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RE: Choosing Twenty-Six Representative Genera
> From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]On Behalf Of
> Mike Taylor
Quite frankly your list could use MAJOR improvements. I would suggest using
only forms for which good skeletons are known (or which are clearly
referrable to groups for which good skeletons are known).
This list is, sadly, a product of the sort of web-based environment we live
now. People can pull up the "list of all dinosaur names" without any idea
if the taxon is based on more than a scrap (or for that matter, is even
formally published). I'll through in a few comments.
> Dear Dino-Members,
> I come to you with a request for help. I'm trying to put together a
> book overviewing the whole of the dinosauria for youngish children
> (maybe ages 7-9) by picking twenty-six representative genera -- one
> beginning with each letter of the alphabet.
> In selecting the genera, my goals, in decreasing order of importance,
> are as follows:
> 1. Use each letter exactly once.
> 2. Cover all the main branches of the dinosaurian "family tree".
> 3. Use valid genera where possible (which I don't think it is for "F")
> 4. Good (wide & even) coverage of geological time in which they lived.
> 5. Good (wide & even) coverage of recent time in which they were named.
> 6. I favour genera represented by good material where I have a choice.
> After _a lot_ of work, I have come up with the following list:
> Argentinosaurus (Titanosauria)
> Borogovia (Troodontidae)
Very poorly known. Byronosaurus, at least, has a partial skull known. (I
would have gone with Brachiosaurus or Barosaurus or Baryonyx: something with
a resonable skeleton.
> Chasmosaurus (Coronosauria)
> Diplodocus (Diplodocimorpha)
> Euoplocephalus (Ankylosauria)
The three above are excellent!
> Futabasaurus (Tyrannosauroidea)
Completely, utterly useless. Fukuiraptor would be your best bet for a valid
non-avian dinosaur with an "F"-name, but sadly it is very fragmentary.
> Giganotosaurus (Allosauridae)
> Harpymimus (Ornithomimosauria)
Guys are okay.
> Irritator (Spinosauria)
Keep in mind that the published reconstruction of the skull is just plain
wrong: there will be some important changes when the revision is done (no
crest, for example).
> Jobaria (Sauropoda)
> Kentrosaurus (Stegosauria)
> Lurdosaurus (Iguanodontia)
> Massospondylus (Sauropodomorpha)
Above all good.
> Nanshiungosaurus (Therizinosauria)
Unfortunately, not very well known. None of the "N"-name dinosaurs are very
> Oviraptor (Oviraptorosauria)
> Parasaurolophus (Hadrosauridae)
> Quetzacoatlus (Pterosauria)
Yeah, your kind of screwed with Q; Quaesitosaurus may be a junior synonym of
Nemegtosaurus. Qantassaurus might serve, though.
> Rahonavis (Avialae)
> Sauroposeidon (Brachiosauridae)
> Tyrannosaurus (Tyrannosauridae)
> Udanoceratops (Ceratopsia)
> Velociraptor (Deinonychosauria)
> Wannanosaurus (Pachycephalosauria)
> Xenotarsosaurus (Ceratosauria)
Best options you've got for these.
> Yanchuanosaurus (Sinraptoridae)
> Zephyrosaurus (Ornithopoda)
> It's worth making a few comments on this selection:
> 1. Some choices -- e.g. Tyrannosaurus -- are clearly non-negotiable.
> 2. Yes I know Quetzacoatlus is not a dinosaur! It's too cool to omit.
> 3. I believe that Futabasaurus is nomen nudum: are there any valid "F"s?
> Before I plough into writing a lot of prose on these genera, the
> families that they represent and their positions in them, I welcome
> anyone's comments on this selection. Specifically, I would love to
> find a way to replace one of the somewhat redundant genera (the
> tyrannosaurid Futabasaurus or the sauropod Jobaria) with a
> Coelophysoid, Nodosaur or Centrosaurine -- can it be done, with
> appropriate reshuffling elsewhere? Have I missed any other important
> groups? Can I find anything geologically earlier than Massospondylus
> while keeping a prosauropod in the list?
Saturnalia and Plateosaurus would work; use Brachiosaurus for "B" and
replace Sauroposeidon with Saturnalia, for example.
> Are any of these genera likely to disappear in the immediate
> future (or have some of them already slipped out from under my feet?)
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland College Park Scholars
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-405-4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax (Geol): 301-314-9661 Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796