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Re: Cooper's Thesis

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 18:37:18 -0700 (PDT) "Jaime A. Headden"
<qilongia@yahoo.com> writes:
> 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 "Coelurosaurs" include *Coelophysis* (yes, yes, outdated by a far 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 information on *Troodon* itself as a theropod would not be published 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.

John Horner talks about the early confusion about Troodon in his pop book
_Digging Dinosaurs_.
Horner, J. and Gorman. 1988.  Digging Dinosaurs. Workman Press.

Regarding Cooper's thesis, the first thing that came to my mind was the
question:  "Where was her thesis committee???"  It seems they dropped the
ball.  I don't know about other schools, but at my old alma mater a
committee of three profs reads both the rough drafts and the final
Masters thesis draft, and only then is the work okayed for a verbal
defense in front of a large audience.  At some point in the process, most
of this stuff should have been caught by others.


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