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RE: Burpee Conference

> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Phil Bigelow
> 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?

If the two morphotypes (Tyrannosaurus rex and "T. X", both of which show robust 
and gracile morphs) are distinct species, it might
be that one or the other is the adult Nano (iff Nano is indeed not T. rex). 
However, neither rex nor the supposed "X" show the
quadratojugal foramen or the notches in the dorsal quadratojugal that are in 
Jane and the Cleveland skull.

> 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?

Yes: as established by Carr (1999), they are not fused.

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

Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796