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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 largest dinosaurs.

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.

Cheers

Tim

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