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Re: Spinosaur Variation and IRRITATOR

Darren Naish wrote:

<I've personally examined the holotype specimen of
_Irritator_ (as well as the type specimen of _Baryonyx
walkeri_ and various _Spinosaurus_ material in private
collections), and I'm sitting here with a load of
high-quality close-up photos of the specimen.>

  Drat, this is what I get for being ... ugh! ...
American! :) What I wouldn't give to be on the Isle of
Wight right now....

<Before I start, I would like to point something out:
of the many artistic restorations I have seen of the
skull of _Irritator_, pretty much all of them make it
look like _Irritator_ was a small animal. Look at the
size of the eye in restorations by Pete Buchholz,
Brian Choo and others: _Irritator_ seems to be drawn
as if its head was 
about 15 cm long. I presume this is because of Martill
et al.'s incorrect early classification of _Irritator_
as a bullatosaur: the temptation may then be to make
_Irritator_'s head of about the same size as that of
most troodontids and ornithomimosaurs. Well, the news 
is IRRITATOR IS HUGE. It's skull is actually about 80
cm long, and may have been even longer (as the snout
tip is unknown).>

  Not in mine, frankly. I've never shrunk this fellow
down, and have recontructed this fellow as
Sucho-sized, head and body.

<The skull does not extend caudally beyond what has
already been figured. The big lump caudal to the orbit
(in Martill et al. 1996) is probably the squamosal.>

  I thought that was what I said (in part, at least). 

<It has some interesting features.. you'll have to
wait till publication of the new monograph.>

  Most certainly I will be (gotta get that damn Holtz
quote outta my head so I can think deviously...I mean,


Berislav Krzic wrote:

<I tried reconstructing Spinosaurus head based on
Bary/Sucho proportions - and it does not seem to come
out properly. Indeed, what is known of Spinosaurus
skull suggests shorter and deeper skull. This jig saw
puzzle is too fragmentary.>

Archosaur J wrote:

<So, we assume short and robust in Spino like we would
in Nile crocs (short stout and to the point), or are
we making a return to the original view of a bulldog
snout? >

  I wouldn't say so; short, yes; bulldogish, no; my
own reconstruction, outline only and not likely to get
more detailed, suggests to me the shape of the lower
jaw that the skull possesses all "normal" cranial
features of spinosaurs like Bary and Sucho.

<2.2 meters, whoa!!! I guess that makes
*Cristatusaurus* the most gharial like spinosaur yet.
Was this one found near an area that would have
contained fast flowing water (river, delta)? Any teeth
to go with the skull?>

  No complete teeth, only the bases of them, and they
bear serrations. This appears to be a baryonychine.
This was Gadoufoua, BTW, so would have been silty,
muddy, like I described in my post to Josh Smith.
Still got the reply coming...

- Greek proverb: "Knowledge is Inherent;
  Stupidity is Learned." -

Jaime A. Headden

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