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Re: Velociraptor

On 11-5-97, Jack Conrad <jconrad@lib.drury.edu> wrote:

> I have wanted to see this topic discussed for some time.  What you may
> have been exposed to may have actually been a reference to _Deinonychus
> antirrhopus_.  The size seems right (I don't know what happened to teh
> weight).  In _Predatory Dinosaurs of the World_, Greg Paul put forth an
> idea which has largely been scoffed at, but I believe has a lot of merit.
> He synonymized _Deinonychus_ and _Velociraptor_.  I feel that it is
> possible that this is why the _Velociraptors_ of JP were so large (I
> Michale Crichton even mentions Greg Paul as one of his influences at the
> end of the book).  I don't know why this idea has received so little
> attention.  It seems very possible that _Deinonychus_ could be considered
> a subgenus of _Velociraptor_.  The way Greg restored the skull restored
> the skull of _D. antirrhopus_ (or _V.antirrhopus_) contrasts with the
> usual restoration so I made some cut-outs of the skull based on the
> restoration of the known bones picture in _The Dinosauria_.  By
> reorganizing them in a number of ways and using tracing paper to restore
> them, I've found that Greg's restorations can be considered no less
> accurate than those commonly attributed to _V. (D.) antirrhopus_.  Unless
> there is newer material I am unaware of (a possibility), I feel that
> is lots of merit to these restorations and subsequently synonymizing the
> two genera.

In the November-December 1996 issue of _Dinosaur Discoveries_, the lead
story is called _The New Deinonychus_, and refers to a 1993 excavation of
_Deinonychus_ material by the Museum of the Rockies which included the
first collection of _Deinonychus_ prefrontal, frontal, parietal, quadrate,
laterosphenoid bones, part of the braincase, and the best nasal, lacrimal,
ectopterygoid, surangular, and angular bones yet found.  This being all
skull material, it does indeed provide a new and more accurate picture of
the animal.  The postcranial material recovered included many limb elements
and four of the "so-called sickle claws" as some on this list like to refer
to them.  The article states at one point "Deinonychus_ is not
_Velociraptor_!"  And, for your information, Gregory S. Paul no longer
considers them to be the same genus, either.  The authors of this two page
article (which features a Joe Tucciarone illustration but has no images of
the actual fossil material) was authored by Dr. W. Desmond Maxwell and Dr.
Lawrence M. Witmer, who authored a paper on the skull material for the
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Here is the reference:

WITMER, L.M. and W.D. Maxwell, 1996.  _The skull of _Deinonychus_
(Dinosauria: Theropoda): new insights and implications, _Journal of
Vertebrate Paleontology_, 16(3) Supplement: 73A.

I haven't seen the JVP article, but I'm sure it would be informative.