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Re: Giant raptor claw found



At 06:45 PM 12/5/97 -0600, you wrote:

[concerning Megaraptor]

>If this animal is from South America isn't it likely that it was a
>Noasaurine, and not a "Raptor" in actuality?  It seems likely that
>convergent evolution would only have taken place if there wasn't already a
>different, adapted "norm" species present.  Or is the concept of the
>sickle-clawed Megalosaur now outdated?

Once again: the meagre skeletal material of Megaraptor shows that it is a
coelurosaur, and possibly a dromaeosaur.  It is quite different from Noasaurus.

Also, data now shows that dromaeosaurids had a nearly (possibly completely)
Pangaean distribution in the Cretaceous.  Early thoughts to the contary
(like my own) seem to be in error.

The idea that Noasaurus is a "sickle-clawed Megalosaur" (coming out of Greg
Paul's Predatory Dinosaurs of the World) is outdated in a sense, although
the affinity between it and the abelisaurids (suggested by Greg) is not.
Noasaurus and the abelisaurids share many derived features.  Most current
analyses place these "abelisauroids" within Neoceratosauria.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:th81@umail.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661