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CHINESE SAUROPODS



T. Mike Keesey wrote:
<<Someone on the list mentioned these two families as being synonymous a
little while ago. As I was preparing the latest big update to my dinosaur web
site the other day, I noticed that _Mamenchisaurus_ was named two years before
_Euhelopus_. Assuming (perhaps incorrectly?) that the families based on these
genera were named at the same time that the genera themslves were named,
shouldn't the proper name of the family be Mamenchisauridae?>>

In truth, it simply matters on which family was named first.  In this case,
Euhelopodidae was named earlier as a family similar to Camarasaurs (I think)
and some years later, Mamenchisaurinae was named as a subfamily of
Diplodcidae, even though 1) Mamenchisaurus was named first, 2) Euhelopus isn't
very close to Camarasaurus, 3) Mamenchisaurus isn't very close to Diplodocus,
and 4) Mamenchisaurus and Euhelopus are closer to eahcother than any other
sauropods minus Omeisaurus.

Additionally, as I have said before, Shunosaurus is a much more basal sauropod
than those belonging to the Euhelopodidae.  The single character used to unite
them (ossified tail clubs) is probably in error and should be thrown out of
subsequent analyses [more info is in a prior post of mine in the archives].

Pete Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com

. . . [I]n most lab rat experiments you never see drunk frat boys in the
background holding up plastic cups of beer yelling, "WHOOOOOOO!  I'm on the
gaddam MTV! WHOOOOOOOO!"