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Re: Deltadromeus teeth

ackolbert@aol.com wrote:

<So, do you think the arguement goes like, its Morracan, its a raptor,
therefore it must be D. agilis?  I believe what is know about D. agilis is that
its a big abelisaur.  You don't need to be a paleontologist to know that a 25+
ft therapod doesn't have teeth the size of a dime. Have any smaller raptors
been found in Kem-Kem that might explain all these little teeth?>

  It is impossible to tell anyone what the teeth found in the deserts of
Northern Africa belong to so long as there are no jaws with those teeth
associated with postcranial remains that are identical to known bones. Without
that information, we are left with isolated teeth, hunches, guesses, maybes,
and the uncertainty that there may be many, many unknown theropods left to find
in the regions where mostly only teeth are known (Tunisia, Algeria, the
non-Kem-Kem/Tafilalt of Morocco, Egypt, etc.).

  On that note, it is also unknown right now, or rather unresolved, as to what,
exactly, *Deltadromeus* IS. There has been speculation on that some bones found
in the 1910's in Egypt and described by von Stromer in 1934 are, in fact,
belonging to *Deltadromeus* (as discussed by Sereno et al., 1996).
Additionally, the use of the term "raptor" when applied to any dinosaur has, at
least in the media, become ambiguous, since given the size and anatomy of
*Deltadromeus*, it becomes very similar to a tyrannosaur-like description. Is
*Tyrannosaurus* a "raptor"? The term raptor in Ornithology refers to a
predatory bird, such as a hawk or an owl, while in dinosuar terms, a small
birdy dinosaur such as the first "raptors", *Oviraptor* and *Velociraptor*
(both originally described in 1924), utilizing the Greek meaning of the word
"one who snatches/seizes [with the hands?]."


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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