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EUROPEAN ALLOSAURS



Just got my reprint of the _Neovenator_ paper, and took the time the other day
to discuss a few aspects of it with Dave Martill (Steve Hutt is not on email,
and I don't know Mike Barker). 

_Neovenator_ is rather complete - approx. 70% of the skeleton is known. It has
avetheropodan characters (e.g. large pubic boot) and is assigned to the
Allosauroidea Sereno et al., 1994, (am I right in thinking that the taxon Tom
calls Carnosauria is the same?) on the basis of a nasal that participates in the
antorbital fossa. Postcranial characters of the Allosauridae (as per Holtz,
1994) are present in _Neovenator_: however 'We cannot tell if these features are
present or absent in the Sinraptoridae' (p. 641), so for that reason Hutt et al.
are not 100% about the animal being an allosaurid. In their systematic
description it is listed as Family ?Allosauridae. Also, their definition of
Allosauridae follows that of Holtz, 1994, when _Acrocanthosaurus_ was included
(whereas it's now away from _Allosaurus_ and in a Carcharodontosauridae). Tom
might like to comment on that bit as I'm a bit confused.

Dinosaur foot fetishists (and you know who you are) will perhaps be pleased to
hear that partial pedal material exists of _Neovenator salerii_. Left
metatarsals II and IV are there, as is a complete phalangeal set for met IV
(figured as Fig. 4b). Three pedal unguals have been found, the largest of which
(Fig. 4d) has an odd shallow grove along the dorsal surface. I've never seen
anything like this before.

More to say but I have to go. 

"We're floating in physical evidence"

DARREN NAISH