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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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