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Re: New Paper
Rahul Daryanani wrote:
I guess you're right. :-) Since A. fragillmus' bones are lost, we can only
compare Cope's old drawings with A. altus' remains. But Cope's drawings
were pretty detailed and good aren't they (unlike Bruhathkayosaurus'
drawings, LOL), so we could come to a more or less solid conclusion.
Yes, exactly. It's only because the original illustrations of _Amphicoelias
fragillimus_ are of such good quality that the species can be diagnosed,
despite the loss of the type material. The illustrations of
_Bruhathkayosaurus_ represent the opposite end of the spectrum.
Looks like Ken did that, meaning that if, a big if here, his theory is
correct, then A. altus is the well
'normal' species of Amphicoelias. That means that the giant 60 m one is an
abnormal species. If that's true, Amphicoelias isn't in the list of the
Ken was saying that _fragillimus_ is distinct enough from _altus_ (the type
species for _Amphicoelias_) to probably warrant its own genus. So you are
right: if _fragillimus_ is not included in _Amphicoelias_, then
_Amphicoelias_ is not on the list of the largest known dinosaurs (depending
on what is meant by "largest"). _A. altus_ is certainly impressive, but
it's not in the same league as _fragillimus_. Also, it should be remembered
that "largest" is a property of individuals, so the _fragillimus_ could be
an exceptionally large individual for its species. The sample size is not
great for either species. (A second specimen for _A. altus_ was mentioned
some time ago at SVP, but AFAIK it hasn't yet been described.)
What worries me is that some maverick taxonomist(s) may get wind of _A.
fragillimus_ being in a separate genus from _A. altus_, and take the
opportunity to unilaterally name a new sauropod genus. This kind of thing
has happened before. In the case of _fragillimus, this would be sad given
Ken's hard work.
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