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Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. wrote:
>>Although I do agree with the importance of the saltriosaur in terms of being
the oldest known large bodied tetanurine, and possibly the oldest known
large bodied Gondwanan theropod (since Lombardy and similar regions of
southern Europe may have been Gondwanan in the Jurassic), it is not the
oldest known tetanurine nor possesses the oldest known furcula.
Furculae are now known (or associated with) coelophysoid dinosaurs,
including Ghost Ranch material (although there is some caution about the
isolated material, given the similarity of some gastral elements of various
critters in the block to theropod furculae). Furthermore, as Luis Chiappe
has pointed out, a Norian (Late Triassic) tetanurine has been reported from
Argentina, and (assuming for the moment monophyly of neoceratosaurs and
coelophysoids to the exclusion of tetanurines) Late Triassic tetanurines
were already expected.
This is not to diminish the importance of the new specimen, but simply to
put it into the context of recent discoveries.
P.S. Still no news on price information, etc., for GAIA 15. Sorry.>>
OK. This is not so crystal clear in fig. 9 and relative explanation at p.
44 of your new phylogeny of the carnivorous dinosaurs in the GAIA volume
(just published).Besides, if I correctly understood your text, the presence
of a furcula is considered a character of theropods more derived than
Ceratosauria (see node M, Avetheropoda, p. 19; see character 225:presence
of a furcula is the derived condition). Maybe I am wrong and I did not
understand correctly: theropods are not my main interest and I am not very
accustomed to extreme cladistics (I beg your pardon).
The Lombardy region according to the paleogeographic maps of Dercourt et
al. (1993) during Sinemurian times was not in the northern margin of
Gondwana, but still in the southern margin of Laurasia.
Finally, Saltriosaurus is not a formal name, it is a nickname and was
presented to the press spelled SALTRIOSAURUS (you know, here in Italy we
are easy going folk people)
Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia
Curator of the Museo Paleontologico Cittadino di Monfalcone
Councilor of the Italian Paleontological Society