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Newtonsaurus et al.



Shalom, good evening/morning.
      It is probable Newtonsaurus is a British ceratosaur  -- but all I have are Sam Wells's notes and photographs of the specimen, his comments incorporated in the 1984 monograph, and his conversations with me about the specimen's fragmentary nature. Walkersaurus hesperis (Waldman 1974) is a ceratosaur. The relationships between the ceratosaurs (whose cladistic analyses are in need of thorough revision) and Megalosauridae are, moreover, of equal fascination. Megalosaurus/Metriacanthosaurus are closer to each other than either is to any known ceratosaur (Megalosaurus = Torvosaurus). The recent attempted resurrection of "Magnosaurus" is most unfortunate, as von Huene's nomenclature was rather confusing: the name was originally in 1932 applied to BMNH R3542, a right tibia of the ceratosaur Sarcosaurus, von Huene naming it Sarcosaurus andrewsi (1932:51-52). In the same 1932 monograph! , ! ! on page 219, von Huene gave BMNH R3542 yet a second name, Magnosaurus woodwardi! The ceratosaur Sarcosaurus woodi = Sarcosaurus andrewsi BMNH R3542 = Magnosaurus woodwardi BMNH R3542. Alas: 1932:220, von Huene stumbles on his shadow, when he gives the name Magnosaurus also to BMNH 41352, von Huene's 1926 Megalosaurus lydekkeri which is an indeterminate theropod tooth from Dorsetshire, his 1932 Magnosaurus being a "n.g." for Megalosaurus nethercombensis and, at the end of his short discussion, a "subgenus" of Megalosaurus. Now, we have, in 2001, the name Magnosaurus being used for Eustreptospondylus, which is not a ceratosaur.  To rephrase the paradigms involved: Megalosaurus/Metriacanthosaurus are a closely knit group of theropods not sharing any diagnostic ceratosaur synapomorphies. Eustreptospondylus/Streptospondylus/Poekilopleuron are closer to the "spinosaurs" than to Megal! os! ! aurus/Metriacanthosaurus ("spinosaur" I use advisedly, the type being lost, and Horrorwood's attempted conjuration of it in Jurassic Park III wishful thinking).
      Mahzel tov, dinosaurily. Stephan P