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Re: Ultraraptor


    You don't get it.  We are not here to discuss mere ideas without any
basis in ANY facts!

    I very much doubt that _T. rex_ ate ALL the "Ultrasaurus" bones for the
85 million years that _T. rex_ DIDN'T EXIST - and we do not find any
"Ultrasausus" bones between the one find called "Ultrasaurus" (around 150
million years ago) and the time we find _T. rex_ (65 million years ago).

    As to whether "raptors" are ferocious predators, I feel that they were -
but everybody does not feel that they were necessarily fierce (or pack
hunters, etc.).  _T. rex_ was a predator (although Jack Horner feels that
they may have only been scavengers!), and there were many different kinds of
dinosaur predators - BUT NOT ALL OF THEM WERE RELATED!  [_T. rex_ certainly
ate other animals, and probably crunched bones - as you said - but that
doesn't guarantee that it killed them - just that it ate them].  Having
sharp teeth and claws not make an animal a "raptor" - I don't think that
anyone would think that a tiger was a "raptor"!  There is a "killer gene" in
all predators that are not mainly scavengers - but not all of them are
related to "raptors".

    Raptor Red is a fictional book, based on some factual evidence and some
speculation by Bakker.  Any behaviors that he writes about in the book are
based partly in fact, and mostly in speculation.  If your proposed books
will be fictional - go for it.  But if you seriously intend to publish your
"theory", you need to learn about all the existing theories - and how to
publish new ones.  If you listen to good advice, you can learn how it is
done, and what you can and cannot do.

    Simply because you believe that "Ultraraptor" is a better name than _T.
rex_, you cannot change it.  THERE ARE RULES FOR NAMING ALL ANIMALS IN A
SCIENTIFIC FASHION.  Your hero, Bob Bakker, would like to bring back the
name _Brontosaurus_ - because he feels it is a better name than
_Apatosaurus_.  Some people agree with him, but it would take some
extraordinary petitioning to make that happen.  In the meantime, Bob has
found a skull that he now believes will allow him to use the name
_Brontosaurus_ for the original specimen (which he believes it matches), and
still maintain the _Apatasaurus_ name for the other specimens.  BUT BOB
FEELS LIKE IT!!!  He has been known to make up nick-names for various
dinosaurs, and that is fine, as long as you realize that he is using
nick-names.  (Also, there is an organization that oversees the naming of

    Bob Bakker is not the only paleontologist that has moved for changes in
the classification system, but he doesn't think that everythng we know
should be thrown away and replaced with new.  There are a few methods of
classification - the oldest is the Linnaean system, and the most recent is
Cladistics (Phylogenetic Taxonomy).  For specimens, we still use the
Linnaean naming convention of genus and species name, but cladistics shows
us the ways that animals are related to each other.  The paper that I
mentioned in my previous post to you (and the list) is titled:"Phylogenetic
Definitions and Nomenclature of the Major Taxonomic Categories of the
Carnivorous Dinosauria (Theropoda)" by Kevin Padian, John R. Hutchinson, and
Thomas Holtz.  It appeared in the most recent Journal of Vertebrate
Paleontology (March 1999).  [Thanks to Patrick Norton for sending it to me -
I got it 4/6/99]  This paper describes how these scientists, major
paleontologists all, see the relationships of ALL the theropod (i.e.
meat-eating) dinosaurs. Your "raptors" are included in these pages, as is
_T. rex_.  As I tried to explain to you, if you read this paper, you can see
that _T. rex_ is more closely related to your "raptors" than to
_Allosaurus_ - HOWEVER, "more closely" does not mean "very closely".   There
are a lot of different dinosaurs that are more closely related to one or the
other groups (i.e. between "raptors" and _T. rex_).

