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Re: Digit Loss

In a message dated 6/8/01 7:49:32 PM EST, Mickey_Mortimer11@email.msn.com 

<< George Olshevsky wrote-
 > The describers keep Eotyrannus outside Tyrannosauroidea
 > (whatever that is these days) as a sister group, so to this extent our
 > phylogenetic hypotheses agree.
 Actually, the authors place Eotyrannus within the Tyrannosauroidea, which is
 defined as all taxa more closely related to Tyrannosaurus than to
 Ornithomimus or Deinonychus. >>

Right, so they did. At one point I thought Tyrannosauroidea was 
Aublysodontidae plus Tyrannosauridae (though now I think Aublysodontidae is 
just juvenile/subadult Tyrannosauridae), and they do exclude Eotyrannus from 
that. Hence the phrase "whatever that is these days" above. Their def of 
Tyrannosauroidea is more or less my def of Tyrannosauria.

Speaking of digit loss, I still haven't seen anything in print that shows 
Ostrom was incorrect in giving Compsognathus three metacarpals but only two 
digits. Still seems odd that not one phalanx of either digit III is preserved 
in the type specimen of C. longipes, even though between them the third 
digits have almost half of the manual phalanges. Other Compsognathus-like 
small theropods do show three manual digits, but they're not Compsognathus 
itself. I'd say the manual digit count of Compsognathus itself remains open.