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Re: Majungasaurus Questions

At 10:31 AM 11/5/97 -0800, david krentz wrote:
>                      Subject:                              Time:  11:20 AM
>  OFFICE MEMO         Majungasaurus Questions               Date:  11/5/97

As Scott Sampson pointed out at SVP, the proper name for this animal is
probably Majungatholus atopus.

>  Daniel Lipkowitz upon my request, sent me some photos of the Majungasaurus 
>skull that was on display at SVP this year.  The artist's restoration of the 
>head did not match that of the skull.  Was the rendering done before the 
>skull was reconstructed?

If the illustration didn't match the skull, the illustration was wrong (and
presumabely done before the skull was known).

>Also, the description of the animal says it was 35 
>feet long, is that based on the proportions of the drawing or is it based on 
>a Carnotaurus type proportion.  From what I understand there isn't a lot of 
>post-cranial material, but if there is a caudal vertebrae, would that be 
>enough to make a judgement call as to it's body type?  If it is 
>Carnotaurus-like, than it would be larger than 35 feet( I'm basing this 
>assumption on the fact that the head on the drawing is slightly to large IF 
>it had the flesh eating bull's proportions.) 

The postcranial material was only recently discovered amd has not yet been
described.  Unless the size estimate comes from the folks at SUNY-Stony
Brook (esp. Scott Sampson), the estimate is not based on primary observations.

>  Is the single horn on the frontal really a horn, or was the skull touched 
>by the same folks who delivered Irritator? No accusations, just curious.

The skull is one of the least distorted, best preserved large theropod
skulls known.  The bulge is indeed real.

>  I have many questions about this fascinating Abelisaur, is there a formal 
>description yet?

It is being worked on, but not out.

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