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Re: the importance of Qianosuchus

Thanks to Tim for catching the persistent typos on the Hairy Museum writeup--it's more than a bit embarrassing to find out that I had misspelled the name for so long. I'll get the text corrected straight away, the name in the image will take a little longer.

I appreciate David's compliment about my line drawing, but I should caution against using my rough skeletal reconstruction to draw any detailed conclusions. While I strove to be as accurate as possible, it really is just the result of a few hours of tracing the bones from the photographs in the original paper and rearranging them in a somewhat-lifelike pose. It was intended primarily to show what is known and get across the proportions of the animal.

The photographs in the original description are quite good; I'd recommend those to anyone interested in the finer points of the anatomy of Qianosuchus. If anyone is interested in looking more closely at or modifying my reconstruction, I'd be happy to pass along my Illustrator file (after the long weekend).

Matt Celeskey

The Hairy Museum of Natural History

On Aug 30, 2007, at 11:34 PM, Tim Williams wrote:

David Peters wrote:

I ran across* Quianosuchus yesterday at the Hairy Museum of Paleontology and wondered what it was and why nobody had ever mentioned it before on the dino list.

They did. Search the DML archives for "_Qianosuchus_". This is one situation where correct spelling is important (Qianosauchus vs Quianosuchus).

_Qianosuchus_ (Middle Triassic) is an interesting critter in its own right, as it represents the earliest known archosaur (or archosauriform) that shows evidence of an amphibious lifestyle. _Qianosuchus_ might have had a lifestyle similar to modern saltwater crocodiles ("salties" as they're affectionately known). The authors who described it (Li et al., 2006; Naturwissenschaften 93:200-206) put it in the Crurotarsi - in other words, on the line leading to crocs, not the line that led to dinosaurs/birds.

With Quianosuchus, the lineage leading toward dinosaurs has just gotten bushier. And its nice to know that none of the metatarsals are reduced in diameter. That little fact has big implications for Irmis's so-called "dinosauromorphs."

How so?

Oh... hang on. Are you constructing phylogenies based solely on "key characters". Shame on you, Mr Peters! Tsk tsk.

More brewing.

Whatever it is you're imbibing, it's powerful stuff!



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