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Re: Caudipteryx head

Daniel Bensen (dbensen@gotnet.net) wrote:

<Thanks a lot to HP Mickey Mortimer for that details on
Caudipteryx---which reminds me of a little problem I've come
across trying to reconstruct the head of Caudipteryx. Most
reconstructions are similar to each other, looking like the
skull drawn by HP Jaime Headden [...], with a narrow snout and
high forehead. However, the Gregory S. Paul reconstruction (seen
in the Scientific American book, and at this address: ([...]) is
far different. This Caudipteryx has a much narrower head, with
much smaller orbits and a more sloping brow line than the more
orthodox version. HP Greg Paul must have had a good reason to
reconstruct this dinosaur in such a strange way.  Does anyone
know what this reason was?>

  I can't remember if I clarified my reconstruction when I
originally invited the list to it on my site back in early
[April] 1999. The skull is based on the paratype with referal to
the form of the skull in the type (NGMC 97-9-A and 97-4-A
repsectively), and both have vague or absent details considering
the temporal anatomy, which will clarfiy the positions and
shapes of some elements. I am unsure how Paul settled the
juggling in setting the roof bones onto the cranium and snout, a
problem I solved by comparing to oviraptorosaurs but also
minorily to dromaeosaurs, but I would not put _either_ of our
reconstructions above the others'. However, the skulls, as
Mickey Mortimer has stated, possess some variation, and the
skulls do not look the same. The skull of the paratype can be
partially restored differently than I reconstructed based on
re-identification of elements, but not by much. It does increase
the length of the dorsal portion of the skull and decreases the
slope so that it resembles Paul's more.

  I have comments to make on the skull of *Caudipterys* that
will complement Mickey's, but these are the words of an amateur
who has only read the lit and seen the plates provided therein,
whereas Mickey has seen the type and paratype firsthand. These
comments will also appear later....

Jaime A. Headden

  Where the Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Pampas!!!!

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