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Re: ornithomimus...=struthiomimus?!?!?

At 10:06 AM 1/11/96 -0800, you wrote:
>I was searching for a skeletal drawing of Ornithomimus a long time. Then 
>I finally baught a book, where there was a skeletal drawing of 
>Ornithomimus. But the skeleton was VERY, or TOO similar to the skeleton 
>of Struthiomimus. I WAS the skeleton of Struthiomimus. Are the skeletons 
>so D**N SIMILAR!?!?!? 
>The same happened whith Dromiceiomimus, a skeletal drawing of 
>Struthiomimus called Dromiceiomimus.....

The dinosaurs Struthiomimus, Ornithomimus, and Dromiceiomimus are all
EXCEEDINGLY similar in anatomy.  The main differences have to do with the
particular structure of the manus, relative proportions within the vertebral
column, hips, and limbs, and probably some skull differences, too.  I am
somewhat sympathetic to Greg Paul's decision to lump all these guys (and
Gallimimus, too) into Ornithomimus, but will wait until I get around to the
ingroup phylogeny of the ornithomimosaurs before commiting to that...

Speaking of Greg Paul, pp.390-391 of his Predatory Dinosaurs of the World
(page numbers from the printing I have) show illustrations based on
particular specimens of the main advanced ornithomimid species.  As you can
see, they are all very, very similar.

Which reminds me of a scene which REALLY bugs me about Jurassic Park: when
the kid identifies Gallimimus from a distance.  Sorry, I or Dale Russell or
Phil Currie or Halska Osmolska or Nino Perez-Moreno or Peter Makovicky or
Rinchen Barsbold or Greg Paul or...  (sorry if I forgot anyone there) or any
other person who works with ornithomimid taxonomy would be very, very hard
pressed to tell these dinosaurs apart from long distance.  Gallimimus IS
bigger than most of the others, but from a distance, that would be hard to
tell (and, quite frankly, our sample size of most of the other ornithomimid
taxa are not that large to be confident that the North Americans or
Anserimimus did not get as big).  Manual anatomy would be impossible to
resolve clearly at such a distance, and pelvic differences would be
invisible (unless the kid was Kryptonian, but I don't think that is very

[Best guess: he read the brochure before hand, and Gallimimus was the only
ornithomimid ressurrected in the park...]

In any case, that particular scene got a reaction out of me that I think was
relatively rare...

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