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Re: American Oviraptors?

Jessica, the Gobi Gal, Wagar wrote:

<I have a fossil cast of an 'Oviraptor sp. claw' (wondering what the
sp is..*shrugs* Oviraptor something orrather mysterious chopped off
genus-species name, no doubt),>

  I assume you're asking? *O.* sp. refers to "*Oviraptor* species",
and the abbreviation is used to indicate an unknown species, either
one that has yet to be designated, or one that could be referred to
another species, or even another animal. It's a provision, that which
is done because the evidence is not complete enough to tell us more.
By themselves, claws are not specific to the specific level except in
some rare cases (*Ingenia* from *Oviraptor* as an example), so you
will probably se this a lot on these types of fossils, being so scrappy.

<From the Wyoming Dinosaur Center. On the bottom of the tag, after the
date of something-or-other MYA, it states, what I assume is the place
found--Wyoming?!. I thought all Oviraptosaurs lived in,like, the gobi?
Can anyone else give me more information on this animal, or tell me if
it was a case of mis-labling?>

  It's what I believe has been called "Giant North American
Elmisaurid", a description that's probably more apt than not, and I
think Mike Triebold discovered it (correct me if I'm wrong, Mike).
Now, all known oviraptorids (of the Oviraptoridae) have been found in
Asia (Mongolia and China), and caenagnathids (of the Caenagnathidae)
have been found in both Mongolia, Canada, and the USA; oviraptorosaurs
(Oviraptorosauria, including Caenagnathidae and Oviraptoridae as well
as *Microvenator*) are found in both continents, *Micro.* in Montana,
and *Caenagnathasia* in Uzbekistan. My website (see the URL below has
this information and more, including pictures of hands).

  Anyway, you can tell an oviraptorid claw from a caenagnathid claw by
the size of the knob (called a flexor tubercle) on the bottom of the
claw next to the the scooped out region (called an articular facet)
where the rest of the finger connects to; caenagnathids have smaller
ones, and also have two grooves on the side of the claw that converge
(if at all) around midpoint of the claw itself, whereas oviraptorids
have large knobs and the grooves converge (or come together)
immediately over the knob or just in front of it, towards the tip.

  Now, to everyone in general, as how this claw seems to have been
catalogued, does anyone have a number, locality, discover/describer,
date, and all the hooplah associated with such things? I'd like a
picture, too, but that's pushing things :).

- Often, it is the man who is brought
  down the path to the end who does
  not see his own steps. -

Jaime A. Headden

Qilong, the website, at:
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