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Re: New ankylosaurid: Minotaurasaurus ramachandrani

Dan Chure wrote:

<This is written in the past tense.  Is the specimen no longer at the Victor 
Valley Museum?  The complete institutional name is Victor Valley Museum and Art 
Gallery. I checked the website and there is no mention of the Minotaurasaurus 
skull or dinosaurs for that matter.

The specimen number for the type is  INBR21004.  There is no list of acronyms 
given in the paper.  Does anyone have an idea what institution this refers to?>

  The material is on display there, and a cast of it at Gaston Design, as 
*Saichania chulsanensis*. 

  As a further note, although I do not wish to raise too much hubbub, was that 
the material was purchased from a dealer, apparently from the Gobi, and if this 
is anthing related to *Saichania* or it IS *Saichania*, then it's from Mongolia 
(or China) and was likely acquired by the dealer illicitly. 

  With unknown provenance, and incomplete CT data, it is hard to ackowledge 
distinction here between the two taxa. For example, a difference noted between 
the two taxa is the orientation of the pterygoids, horizontal for this skull 
and vertical for *Saichania*. To my understanding, nearly vertical is the 
natural condition for ankylosaur pterygoids, for mechanical reasons, and any 
orientation differences should be suspected as distortion, although the authors 
claim the lack of such.  Otherwise, the cranial architechture, details of the 
narial region, the shape of the premaxilla and jugal "horns" as well as the 
superficial regions of the dorsal cranium, imply that this is a distorted or 
modified *Saichania chulsanensis*.


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)