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PROTOAVIS, CERATOPID STERNALS



Recently heard from Dave Unwin that Chatterjee's big monograph on 
_Protoavis_ has now been published in _Palaeontographica_.

On to something completely different... All mounted skeletons of 
_Triceratops_ I've seen have sternal plates that diverge markedly 
from one another at their caudal ends: they are only in contact at 
the cranial ends. Have just written a brief critique of Johnson and 
Ostrom's (1995) paper in Thomason (the sprawling _Torosaurus_ paper). 
Articulated _Triceratops_ sternals were described by Brown (1906) and 
figured by him as being in contact for virtually all of their length 
(and I see that Tracy refers to this also in his _How to Draw 
Dinosaurs_). I therefore took this as the correct morphology for 
_Triceratops_: however, I know from examination of articulated 
specimens that in _Protoceratops_ the sternal plates do diverge from 
one another caudally, and while checking Chinnery and Weishampel 
(1998) I see the same figured for _Montanoceratops_. Articulated 
ceratopid material is a bit hard to come by on this side of the 
Atlantic.. what is the true sternal morphology for ceratopids?

Finally, being British, should I spell Ceratopsomorpha 
Ceratopomorpha?

"Nothing is more fugitive than the forms of crocodiles" 
        - - Geoffroy, 1831

DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
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