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