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RE: Neovenatoridae and Megaraptora: now it can be told!

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. <tholtz@umd.edu> 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_.