    I know that Tom Holtz and John Hutchinson are on the Dino List - I'm not
sure if Kevin Padian is.  These scientists have studied long and hard to
earn degrees in Biology, Geology, and (where available) Paleontology.  I
know that Tom has a Ph.D. - I'm unsure about the others (Sorry, John).
These people are important paleontologists, possibly moreso than Bob Bakker.
(Tom teaches Paleontology [or at least Geology] at the University of

    Don't get me wrong - I like Bob Bakker (I've met him, and in fact held
the jaws of the skull I mentioned above, while he showed the upper portion
of the skull to Jack McIntosh and Dong Zhiming [both of whom are very
important paleontologists that you probably never heard of]).  I don't agree
with some of what he says, and usually don't agree with the way he says it.
Unlike you, I've met several of the major paleontologists and talked with
them - including the three I just mentioned, and Jack Horner, Tom Holtz,
Peter Dodson, Ralph Chapman, Don Wolberg, and John Ostrom (who is probably
THE MOST important living paleontologist - just ask Bakker).  These people
work to find new ways to learn about dinosaurs, and explain them - they do
not decide they like an idea and publish it on a whim.  They still have to
follow the rules in order to present a new theory - and to publish a
peer-reviewed paper on it.

    I don't have a degree in paleontology and consider myself an amateur
paleontologist -- and I've been studying dinosaurs for nearly 40 years!  You
can call yourself a paleontologist, but that doesn't make you one - anymore
than you calling yourself an astronaut makes you one.

    Just in case you think that I'm coming down on you because you're young
(I'm guessing) and I don't agree with you -- You're Wrong!   We have several
young people on the list (2 that I know that are 15 years old, and one that
should be 16 by now) who have interesting thoughts and questions, and they
know what they are talking about.  The oldest of the three has presented
papers at the past two DinoFest Symposiums (He was thirteen at his first) -
and the first of these papers has been printed.  He is well on his way to
becoming an authority on _Ceratopsian_ dinosaurs (By the way, I have photos
of him and Bakker looking over the _Torosaurus_ skull at the Academy of
Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, at the "Dino Feast").  He has studied what
he needs to in order to prepare and back up his theories and present them.

    By the way, unless you have already signed a deal with a book publisher,
or are going to self-publish your book,  I don't think that your book will
be "soon to be published"  --  it takes some time to get a book accepted and
then about a year or two after that until it actually is published.

    If you are upset by my messages - that was not my intention.  I am
trying to help you see what you are attempting to embark on.  If you choose
to ignore my help (and anyone else's help), that is your problem.

    Allan Edels

    P.S. If I decided to rename Cats as "Clawers" - it makes as much sense
as your idea, and would be resisted by scientists and non-scientists alike.

-----Original Message-----
From: Craig Ferguson <craig_ferguson83@yahoo.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Thursday, April 08, 1999 2:55 AM
Subject: Ultraraptor

>Dino List:
> I have recieved a lot of responses to my announcements, all of which
>gently broke it to me that my opinions were in the minority.
> Some have pointed out that Ultrasaurus and T-Rex lived in different
>time periods. But how are we to know that Ultrasaurus didn't live with
>T-Rex? Maybe we haven't found the Ultrasaurus bones because T-Rex
>crunched and ate all of the bones. We know T-Rex ate bone because of
>the fossil dropping from Sascatchewan that I read about in my research.
> Everyone has asked why I think T-Rex is a Raptor. It is very simple.
>Raptors were feroicious killers, everyone agrees about that. Why?
>Because the DNA of the Raptors had a gene that caused them to be
>killing machines. T-Rex was huge and powerful, and had huge, sharp
>teeth. T-Rex tooth marks have been found on other dinosaurs, so we know
>it was a predator. It too had the "killer gene". It was passed on to it
>from it's Raptor ancestors. Has anyone read Raptor Red?  Its by Bob T.
>Bakker, probably the greatest paleontologist ever. Utahrapor, a very
>big Raptor, behaved so much like a T-Rex. Utahraptor is a good
>intermediate between Velociraptor and T-Rex, it has a middle size, and
>claws midway between the two.
> Since I think T-Rex is a Raptor, it MUST have a new name. "Tyrant
>lizard" is not a good description of T-Rex, "Ultraraptor" would better
>describe it's evolution and lifestyle.
> Obviously, there is some difference in opinion concerning the T-Rex
>and Raptor connection. Someone said some people named "Tom Holtz",
>"Kevin Padian", and "John Hutchinson" wrote something similar to my
>theory. And as Bob T. Bakker has shown, the old way of classifying
>dinosaurs is Wrong!!! Raptors weren't known when T-Rex was named, so it
>makes sense we should change it's name now that we have Raptors.
>Craig Ferguson
>Dino Paleontologist and author of soon to be published book "Raptors
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com