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comments on M.Taylor works

Sebastian Apesteguia writes:
 > Hi Mike,
 > I was reading some of the interesting works from your
 > web page, and I'd like to tell you 2 things:
 > 1. Nice work that of the english Tendaguru
 > brachiosaur!

Thanks, Sebastian!

 > If absence of hyps is real could be a
 > basal titanosaur, but anyway I think is not real,
 > casuse postzygs are too close, all the stuff looks
 > like compressed, and there is something still in the
 > hyposphene position.

I am guessing you're right: there is what might be called a
hyposphenal ridge running down from the medial line between the
postzygs, which could be where a hyposphene attached before being
broken off.  As you'll have noticed, I removed that slide from the
presentation -- you must have read past the end!

My problem here is that in both Brachiosaurus altithorax and
B. brancai, the hyposphenes are very solid objects and very much part
of the vertebra.  It's not easy to see how a hyposphene of those
proportions could break away from the vertebra and leave such a neat,
linear little residue.  Looking at this again, I am inclined to think
that the preserved osteology implies, at least, that the hyposphene of
the BMNH brachiosaur was much less substantial than that of either
B. altithorax or B. brancai.

(If anyone wonders what we're talking about, it's the last slide of

 > 2. I do not agree in your diplods work with Darren in:
 >  "the taxon Rebbachisauridae was not erected until
 > Bonaparte (1997). However, since this was only an
 > abstract, some sources (e.g., Upchurch et al. 2004)
 > have preferred to cite Sereno et al.'s (1999) use of
 > this name, and we follow this choice."
 > I think we should use: Rebbachisauridae Bonaparte 1997
 > sensu Sereno et al., 1999.
 > Yes, maybe this is only because I know Bona, but
 > besides that, I think is fair and correct.

I can't agree here.  Sereno et al. 1999 didn't provide any more of a
definition for Rebbachisauridae than Bonaparte 1997 did, so the use of
"sensu" would be misleading: they both used it in the same sense.  The
claim of Sereno et al. 1999 over Bonaparte 1997 is only that it was a
published and peer-reviewed paper whereas the latter was only an
abstract.  I don't think it can be good practice to cite abstracts for
the authorship of names (and Upchurch et al. 2004 obviously agreed!)

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "The process of being brought up, however well it is done,
         cannot fail to offend" -- C. S. Lewis.