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Re: Baby dinosaurs east of the Mississippi -- YES!>>>>NO!



In a message dated 6/27/00 2:20:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
gbabcock@best.com writes:

> 
>  On p. 18 of the same volume, Carpenter states:
>  
>  "Baby sauropod bones have been found in Maryland not far from the nation's
>  capital and were first described by Othniel Charles Marsh in 1888."
>  
>  I'm not sure about this, but it may be described in the following paper (
> listed
>  in the bibliography):
>  
>  "Marsh, O. C. 1888. Notice of a new genus of Sauropoda and other new 
> dinosaurs
>  from the Potomac Formation.  _American Journal of Science_, v. 35, pp. 
89-94.
> "

Sorry Ralph and with all due respect to Ken on this, I am familiar with this 
ref and know of no mention of "baby" dinosaurs in the paper. Just to be sure, 
I have the ref in front of me and can confirm this. Marsh's original 
description of the sauropod "Pleurocoelus" made no mention of baby sauropods. 
His description of the taxon was based on very sparse and incomplete material 
(by western standards) and composed of _juvenile_ and at least sub-adult if 
not adult material to which he promptly slit in to two species, "P. altus" 
and "P. nanus."  Over the intervening _century_ since then the material (such 
as it is!) are widely recognized as ontogenetic variants of _Astrodon 
johnstoni_, the Maryland State Dinosaur!

However, while I have seen most of the known collection (and added a few 
specimens myself) at the Smithsonian on several occasions, it is possible 
that there might be something there that I was not aware of though I doubt 
it. Of course, "baby" is a relative term especially when dealing with 
sauropods of any kind and here at least, the term juvenile would be more 
apropos. How big are the tracks and what size do they scale to?

On a similar note, I do have some very small theropod phalanges (<2 cm in 
length) that might, might, might, to belong to a baby theropod but I need to 
go over it with Tom Holtz before I commit to such a diagnosis.

>  Jeez, Ray!  That's your territory, isn't it?  

Yep!

I wonder if your baby sauropod
>  track is from the same strata.
>  

Actually, all of Ray's ichnofossils seem to be localized to the Patuxent Fm, 
the basal primarily sandy unit of what I now regard as the Patuxent-Arundel 
Formation. The Arundel is of course where most of the body fossils occur. 

Cheers,
Tom

Thomas R. Lipka
Paleontological/Geological Studies
Tompaleo@aol.com