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Re: Burpee Conference




On Tue, 20 Sep 2005 12:14:20 -0700 (PDT) Guy Leahy
<xrciseguy@prodigy.net> writes:
> Before the conference, I was leaning
> towards the "Nanotyrannus is a T. rex" hypothesis, but
> after the conference I have lept back on the fence as
> to whether Nanotyrannus is a juvenile T. rex or a
> juvenile of something else.

The big question is, if "Nanotyrannus" is a juvenile of some other taxon,
then why haven't we discovered any of its adults in the Hell Creek
Formation?  The H.C. Fm is one of the most "combed-over" formations in
the U.S. (as well as the world).  It has been picked over for over a
hundred years.

In their 1988 _Hunteria_ paper on "Nanotyrannus", Currie, Williams and
Bakker discussed whether "Nano"'s cranial sutures were, or were not,
fused.  IIRC, they claimed that the sutures were fused.  Since then, I
have read comments that suggest that there is still some question about
the degree of element fusion on the holotype's skull.  Any update
regarding this question?

The null hypothesis is that "Nano" parents occupied the same geographic
range as did their kids.  Migration or separation of the kids from the
adults are also viable ideas, but those scenarios involve more complexity
and therefore they are not as parsimonious ideas as are mingled adult and
juvenile populations.

Except for their shed teeth, which are more common that thought, the
skeletons of "Nanos" are rarer than pachycephalosaur skeletons (and
pachys are quite rare).

Nano nano,

<pb>
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