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Re: Sauropods Size
George Olshevsky wrote:
> Largest sauropod overall: Amphicoelias fragillimus
> This is the largest dinosaur ever described in the scientific literature.
> Trouble is, the only known specimen is a huge partial vertebra (a neural
> arch--the upper part of a vertebra: largest such fossil ever described) that
> is estimated, when complete, to have been more than two meters tall. This
> fossil was extremely fragile (very thin bony laminae) when Cope described it
> in 1878 (hence the species name: and we need the species name because Cope
> also described smaller species in the genus Amphicoelias),
McIntosh (1990) regarded _Amphicoelias_ as a suspect genus, and based
upon the poor quality of the material known for the genus at the time,
that's no real surprise. There was a presentation at the 1996 SVP
meeting regarding new _Amphicoelias_ material - all I've seen is the
abstract (Wilson and Smith , J. Vert. Paleontol. 16(3):73A).
Wilson and Smith mention a partial skull, 12 presacrals, 7 caudals,
pelvis, and femur, all from the same individual. They regard
_Amphicoelias_ as a basal diplodocoid (i.e. outside the
diplodocid+dicraeosaurid clade). Wilson and Smith refer the new
material (from Park County, Montana) to _Amphicoelias_ on the basis
of femoral characters.
As I understand it, most of the knowledge of this genus comes from
_A. altus_, not _A. fragillimus_, and I don't know to which species
Wilson and Smith refer the new material. I have seen _A. altus_
listed as a junior synonym of _A. fragillimus_. Does anybody know
why _A. altus_ is referred to the genus _Amphicoelias_?