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FW: Thoughts on Eotyrannus

Darren asked me to forward the following...

From: Darren Naish [mailto:darren.naish@port.ac.uk]
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 7:50 AM
To: tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Subject: Thoughts on Eotyrannus

Hi Tom, just saw your write-up of the Burpee Symposium
on DML. Would you please fwd the following to the list on
my behalf? Thanks.


On the Burpee tyrannosaur conference, and specifically on
_Eotyrannus_, Tom wrote....

Stephen Hutt (glad I could finally meet him!) discussed the
history of Eotyrannus' discovery, the weirdness of the
anatomy (such as its non-tyrannosaurid like pneumatic
nasals), and the fact that he hadn't thought it was a
tyrannosauroid at first. He did mention he first wanted
to call it "Fusinasius", but was convinced otherwise by his
coauthors (there was at least one other proposed name, but
unless Hutt or one of his coauthors reveals it, I'm bound to
secrecy). New material continues to be discovered.

_Eotyrannus_ has (I think) more nomina nuda than any
other valid dinosaur: I wish Steve would be a little more
cautious on this matter. In addition to _Fusinasus_ Hutt,
2002, there is _Gavinosaurus_, _Lengosaurus_ and
_Kittysaurus_!! Note that it's _Fusinasus_, not
_Fusinasius_. Not exactly my favourite name - I hope
everyone agrees that _Eotyrannus_ is a tad better :) The
other name that Steve wanted to use has not, thankfully,
been published (to my knowledge), so in fear of the
possibility that it might 'do an Isle of Wight ornithocheirid'
and somehow leak out into the world of printed literature,
I'd rather not mention it here.

[TRH here--I happen to know it as a reviewer of an early incarnation of the 
manuscript. "Eotyrannus" is a MUCH better name! Now,
back to Darren:]

It was used however at a talk I
gave on _Eotyrannus_ some years ago, and if anyone asks
me personally I'd be happy to tell them. For the story on the
publication of _Fusinasus_ see...


Some of you will know that I just spoke about
_Eotyrannus_ at the 53rd SVPCA (held at the NHM on 7th-
9th September). Sorry, this year there is no chance I can do
a writeup, I've wasted too much time in recent months on
things unrelated to my phd (which is supposed to be
finished this month.. yeah right). However, dinosaur
highlights included Richard Butler on ornithischian
phylogeny; Paul Barrett et al. on _Agilisaurus_,
_Yandusaurus_ and _Xiaosaurus_ and where they go in the
ornithischian tree; Mike P. Taylor on the Archbishop, a
Tendaguru sauropod in the NHM collections long assumed
to be _Brachiosaurus brancai_ but actually not; Paul
Upchurch on a reappraisal of _Chinshakiangosaurus_ (no
longer a nomen dubium, as it is in _Dinosauria II_)....

... and Naish on _Eotyrannus_. The full details will be going
into the monograph, but _Eotyrannus_ is an odder animal
that first described, many assertions made in the 2001 paper
are wrong, the specimen is more complete than reported in
2001, and it was an 'autapomorphy-heavy' taxon, bristling
with unique strangeness. There is now a palatine and
surangular, an incomplete ulna and radius, and an ulna from
a probable adult (though 4.5 m long, the holotype is a
juvenile). The hands are in good shape and still shockingly
elongate (though no more so proportionally than those of
_Dilong_), ungual phalanges from digits I and II are known
(and III probably did have one), and it can now be shown
that the foot was not arctometatarsalian. The nasals,
dentaries and surangular are all heavily, heavily weird. A
new reconstruction was provided: the old one (published in
_Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight_, _Dinosauria II_ and
elsewhere_) is horribly wrong in most respects.

A novel analysis found a more or less standard
tyrannosauroid tree BUT with _Tanycolagreus_ as the most
basal tyrannosauroid, then an _Aviatyrannis_-_Dilong_
clade (don't ask me how that happened), then
_Dryptosaurus_, _Appalachiosaurus_ and Tyrannosauridae.

[TRH again: Hey! I like the sound of THAT!! :-)  Back again to Darren:]

_Eotyrannus_ hopped around in MPTs between either
_Tanycolagreus_ and the _Aviatyrannis_-_Dilong_ clade,
or between the _Aviatyrannis_-_Dilong_ clade and
_Dryptosaurus_. Lots of new data seems to strengthen the
position of _Eotyrannus_ within Tyrannosauroidea.

I'd be interesting in knowing how this stuff compares to
what Steve said at the Burpee meeting. At the risk of
sounding horribly arrogant, I'm also curious to know why I
wasn't invited to talk, if they wanted someone to do
_Eotyrannus_. Then again, he is first author on the 2001
paper. Oh well.

Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Burnaby Building, Burnaby Rd
University of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
[send large attachments to: eotyrannus@gmail.com]
tel: 023 92846045

                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