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Hot off the press, sort of



A new reference (or at least one I haven't seen mentioned yet):

Makovicky, P.J. and M.A. Norell.  1998.  A partial ornithomimid braincase
from Ukhaa Tolgod (Upper Cretaceous, Mongolia).  American Museum Novitates
3247: 1-16.

This is the published report on the specimen that Makovicky and Norell
described at SVP this year.  The specimen is just a braincase and some
vertebrae (not described).  It is different from other described
ornithomimid braincases in a few details, so it cannot be referred to
_Gallimimus_ or the North American forms.  However, since there is no
overlap between this specimen and Asian forms like _Anserimimus_ and
_Archaeornithomimus_ (for which the braincase isn't known), the authors
cannot determine if this is a wholly new taxon or not, and wisely choose not
to name it at this time.  Also illustrated in some detail is the braincase
of _Struthiomimus altus_.

If you are a nut about theropod braincase anatomy (and who isn't...), this
is an important new paper.

As the authors point out, this is the first evidence of an ornithomimid at
Ukhaa Tolgod, even though there are oviraptorids, dromaeosaurids, avialans,
and troodontids galore.

The authors mention that in many ways ornithomimid braincases are similar to
those of troodontids, but at the same time the postcrania of troodontids
contains maniraptoran features not present in ornithomimids.  This goes
along with the topic of my presentation at the Ostrom Symposium: more about
that next February.

(Oh, and thanks, Pete, if you are reading this!!)

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661