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ESTEMMENOSUCHIDS & EWOKS
I know squat about dinocephalians (if that's what estemmenosuchids are) but I
always assumed that the two 'morphs' in John Sibbick's painting were male and
female. The male is the big head-on one who is jerking his head up from the
water (I think). Maybe, as Pieter Depuydt suggested, some of the animals in this
painting were based on specimens now assigned to other taxa.
[In recent viewing of the new _Return of the Jedi_, I noticed an ewok with an
estemmenosuchid-like skull on its head - hence title of this email. Do not
direct comments on this to the list]
I've seen several references to a paper (by Rich and Vickers-Rich?, published
in _Alcheringa_) on the Aussie oviraptorosaur (including both here on the list
and in _Dinosaur Discoveries_ # 3). But will somebody please tell me what this
paper actually says? What material is known and how does it compare to other
theropods? Why is it assigned to Oviraptorosauria (or even to a more specific
I must say: at present I am extremely dubious as the notion of Gondwana
oviraptorosaurs is, AFAICT, biogeographically unlikely. The Santana oviraptorid,
described by Martill and Frey in 1995(?) (_Neues Jahrbuch_) is just a bunch of
vertebrae that, while possessing some oviraptorid characters, most probably come
from another sort of theropod. Whatever it was, it is in ways an odd creature -
the neural spines have these little plications running along their vertical
borders. Interesting that _Bagaraatan_ has roughened areas in the same place.
No plications though. _Bagaraatan_ is one cool beast. Gracile, stiffened
proximal tail and deep posterior mandible - fast and with a stout, powerful
skull, so it sounds something like a basal coelurosaur mini-tyrannosaurid mimic.
But then I suppose tyrannosaurid skull are proportionally much larger.
"Twilight is upon me and soon night must fall"