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OZRAPTOR (new Aussie theropod)
FINALLY I get to herald the arrival of a new dinosaurian taxon to the list...
Everyone say hello to OZRAPTOR SUBOTAII (basically: "Aussie Plunderer,
Archer dude from Conan")
It is Western Australia's first officially named dinosaur. At this point in
time it is still a nomen nudum but by the end of this month it should have
"Long & Molnar, 1998" after it is given official notation in the next
Records of the Western Australian Museum. I was going to save this post
until after that but the holotype is now on public display and the name
used in the this mornings local newspaper (along with one of my uncredited
"Oz" is a colloquial abbreviation for Australia while raptor...oh skip it.
Subotaii is the swift running thief from the Conan saga (no relation to the
historical lackey of a certain mongol conqueror...). He's that archer-guy
with the moustache in the movie "Conan the Barbarian".
The holotype is a distal fragment of a tibia from a smallish (2-3m)
tetanuran(?) theropod and is Australia's first skeletal Jurassic theropod
remains. It is distinctive in possessing astragular condyles that have a
angular, oblong shape.
The holotype is from middle Jurassic deposits (170 million years old) from
the Bringo railway cutting 20km east of Geraldton. It was discovered by
1966 but was misidentified as a turtle until it's dinosaurian affinities
were spotted by Dr John Long in 1989.
One small note: The image of a running theropod with jaws agape that seems
to have become the "official image" of Ozraptor is in fact a drawing I made
last year of an allosaur as a representation of the Victorian Allosaurus
for the Hell Creek Creations periodical "Dinosaur World" (and appears on
page 37 of the October '97 issue). As both dinosaurs are known only from
isolated limb-elements I guess one can't gripe too much...
"(tweetle)....NEVER ASK THAT QUESTION!"