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AUSSIE DROMAEOSAURS??



First off, kind thanks to Adam for his informative post on the Dinosaur Cove
oviraptorosaur. Thanks Adam. Coincidence of coincidences, I actually picked up
this paper yesterday - copies of _Alcheringa_ were (unknown to me) languishing
in one of my colleagues' offices. So all of my questions are now answered.

The possible surangular is oviraptorosaur-like and I am particularly impressed
by the depression on the dorsal surface that seems to mark the insertion for the
pseudotemporalis superficialis. The medial inflection on the coronoid process
is uniquely oviraptorosaurian. The bone is unlike the surangular of other
oviraptorosaurs in not being fused to the articular and coronoid though, but -
 if the specimen is a surangular (and, as Adam said, it's hard to think what
else it could be) - Currie, Vickers-Rich and Rich suggest that its owner is
perhaps a primitive member of the group. They note that the Turonian
caenagnathids (Currie, Godfrey and Nessov 1993) are already highly derived, so
earlier and more primitive oviraptorosaurs are expected. I'd earlier expressed
some scepticism about the thought of Gondwana oviraptorosaurs. Well, nothing
wrong with being sceptical. But I may have fallen into the trap of assuming that
northern animals must have a northern origin.. no no no, there are no such safe
assumptions. 

And as Aussie palaeontologists like to point out, their fossils of
neoceratopians and ornithomimids etc. are not necessarily in agreement with
theories of Laurasian origin for these groups. How interesting then that Currie,
Vickers-Rich and Rich report a possible Australian DROMAEOSAURID. All they say
is 'There is also a small dromaeosaurid-like tooth (NMV P186343) known from
Dinosaur Cove.' (p.. 74).

Is the attribution of the _Can. J. Earth. Sci_ 30 ref to 1993 correct? I cannot
usually remember numbers, and I do not remember if the thing was published in
'93 or '94. Also, p. 77 includes the name _Deinonychus antirropus_. I don't
think my memory is at fault: the specific name is spelt _antirrhopus_ right?

"Excellent: we are now a part of the tribe"
"Just what I always wanted"

DARREN NAISH