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DROMAEOSAUR OVERKILL



I never keep my promises: here I am, a postgrad student, back on 
dino-l. Alas, I am a Judas - having betrayed my favourites, the 
marine tetrapods, I am now a theropod man. Some you win, some you 
lose.

Here at Portsmouth (we also dabble in Isle of Wight and Santana 
stuff) we have new taxa - including theropods - coming out of our 
ears. Pterosaurs and marine reptiles are getting their due, and I 
have colleagues working on some *amazing* bits and pieces you 
wouldn't believe. Unfortunately, I am sworn to secrecy.

Today I am (still) casting a wierd little theropod femur with Lorna 
Steel (pterosaur worker who shares my office with me). The bone is 
enigmatic in lacking certain trochanters and in having other 
trochanters in very diagnostic position - I'm still trying to work 
out what it is: if only figures in the literature weren't so bad (but 
my sincerest respect to Madsen, Currie and Dong, and Bonaparte et 
al.). I'll let you know what it may be when I get my head around it.

Anyway, I am emailing with a question. I don't have a great deal of 
access to dromaeosaurid bones and have been relying on figures: can 
someone with first-hand access to dromaeosaurid bones please tell me 
how the bone thickness compares to the shaft diameter. I am very 
familiar with the thickness of pterosaur bones, so if possible please 
refer to that for comparison. Thanks for help - I'll leave you to 
guess just _why_ I need this information...;) (and if you're 
wondering, it's nothing to do with the little femur I mentioned).

"That's Larry - he's a senstivie pigeon with a great sense of humour"

DARREN NAISH
darren.naish@port.ac.uk