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Re: Cooper's Thesis



A possible clue as to why Cooper regarded *Troodon* as an ornithischian,
or as a pachycephalosaur indeed, lies with Norman's popular book, _the
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs,_ a volume that espouses that
"Coelurosaurs" include *Coelophysis* (yes, yes, outdated by a far margin
by today), and the the classic concepting of "Carnosaurs" included
*Spinosaurus* and *Ceratosaurus* [were the "ceratosaurs," nothing but a
hodge-podge of various small (coelurosaurian) and large (carnosaurian)
theropods?]. In this volume, Pachycephalosauria is used to include, rather
incredulously, *Troodon formosus* as a "dubious" name connected with
*Stegoceras.* In addition, the figures illustrating the type tooth of
*Troodon* are accompanied by illustrations of teeth of *Saurornithoides
junior,* listed in the book under the Saurornithoididae as theropods. No
where on the two page coverage for the "saurornithoidids" is the name
*Troodon* given.

  The book was originally published in 1985 by Salamander Books, and has
since been reprinted about 3-4 times, including by Crescent and
Barnes&Noble Books, promoting the classic information. Now, at the time
that this book was printed, common knowledge and arguments for the
identity of *Troodon* were limited. In fact, the most concise telling of
information on *Troodon* itself as a theropod would not be published until
1988, when Currie formally synonymized *Stenonychosaurus* and *Troodon,*
and the last major treatement of *Troodon* itself prior to Norman's book
coming out was L. S. Russell's 1948 paper, so it had been a while. Why no
revisions had been done to the reprinting, I don't know. Norman in 1990
accepted these revisions with a better treatment of "Coelurosaurs" in _the
Dinosauria_ (1st ed.), but it seems that Cooper neither cites Norman nor
Russell's 1948 publication. However, what work she DOES cite would seem to
offer no aspect on treating *Troodon* as a theropod (which even Russell
did in 1948), so Norman was the only hold out until 1985, when Currie and
Russell would together begin revising the Dinosaur Provincial Park
theropods.

  Cheers,

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


                
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