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RE: more henpecking on 2008-beta WWD
Colin McHenry wrote:
> 'cos the big Oz Cretaceous theropods can't be tied to particular
> families? So far, they are known from scrappy material and good
> footprints, which provide palaeoecological data but are not particularly
> good for phylogenetics.
Too right! The scrappy nature also makes it exceedingly difficult to
reconstruct what any Australian theropod from the Mesozoic might have actually
looked like. The small Oz theropods are also tricky. _Timimus_ was initially
regarded as an ornithomimosaur; but the evidence is weak, and it's not clear
what it is (aside from a small, long-legged theropod). _Ozraptor_ and
_Kakuru_ may be abelisauroids, following Rauhut. There's some scrappy theropod
material regarded as coming from possible oviraptorosaurs and dromaeosaurs.
_Nanantius_ is an enantiornithean bird, but the avian material (from this and
other Aussie Cretaceous birds) is very incomplete.
The only non-avian Aussie theropod that can be classified with some degree of
confidence is the putative alvarezsaurid _Rapator_, based on a very distinctive
metacarpal. It may have been quite large by alvarezsaurid standards (or else
it's an average-sized alvarezsaurid with primitively large forelimbs). I have
no idea what the fairly large theropod tailbone named _Walgettosuchus_ belonged
to... apart from a fairly large theropod, that is. (_Walgettosuchus_ was once
referred to _Rapator_ - but I don't know by who, or why.)
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