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Re: Dinosaur Genera List corrections #98


    Thanks for clearing up some of the details about the skull, and, of
course, Bob's views about the specimens.  I think that you are missing a
word or 2 in the following:

    >The presence of multiple ontogenetic stages for the diplodocids, as
    >as 7+ other taxa in the quarry make association of the skull with

    I think that possibly you wanted to end with "make association of the
skull with anything dubious." or something like that.

    When Bob was here at DinoFest, he indicated (i.e. he explictly said)
that he wanted to resurrect _Brontosaurus_ - using the differences
noticeable in the skull that he had with him.

    Thanks again,

        Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott A Hartman <ottscay@uwyo.edu>
To: Allan Edels <Edels@email.msn.com>
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Tuesday, November 10, 1998 5:50 PM
Subject: Re: Dinosaur Genera List corrections #98

>On Thu, 5 Nov 1998, Allan Edels wrote:
>>     Bakker had a cast of the skull and the left lower jaw with him at
>> DinoFest 1998.  I was there when he first showed the skull to Jack
>> and Dong Zhiming.  (In fact, I was holding the jaw for him while he was
>> showing the braincase to Jack).
>>     Jack McIntosh's INITIAL view was that the braincase was
>> different than _Apatosaurus_.  Bakker's initial idea was to resurrect
>> _Brontosaurus_ based on this reconstructed skull  (due to be so much
>> different than _Apatosaurus_).
>>     One cautionary note, the skull was reconstructed using a wax casting
>> the original, which was then stretched to what was considered the proper
>> shape.
>     Having been on site when the skull was found, and present during much
>of the preperatory and reconstruction process, I have a few choice words
>about Eobrontosaurus.  First of all, Eobrontosaursus was not created for
>the skull that has been displayed.  It is for the animal described
>intially as Apatosaurus yanahpin (pronounced wah-nah-pae).  By Filla et
>al.  I'll get back to that momentarilly.  First, Bob still wants (as of
>three months ago) to resurrect Apatosaurus for the skull that Allan is
>refering to.  The skull came from the Tate Museum's "nail" quarry. It's
>not directly associated with any other material, although there is some
>other unidentified diplodocid material from other parts of the quarry.
>The presence of multiple ontogenetic stages for the diplodocids, as well
>as 7+ other taxa in the quarry make association of the skull with
>anything.  Certainly there is no type Brontosaurus skull with which to
>compare this new one to.  To make things worse, the skull is
>stratigraphically higher inthe ection than the original "Brontosaurs"
>material.  Brontosaurus is a fine generic name, but it's dead.  AS to the
>comment on wax reconstruction...
>     Melissa Connely of the Tate Museum was in charge of reconstructing
>the skull.  The skull is over 90 percent complete, and let me say that
>when it is properly described, there will finally be some really good
>cranial syanpomorphies we can use to identify apatosaurine diplodocids.
>Due to diagenetic crushing, reconstruction of the maxillas was required in
>order to produce a displayable (read: profitable) cast that was closer in
>appearance to real life.  Wax casts were made of the left maxilla
>and the palatines.  These were then heated, and while still
>pliable, tweaked to match other specimens or, when available, the uncrushed
>mirror element.  Ignoring the protestations of myself and a few others,
>Mrs. Connely has taken this version with her to professional conferences
>(including SVP).  While I believe this to a lapse in judegement, the
>braincase has never been (to my knowledge) exposed to this type of
>treatement, and the cast of that element shown to McIntosh was an accurate
>representation of the skull.  What is it?  Possibly dimorphism.  Heck,
>maybe it's Barosaurus.  It does look like a new taxa, although, as
>mentioned above, certainly not Brontosaurus.
>     Back to Eobrontosaurus.  As mentioned, this new generic name is to be
>given to A. yahnahpin.  Although skulless, this taxon is probably going to
>be valid.  It's much lower in the section, and has many primitive traits.
>For those of you who have copies of Hunteria, look at the scapula again.
>Now imagine similarily primitive features in the dorsal series, tibia
>fibula comples, and sacrum.
>     A quick note to paleoartists who may want to restore
>"Eobrontosaurus."  Ignore the illustration in the Filla's paper that's
>supposed to be a reconstruction of the animals dorsal series, ribs,
>xiphisternum, and gartalia series.  Although the illustrations of the
>gastralia are accurate, the rest of the illustration was simply patterned
>after a picture of Bob's.  Most of the dorsal series hadn't even been
>fully excavated at the time.  Filla and Pat Redmen have both told me that
>the illustration was supposed to be a diagramatic representation
>demonstrating their interpretation of the relative postition of the
>gastralia compared with the other elements.  Regardless, the figure was
>not labeled as such, and at least three artists I know haw based
>reconstructions upon it.
>Scott Hartman