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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"Coelurosaurs" include *Coelophysis* (yes, yes, outdated by a far margin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information on *Troodon* itself as a theropod would not be published until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


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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