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RE: Neovenatoridae and Megaraptora: now it can be told!
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> I have published (in Dinosauria II) my speculation that
> Rapator is a giant
> early alvarezsaurid. However, now that I have a cast of the
> specimen, and
> with the information of megaraptorans in hand (as it were),
> I reject my
> earlier speculation and much more strongly support Rapator
> as a basal
> tetanurine, possibly a megaraptoran.
Longrich and Currie (2008; the _Albertonykus_ paper) also poor cold water on
the idea that _Rapator_ is an alvarezsaur. Oh well. Given the size of the
element, _Rapator_ would have been quite a large alvarezsaur; but now it's just
a fairly average-sized megaraptoran.
The type material for _R. ornitholestoides_ is a solitary metacarpal (mc I),
which does not appear to be diagnostic at the species level. So the species is
presumably a nomen dubium. Therefore, although it is possible that
_Austalovenator_, _Rapator_, and _Walgettosuchus_ all represent the same
theropod species, there is fortunately no danger of _Australovenator_ (which is
based on good material) being sunk as a junior synonym of _Rapator_.