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Gondwanan Dinosaurs



  Putting the paleobiogeography of certain
maniraptorans aside, the other taxa of Australia have
been neglected to some degree by myself and others,
and certainly the question of several ornithischians
and the one or two odd theropods should be examined.

  *Muttaburrasaurus langdoni* and *M. sp.*:

  Most recently, this taxon has been interpreted as a
basal dryomorph, closer to hypsi-types than
iguanodonts, that is, a basal dryomorph or similar. I
would tentatively agree; similar Gondwanan taxa
include the African *Dysalotosaurus/Dryosaurus
lettowvorbecki* and *Kangnasaurus coetzei*, and the
S.American *Gasparinisaura cincosaltensis*, and the
Antarctic "dryosaur." Similar fossils from New
Zealand, apparently.

  *Minmi paravertebra* and *M. sp.*:

  I have no idea of contemporaneous Gondwanan taxa
aside from the fossils Tim Williams and Nick Pharris
are talking about, but I've looked a little closely at
*Minmi*, and see many more ankylosaurid than
nodosaurid features, rather than basal ankylosaur
features, and a recent abstract in _JVP_ 19 (supp. to
3) suggests that *Minmi* is the closest outgroup to
Ankylosauridae (polacanths, shamos, and ankylos).

  *Rapator ornitholestoides*:

  I'll not say too much on this bone, but it bears
similarities to some Asian taxa which suggests it's
not a mcI to begin with, but a dI-1, like mononykids,
and thus would have been smaller than previous
hypotheses have suggested, closer to a 15-20ft.
*Patagonykus*-like form. No need to point out
contemporaneous or comparative taxa.

  *Ozraptor subotaii*:

  I'm not sure, and I've talked to Molnar and Long on
this, but this looks a lot like a dromaeosaur tibia
than anything else. The dorsal edge of the astragalar
facet is turned a broad oblique angle from the
vertical, as in *Deinonychus* and *Utahraptor*, but
shallower than a lot of other tibiae I've looked at,
such as mononykines (which have a notch in the side),
ornithomimes, tyrannosaurs, or oviraptors (tall and
arched). Oh well, more study.

  *Kakuru kujani*:

  Some of you guys out there have heard of my opinion
on this taxon, and recent popular work by Choo, Long,
Glut, and others reflect this, but also to get back to
Jerry Harris on something I'd forgotten about: very
unusual tibia in that the distal end is very much
expanded medial, as in *Acrocanthosaurus*,
*Calamosaurus*, *Microvenator*, and *Ingenia* (see
Molnar and Pledge, 1980, original paper). But at least
*Avimimus* shares a similar tibial morphoplogy, though
Acro is closer in extreme development. My theory,
therefore, is that *Kakuru* is a Gondwanan form of a
generally Laurasian lineage, namely, the
oviraptorosaurs or at least caudipterygian/
microvenatoran-like forms.

  *Atlascopcosaurus loadsi*
  *Laeallynasaura (not off the top of my head)*
  *Fulgurotherium australe*
  *Qantassaurus intrepidus* and *Q. sp.*:

  I know next to nothing about the hypsi-like forms,
but some have been shown to be similar to the
*Othneilia* or *Drinker* lineage, or the
*Hypsilophodon* lineage, all of whom were Laurasian,
barring whatever the recently mentioned
*Notohypsilophodon* actually is. Maybe Pete can chime
in.

  *Rhoetosaurus browni* and *Austrosaurus (also not
off the top of my head)*:

  Recently being discussed.

  I will not say I'm anything of an expert on Aussie
dinosaurs, but this is what I see when I look at these
taxa, from mostly personal observation. I have most of
the original and follow-up papers, except for the
"hypsies" and sauropods. Wish I had *Rapator*, but
it's in German, and I have no access to the journal
over here, so....


=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

Qilong---is temporarily out of service.
Check back soon.

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