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Re: Euhelopodidae and Mamenchisauridae

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?

Not necessarily. If I remember correctly Indosuchus was known long
before Abelisaurus, yet is now considered Abelisauridae. It was
first an allosaur, then even a tyrannosaur. The problem with an
incomplete fossil record is that some people seem to go out of
their way to fit any new material into an existing family. If
Mamenchisaurus was intially considered something else (such as a
diplodicid) merely because there was nowhere better to put it,
then perhaps it was not until after Euhelopus was found and 
(reluctantly?) placed into its own family that someone realised
that Mamenchisaurus was similar enough to also be included.
        Just musings, mind you. But I'd be interested to see how
close I got none the less.

        Dann Pigdon
        Melbourne, Australia

        Dinosaur Reconstructions:
        Australian Dinosaurs: