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Re: Nedoceratops

Mike Keesey wrote:

> > Well....not quite a ceratopsian I guess...
> That meaning doesn't make sense -- it's certainly a ceratopsian... 

My understanding is that in Russian the prefix "nedo-" is used in the same 
context as we English-speakers use "under-" (e.g., underfeed, underdone, 
underestimate, etc).  

> "not quite three horned face"). Maybe that's what the author was
> attempting. 

I think so too, yes.  I suspect that Ukrainsky had _Triceratops_ very much in 
mind - either specifically, or with _Triceratops_ representing an 'apex' of 
ceratopsian evolution.  So the name _Nedoceratops_ is probably intended to mean 
"not quite _Triceratops_" or "not quite at the _Triceratops_ stage of 
evolution" rather than "not quite ceratopsian".

Lambe named _Eoceratops_ in much the same vein.  Lambe intended the name 
_Eoceratops_ to mean "ancestral to _Triceratops_".  To quote Lambe fully: "It 
is thought, as the name for the genus suggests, the _Eoceratops_ was a form 
ancestral to _Triceratops_, representing an evolutionary stage of the 
Ceratopsia leading to the later and culminative types (_Triceratops_ and 
_Diceratops_) with immense browhorns".   

So Lambe's meaning of _Eoceratops_ is much the same as that of _Eotriceratops_ 
("early member of the _Triceratops_ group") and (perhaps) for Ukrainsky's 
_Nedoceratops_ (?"not quite _Triceratops_"), rather than "early ceratopsian" or 
"early neoceratopsian" (e.g., _Auroraceratops_).  

> That meaning would work if it were a basal marginocephalian, like
> _Micropachycephalosauurs_ or _Stenopelix_,

_Micropachycephalosaurus_ is a basal marginocephalian?  That would make sense, 
given its morphology; but the most recent study I know of (Butler & Zhao, 2008) 
could not resolve _Micropachycephalosaurus_ beyond "Cerapoda incertae sedis".  
Interestingly, Zhiming Dong described skull fragments for 
_Micropachycephalosaurus_ which showed that the skull roof was thickened in 
pachycephalosaurian fashion.  These particular fragments could not be located 
by Butler & Zhao (2008).  So there are two possibilities: these 
pachycephalosaur-like skull roof fragments never existed (although it's hard to 
believe Dong could be so wrong on this point); or these skull fragments did 
exist, and were misplaced.  Only new material can resolve this one.