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Re: Oops (was Re: Raptor Red and Heyday Of The Giants)



> Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2005 13:48:31 -0600
> From: Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
> 
> Oops.  This was message was supposed to go to Mike off-list, but I
> sent it to the DML by mistake.  My apologies to Mike (and everybody
> else).  It doesn't contain anything too opinionated or offensive on
> my part - unlike the majority of my off-list messages (and many of
> my on-list ones).

... looks like I didn't say anything I should have, either :-)

> It's nice to see a DML thread swing toward sauropods, instead of
> being devoted to those groups that sauropods liked to step on....
> ;-)

Yes indeed.  The other day I happened to have cause to mention to
paraphyletic group of non-sauropod biots, and I wondered whether a
name could be made for it.  Now I realise that the correct answer is
to formulate "things that sauropods stepped on" in Latin :-)

>> I now feel that -poseidon should become the default prefix for
>> brachiosaurids, just as -mimus is for ornithomimids, -pelta is a
>> ankylosaurs, etc.
> 
> I'm not sure about the "Poseidon" suffix.  Firstly, I like "Titan"
> better as a suffix (_Giraffatitan_, _Lusititan_, _Gondwanatitan_,
> _Gobititan_, etc).

That's good for titanosaurs; but surely God's own clade deserves its
own conventional suffix?  :-)

>>  > [...] - like _Borealosaurus_.
>> 
>> I would consider that a fine example of a specimen that should
>> _not_ have been named.
> 
> The type material of _Borealosaurus_ does have one unique character:
> the middle caudal has an opisthocoelous centrum.  No other sauropod
> has this; even the strong opisthocoely of _Opisthocoelicaudia_'s
> caudals peter out by the middle of the tail.

But we now know that caudals from a single individual titanosaur's
tail can exhibit a huge variety of morphologies: here I am thinking of
the specimen DGM 497-R, briefly described in:

        TROTTA, M. N. F.; CAMPOS, D. A. & KELLNER,
        A. W. A. 2002. Unusual caudal vertebral central of a
        titanosaurid (Dinosauria, Sauropoda) from the
        continental Upper Cretaceous of Brazil. Boletim do
        Museu Nacional, Geologia, 1-11.

(and, IIRC, subsequently named, but I don't remember what as.)

If there was every any justification for naming isolated eroded
titanosaur caudals, it has surely evaporated in the light of this
specimen.

 _/|_    _______________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor  <mike@indexdata.com>  http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
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