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RE: What group has the most work that needs to be done?



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Robert J. Schenck
> Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005 3:04 PM
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: What group has the most work that needs to be done?
>
>
> What group of dinosaurs has the most work that
> needs to be done on them, and how much of that
> need is based on lack of workers versus lack of
> specimins?
>
> For example, theropods receive a lot of
> attention, and there's been a lot of recent
> discoveries that seem to be shaking things up
> (just in the last year or so, let alone the crazy
> chinese feathered specimins from around the
> millenium).
>
> But what other groups can use a lot of work and
> show a lot of promise in your opinions?
> Hadrosaurs?  Prosauropods?  Armoured Dinosaurs in general?

Prosauropods are getting a good working over at SVP this year! There's a 
special symposium on there.

Hadrosaurs: I'd really like to see a good species-level analysis simultaneously 
using the North American and Asian forms (and the
stragglers elsewhere) from both "Hadrosaurinae" and Lambeosaurinae. Some recent 
papers have suggested that some or many of the
traditional "hadroaurines" may be closer to lambeosaurines than to such taxa as 
Edmontosaurus. And establishing the species-level
relationships of (among others) Edmontosaurus regalis, Anatosaurus annectens, 
Anatotitan copei, and Shantungosaurus giganteus (or is
it all Edmontosaurus?) or Hypacrosaurus altirhinus, Nipponosaurus (?= 
Hypacrosaurus) sachalinensis, Olorotitan arharensis,
"Hypacrosaurus" stebingeri, and Corythosaurus casuarius.

But I would say the BIG task that needs doing (and is being done, but at least 
two different workers) is testing the current
consensus (i.e., the Sereno 1986) relationships among Ornithischia as a whole. 
No longer are we stuck using single multi-taxon OTUs
because of the slow speed of the software and hardware; so let's start seeing 
the simultaneous analysis of 80 or 100 taxa and
hundreds of characters.

Are maginocephalians closer to Iguanodon than is Hypsilophodon? Maybe. Are the 
Middle Jurassic "hypsilophodontians" actually
ornithopods? Hard to say at present.

So if dino-phylogenetics is what you are after, this is probably the big 
frontier.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796