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CRETACEOUS CATS



Having spent the whole of my lunch hour drinking heavily (could be 
worse.. I could have been attending the Australian crocodile biology 
symposium - no heavy drinking going on there I bet) , I am having 
trouble constructing a coherent email that makes sense. But here 
goes.

'CAT-LIKE' WEALDEN THEROPODS

At some point in one of the many interviews he has now given on the 
subject, Steve Hutt mentioned that his new theropod may have been 
somewhat cat-like in its behaviour. He probably meant that it might 
have been an agile ambush hunter (he most likely did *not* have Tom's 
'grapple and slash' analogies in mind). Thereafter, journalists 
referred to the animal as 'cat-like dinosaur', and the ones that 
then based little news items on _these_ news items saw the words 
'Cretaceous' and 'Cat', and thought.. Cretaceous cat. Thus local 
radio and a number of little newspaper articles ended up talking 
about a newly discovered fossil cat from the Cretaceous of the Isle 
of Wight. I kid you not.

I emphasise, there is nothing cat-like whatsoever about this new 
animal. It is simply a case of journalistic misunderstanding and 
misemphasis. I repeat.. there is *nothing* especially cat-like about 
this new theropod.

I will report on the Cretaceous biodiversity conference when (a) I 
have sobered up, (b) I have returned Johnsgard (1993) to the library 
and picked up Bininda-Emonds et al.'s big monograph on phocid 
monophyly, and (c) I have attempted to correct some of the incorrect 
emails concerning New Zealand rallids posted earlier on this list.

Why are people from _Science_ trying to get in touch with Paul Davis? 
Hmm...

"I like dicynodonts, but I couldn't eat a whole one"

Yours drunkenly,

DARREN NAISH
darren.naish@port.ac.uk