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Re: When carnivores kill other carnivores... (Morrison movie questions)



Sean Craven wrote-

1) Is Saurophaganax a distinct species, or is it just a very large Allosaur of another species? (And under what circumstances do you capitalize the name of a species?)

Yes, it's a distinct species- Saurophaganax maximus. Whether you believe it should be kept in its own genus, or placed into Allosaurus (as Allosaurus maximus), is subjective.
Species names are never capitalized.


2) Huh. So there's a giant Ceratosaurus in the Morrison formation. Would it get to be as large as the one that seems to have been present in the Tendaguru? (And for that matter, how reasonable would it be to use species from the Tendaguru formation in a Morrison setting?)

The holotype of Ceratosaurus dentisulcatus is larger than the holotype of C. nasicornis, but ~6.7 meters is hardly giant. The Tendaguru specimens seem to indicate larger individuals (Ceratosaurus? roechlingi - ~9.3 meters).
It's probably not reasonable at all to use Tendaguru species in a Morrison setting, as even when the same genus is present, different species are identified from each formation-
Morrison- Elaphrosaurus "philtippettorum", Ceratosaurus nasicornis/magnicornis/dentisulcatus, Barosaurus lentus, Brachiosaurus altithorax, Dryosaurus altus.
Tendaguru- Elaphrosaurus bambergi, Ceratosaurus roechlingi/ingens, Barosaurus africanus, Brachiosaurus brancai, Dryosaurus lettowvorbecki.
In addition, the Tendaguru Ceratosaurus and Morrison Elaphrosaurus are too poorly known to really tell if they are congeneric with their counterparts, while the other Tendaguru species have been given their own genera at times (Tornieria africanus, Giraffatitan brancai, Dysalotosaurus lettowvorbecki).


3) At this point, is it possible to reconstruct Torvosaurus with any degree of accuracy, and if so, where would I look for skeletal diagrams, etc?

Yes, plenty is known of Torvosaurus. Paul's (1988) skeletal reconstruction is online here-
http://www.palaeos.com/Vertebrates/Units/340Theropoda/Images/340.102.gif
Photographs of a mounted skeleton can be found via Google image.


4) How reasonable is it to use Acrocanthosaurus or a similar species in a Morrison setting?

Not very. While carcharodontosaurids should have existed in the Late Jurassic, none have been found yet.


Mickey Mortimer