animal from the Newark Supergroup in the collections of any
institution that could have created that footprint. However, I have the
measurements of 247 of those footprints sitting here in my computer. I
guess there was probably a _Eubrontes_ sized trackmaker out there
Perhaps I just beat that point a bit to death, but I just think that
these inferences drawn on the basis of "negative evidence" are very
dangerous things to do in paleontology. I can cite three references
where colleagues have used this same idea to justify their hypotheses
that _Eubrontes_ tracks were made by prosauropods: i.e., there are not
theropods large enough to have made them known in any collections.
So what? That DOESN'T mean they did not exist. Before _Ceratosaurus_
was discovered, there were no theropods in any collections with horns on
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