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RE: Burpee Conference
For what it's worth:
The conference was really good for the first day (the only day I was there),
and a lot of new data were presented. Pete Larson did a great job
summarizing all the morphological features that differ between "Jane" and
adult T. rex. So did Phil Currie and Jorn Hurum. I came away pretty damned
convinced that "Jane" is at least as different from Tarbosaurus and
Tyrannosaurus as is Daspletosaurus. Continuing to try to force-fit it into
the Tyrannosaurus mold seems to be a bit myopic at this stage in the game
(now that spectacular postcranial material is at hand). Interestingly,
several talks backed away from the conclusions presented in their associated
abstracts (namely that Nanotyrannus is a juvenile T. rex) and made a
stronger case for treating Nanotyrannus as at least a seperate species and
possibly a separate genus. Tom Carr's own efforts showed that Nanotyrannus
is basalmost of the Tyrannosaurinae...so he resorted to a 50% majority rule
consensus to try to force it back into the Tyrannosaurus end of
things...seemed a bit sketchy to me considering that his Albertosaurinae
specimens all seemed to group more tightly with their supposed adults, but
hey...what can you do? Overall, the papers resulting from this meeting
should be pretty good and I hope the volume comes out soon.
Now everyone get out there and let's find some more fossils!!!!!
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