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STRANGE THEROPOD SKULLS



Regarding the bizarre skull of the Antarctic theropod 
_Cryolophosaurus_, Tom Holtz writes..

> The skull of Cryolophosaurus is pretty puzzling as currently 
> described, particularly the squamosal-postorbital-jugal contact 
> (which, in all right-thinking theropods, do NOT form a single 
> contact in the middle of the infratemporal fenestra!!).  

Tom, what on Earth is a 'right-thinking theropod'? I am still utterly 
confused by the cryolophosaur skull, and with such a poor, 
preliminary description to go on (Hammer and Hickerson 1994), we are 
all in the dark. Someone should get hold of the thing and 
describe it properly - it looks (from photos, not the god-awful 
diagrams provided by Hammer and Hickerson) very significant. 

I still find it hard to believe that the jugal does project so far 
dorsally as to suture with the squamosal and therefore divide the 
laterotemporal fenestra into two - this is utterly unique if true. 
Mind you, tyrannosaurs come pretty close but with a totally different 
morphology (both the squamosal and quadratojugal rostrally invade the 
lat. fen.), and Hu's diagram of _Dilophosaurus sinensis_ does too: 
here, what appears to be the squamosal divides the lat. fen. and 
apparently reaches the dorsal bar of the jugal. Does anyone have any 
photos of the skull to see if this is for real?

> I think that Bakker et al.'s and Sereno's suggestion that 
> Eustreptospondylus is closely related to Torvosaurus may have some 
> merit based on current data. Unfortunately, both are less complete 
> than one (okay, I) would like... :-(

There are many, many problems with all of the characters that both 
teams used to support a _Eustreptospondylus_-_Torvosaurus_ link (you 
want me to go through them?)... nevertheless, there are still a few 
similarities that look very significant (e.g. loss of quadratojugal 
foramen/fossa, tall quadratic shafts). I am _hoping_ to do a 
thorough description of this dinosaur sometime in the future: god 
knows someone has to.

"You know people talk about little green men? They ain't green"

DARREN NAISH
darren.naish@port.ac.uk