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Re: Mononykus manus (was Re: New alvarezsaurid)
<Is it definite that _Mononykus_ has only one claw per manus? I recall
that Dennis J. Wilson of Pangaea Designs had produced a sculpted
restoration of this animal (in both feathered and unfeathered versions)
and added some tiny vestigial digits to the manus. I asked him about
this at the SVP meeting in Chicago (where the sculptures were displayed)
and he stated that he was working directly from the actual fossil
specimen, and that he believed that _Mononykus_ should be restored with
the additional digits.
Those were nice models---didn't notice the multiple digits, though. I
assume *Alvarezsaurus* and even *Patagopteryx* may have been bidactyl or
tridactyl in the least, but that's just an assumption; Since I've not
seen actual closeups of the manus, I can't say for sure, but it looks
like the claw is on digit II (not I as assumed) and the artists Ed Heck
(_Dinosaurs of the Flaming Cliffs_ Novacek, 1996) and John Sibbick
(National Geographic Magazine, July 1996) restore the manus with two
nodes of bone on the metacarpal supporting the claw, one dorsal and the
other ventral. It would seem logical that the claw would be on the thumb
digit, as no living bird lacks this digit but some cursorials like
*Casuarius*, or extict *Diatryma*. And the phalanx is well developed;
I'll say that I could be wrong and I'm wasting space here, but I feel I
need to say this _sometime_.
SHUUVUIA, SHUVUUIA, OR SHUVUIA?
Aside from a name that, when pronounced in Latinized Mongolian sounds
something like shooh-VOOH-yah (double stress the "ooh" like saying 'oo'
and 'h' at the same time, only longer), is otherwise difficult to say,
exactly what parts of the already established *Mononykus* were referred
to him? The photograph of the skeleton in lateral view as published in a
few periodicals is about half or more complete, and also appears in
_Discovering Dinosaurs_ (Norell, Gaffney, and Dingus, 1995). Has this
been referred over, or is it reasonably sure it is *Mononykus*?
RANT, RANT, RANT
And for animals with supposedly identical forearm structure and other
morphology, Norell and Chiappe seemed pretty eager to give us a new
generic taxon, rather than specific.
And anyway, isn't there a rule that says when a new genus is formed from
an established genus, the specific names goes along, too? If so, it
would be *Shuuvuia (or whatever) olecranus*, not *S. deserti*.
Phhhh. I'm getting crabby lately. Pardon me, and if you feel battered
and harangued by this post, ignore it.
Jaime A. Headden
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