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Simon Clabby wrote...

> I was wondering if any of you knew if there was any
> other reference to Valdoraptor than this one;
> Mesozoic meanderings no. 2. (1st printing).
> Olshevsky, G.
> Published by the author, P.O.Box 16924, San Diego,
> CA,92176-6924 , i-iv, 1-196. (1991).

Firstly, there is lots of stuff on this taxon in the DML 
archives - have you checked this out? Anyway, at the risk of 
doing all your research for you...

I examined _Valdoraptor_ (holotype BMNH R2559) for my 
MPhil thesis and am due to publish on it (and other big 
Wealden Supergroup theropods) soon. Olshevsky's 1991 
volume _Mesozoic Meanderings 2_ is of course the place 
where the specimen was given a new generic name but there 
are several papers from the 1880s that discuss the specimen 
when it was _Megalosaurus oweni_ Lydekker 1889. 

The specimen was first described by Owen (1858) who 
regarded it as belonging to _Hylaeosaurus_ (note that to 
Owen, and also Hulke, it was 'no. 2556' [sic]). Owen's plate 
reverses the figure (in his text and labelling he clearly 
correctly recognised it as a left metatarsus) - this confused 
Lydekker (1889, 1890) who then asserted that the specimen 
must be a right metatarsus. Hulke (1881) was first to voice 
doubts about the hylaeosaurian identity and Lydekker 
(1888a, b, 1889, 1890a, b) then argued that it belonged to a 
theropod. Initially (1888a) he referred it to the tooth-based 
_Megalosaurus dunkeri_ but by 1889 he had noted that 
supposed _M. dunkeri_ metatarsals from Hastings were far 
more robust that those of R2559. He therefore argued that 
R2559 needed a new name and dubbed it _M. oweni_. 

During the 20th century von Huene made things even more 
confusing but I'd better stop there.

Olshevsky and some other authors have implied or 
suggested that R2559 belongs to an allosauroid. In true 
Holtzian fashion I'll have to say wait for the paper, but I 
could not find any reason to consider it anything other than 
Tetanurae indet. last time I thought it about much. As for 
whether it's valid: longish answer = wait for the paper, short 
answer = no.

> "That's how it all starts, with 'oohs' and 'aahs', but
> later there's barking, and biting..."

"I once punched a bloke in the face for saying Hawk the 
Slayer's rubbish.. but what I should have said was 'Ok Dad, 
let's give Krull a try, and we'll talk about it later'"

Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045