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Re: Benton 1985, etc.



First of all, sorry!!! The paratype is a baby -- the holotype is not. My 
apologies. However, the holotype is still not fully adult: "In the adult 
specimen, bony epiphyses are preserved and most of them are already fused to 
the diaphyses." The olecranon process, for example, is not yet fused to the 
ulnar diaphysis.

Still, you can't take the lack of certain carpals literally. As Reynoso writes 
on p. 486: "The carpal elements [of the holotype] are badly preserved and 
cannot be described (figure 9). In the juvenile specimen the intermedium, 
fourth distal carpal, a structure that could be the ulnare or the fifth distal 
carpal, and another that could be the ulna[r] epiphysis or the pisiform, are 
preserved."

I wrote:

> > 4. posteriorly sharp quadratojugal making poor contact with quadrate
> 
> It doesn't have a quadratojugal at all.

I just checked again, just to be sure: it doesn't have any trace of a qj. There 
is a "posteriorly sharp" bone that makes "poor contact with the quadrate" in 
the skull reconstruction in lateral view (fig. 3b) and the drawing of the 
holotype skull (fig. 4) -- but that's the pterygoid.

> What does 15 mean? Unfused astragalocalcaneum? I bet *H.* doesn't have
> that, because the astragalocalcaneum fuses in squamates before it even
> chondrifies. I'll check.

Strange but true: "The astragalus and calcaneum are not fused but sutured in 
the juvenile specimen (figure 9c). The condition in the adult is unknown 
because the unusually enlarged fourth distal tarsal obscures the proximal 
tarsals." (p. 487) So *H.* has to be coded as "sutured or fused".

> > 20. Tail chevrons  are preserved parallel to centra. Was this their 
> > orientation in life?
> 
> I'll try to find out.

The chevrons are not preserved parallel to the centra, but at an angle of, 
like, 45° (fig. 2).

> > 21. Posterior tail attenuated.
>
> Can you quantify this?

It's not obvious from fig. 2, in any case.
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