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CAMELOTIA



No, Paul Upchurch has not published anything new on basal sauropod 
phylogeny (I suppose his newest thing was the nemegtosaurid paper in 
JVP).

Toby White asked...

> Where does Camelotia stand? Prosauropod? Antisauropod?

Mickey M wrote...

> A new paper by Galton from last year in Paleontographica (I didn't   
> get the first part of it, so I don't know the title) redescribes
> Camelotia.  It is a melanorosaurid because of a prominent sheet-like
> lesser trochantor and a femur that is lateromedially wider than
> anteroposteriorly deep at midshaft. 

While the morphology of the anterior (=lesser) trochanter in 
_Camelotia_ does suggest a prosauropod identity, it also has a reduced 
fourth trochanter - a sauropod character. Also, whereas the distal 
femur in prosauropods is bowed caudally when the femur is viewed 
laterally or medially (as I suppose is primitive for dinosaurs), in 
_Camelotia_ this area is straight. Again, this is a sauropod character 
state. These reasons led Paul to suggest that _Camelotia_ may be the 
most basal sauropod, rather than a melanorosaurid. 

One tangential comment - I was interested to read a post of Matt 
Bonnan's a while back where he was saying that sauropod fans should 
read Upchurch's stuff because it provides an interesting phylogeny that 
is often contrary to the Wilson and Sereno phylogeny. I find this 
interesting because it is an Americocentric view: American students 
become more familiar with the Wilson and Sereno stuff, and then go 
and see the Upchurch stuff, then finding it an interesting contrast. The 
cultural slant to this is that here in the UK I find that things are the 
reverse: we are used to the Upchurch phylogeny, and it is the Wilson 
and Sereno one that stands as the contrast.

(I was going to say "We drink in the Upchurch phylogeny with our 
mother's milk" but thought better of it.)

"Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds" - - Oppenheimer       
   (who, like Chatterjee, took to quoting Hindu scripture)


DARREN NAISH 
PALAEOBIOLOGY RESEARCH GROUP
School of Earth, Environmental & Physical Sciences
UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road                           email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
Portsmouth UK                          tel: 01703 446718
P01 3QL