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Re: Phytodinosauria status
On Mon, 18 Jun 2001, Ken Kinman wrote:
> I was just looking at the 10 skeletal "innovations" which Sereno 1999
> listed for ornithischians, and sure enough no. 10 is the pendant fourth
Just a word about the pendant fourth trochanter in Massospondylus.
George has used it as a possible synapomorphy between the Ornithischia
and Massospondylidae but it is only present in one individual of
Massospondylus! There are dozens of other femora all of which have the
typical non-pendant shape. No other members of the Massospondylidae
have one either (I include Lufengosaurus, Yunnanosaurus, Jinshanosaurus
and probably Coloradisaurus - there is an undescribed postcranial
skeleton of this guy). I think that the one specimen that does have it
is a pathologic individual (a bony lump growing on the ventral corner of
the 4th trochanter perhaps where the caudofemoralis had been torn off at
some point in its life).