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RE: Megalosaurids

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> StephanPickering@cs.com
>      Since there appears to be some confusion about Megalosaurus, a
> clarification is in order:


>      Kleptotype same individual as OUM J13505 [I cannot stress
> this enough:
> Buckland was describing a partial skeleton of one individual,
> confirmed by
> Sam Welles's detailed examinations of each specimen, including
> measuring and
> photographing; to restrict the Buckland name to the rostral right
> dentary is
> an error]

I really, really, really, really, really wish we could be confident about
this.  But, unfortunately, we cannot.  Field techniques back in Buckland's
day were (not surprisingly) extremely primitive: no quarry map exists,
orientations of bones were not taken, etc.

Furthermore, much as I respect Welles' work, without another more complete
specimen (and better yet, set of specimens, in order to set up an allometric
curve) against which to plot measurements, we don't know that the elements
form Stonesfield really DO correspond to the proportions of one single
individual.  This is the problem with disarticulated fossils, but one we
have to recognize.  It is not unlikley that much of the Stonesfield
specimens do belong to a single individual; however, this cannot be
confirmed at present.

As such, restricting the Buckland name to the right dentary is the correct
thing to do.

Incidentally, the next few issues of JVP will reveal some REALLY significant
papers re: basal tetanurines...

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796