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Re: oldest T.rex ancestor found

Why, Oh Why, do people feel the need to make such vague or undefined statements 
to reporters...

"identified dinosaur has become the oldest known relative of the fierce 
meat-eater, Tyrannosaurus rex"

Well.... coelophisis, being a theropod is a relative of T-rex.
Likewise Herrasaurus is a relative of T-Rex, as is any early archosaur, or any 
stem tetrapod.... or stem vertebrate... I can go on back to the first cell...

Everything is at least a very distant relative to everything else (accepting 
that the three major domains of life, Archaea, Bactera, and Eukaryotes share an 
origin, although some suggest that 1 of these groups had a separate origin from 
pre-biotic chemistry, or at least a separate origin from the "RNA world", but I 
don't agree, and I'm digressing.

"We can say conclusively it's the earliest representative of the line of 
evolution that led to Tyrannosaurus"

You can't say anything conclusively until you define what you mean by the "line 
of evolution that led to T-Rex)

After all, a tetrapod led to T-Rex...... and thus a stem tetrapod is part of 
that line of evolution that lead there.

What they probably really mean is it was part of the line that lead to T-Rex, 
but not a line that lead to any of the other well known dinosaur groups, unlike 
some reptile in the Permian that lead to T-rex, and EVERY other dinosaur.

But of course its highly likely this new relative of T-Rex lead to species that 
were not Tyrannosaurs at all, we just haven't found what it did lead to.

You can always find another "oldest XXXX" if you make the definition of XXXX 
inclusive enough.

--- On Wed, 11/4/09, Ian Paulsen <birdbooker@zipcon.net> wrote:

> From: Ian Paulsen <birdbooker@zipcon.net>
> Subject: oldest T.rex ancestor found
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Cc: vrtpaleo@usc.edu
> Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 10:35 AM
> HI:
>  FYI:
> http://www.livescience.com/animals/091103-trex-relative.html
> -- 
> Ian Paulsen
> Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
> " Which just goes to show that a
>   passion for books is extremely unhea