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Re: Eustreptospondylus Q's

Jassica, the Gobi Gal, wrote:

<While looking through _the Ultimate Dinosaur Book_ by David Lambert,
again, I found a page on Eustreptospondylus. I was wondering if
Eustreptospond... was more likely a hunter or a scavenger? In a
drawing in the book it says 'Running predator',but could it really
run? If so, about how fast? What did it's skull look like? Is there
any evidence of Eustreptospondylus being feathered? Have there been
skeletons of it found in groups, as if a fammily of Eustreptospondylus
died? Were they more likely pack animals or solitary animals?>

  Ah, my fave dino pops up! Knew it would. Anyway, to answer the first
question, this is a question that can hardly be told from the physical
evidence so far (only one Eustrepto, and that one incomplete).

  Number two, the animal had a longer tibia than a femur, and a pretty
slender metatarsus, showing that it had the ability to run better than
some of the even bigger fellows that were around, and much better than
oviraptorosaurs, let me tell you. Similar to some tyrannosaurid and
troodontid leg proportions, in fact, as well as allosaurids. The ilium
bone of the hip was pretty long, but not particularly, and tall,
similar to *Coelophysis* and *Marshosaurus*, suggesting a strong
iliofemoralis muscle, which would have stabilized the leg in a forward
lunge and helped draw up the femur better than more primitive ilia
(like coelophysids) show. Yeah, it was a runner.

  Eustrept was a juvenile (probably a sub-adult), and may have been
only half grown, according to unfused vertebrae and loose skull
sutures, which could explain the incompleteness. the skeleton you see
in that book, partial, was from an animal about 4.6 m long (15ft), but
full grown would have been close to 7.6, and at the most (my
estimate), 9 m. (That's 25-30 ft for those metrically challenged).

  The skull is less than 50% complete, and most of what's missing is
the top and middle of the upper part (cranium); the snout was fairly
standard, and resembled some allosaurids (like Allo) and earlier
theropods, like longer-skulled ceratosaurians. Less round, though. it
had low brow horns, and from the dentary, a deep rear part of the jaw.
The back of the skull resembled a cross between *Ceratosaurus* and
*Allosaurus*, which are _much_ better preserved. I'm hoping for some
new Eustrepto material to come out of England (or even Africa!). Oh,
the forelimb was a little short, if you need to know, and may have
resembled *Allosaurus*.

  I'm hardly an expert on Eustrepto, though, so you may get a more
informed opinion, like from Tom Holtz. Check the Archives. There've
been a few threads on this dinosaur.

  Anyway, I hope this answers your question, Mrs. Wagar.

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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