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On diagnosing _Tyrannosaurus_



Since HP Chris Brochu isn't back on the list (yet?), I brought to his
attention some of the current discussion about the diagnosis of
_Tyrannosaurus_.  (Yeah, we know, Tom... "he's dead, Jim").

Chris wrote (first quoting George):

   >Well, I certainly accepted these three taxa(!). I should also point out that
   >even the genus Tyrannosaurus hasn't yet been given a good diagnosis, 
although
   >I'm pretty certain people are working on the problem. Right now, its
   >diagnosis seems to be "big tyrannosaurid from the Maastrichtian of North
   >America." At least, any dinosaur that presently satisfies these criteria is
   >automatically and uncritically referred to the genus Tyrannosaurus (indeed,
   >to the species T. rex).

   If you are correct about the current diagnosis for T. rex, one is left to
   wonder how anyone could conclude that Nanotyrannus or Aublysodon molnari
   are junior synonyms; after all, these are not themselves large
   tyrannosaurids.  I seem to  recall seeing several diagnostic features of T.
   rex while working on Sue.  I'll leave it for Tom Holtz to ennumerate them.

   chris

   ------------------------
   Christopher A. Brochu
   Assistant Professor
   Department of Geoscience
   University of Iowa
   Iowa City, IA 52242

   christopher-brochu@uiowa.edu
   319-353-1808 phone
   319-335-1821 fax

------- end forwarded message --

-- 
Mickey Rowe     (rowe@psych.ucsb.edu)