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New review paper of tyrannosaur paleobiology in Science, with new phylogeny


Brusatte, S.L., M.A. Norell, T.D. Carr, G.M. Erickson, J.R. Hutchinson, A.M.
Balanoff, G.S. Bever, J.N. Choiniere, P.J. Makovicky, & X. Xu. 2010. Review:
Tyrannosaur Paleobiology: New Research on Ancient Exemplar Organisms.
Science 329: 1481-1485.

Tyrannosaurs, the group of dinosaurian carnivores that includes
Tyrannosaurus rex and its closest relatives, are icons of prehistory. They
are also the most intensively studied extinct dinosaurs, and thanks to large
sample sizes and an influx of new discoveries, have become ancient exemplar
organisms used to study many themes in vertebrate paleontology. A phylogeny
that includes recently described species shows that tyrannosaurs originated
by the Middle Jurassic but remained mostly small and ecologically marginal
until the latest Cretaceous. Anatomical, biomechanical, and histological
studies of T. rex and other derived tyrannosaurs show that large
tyrannosaurs could not run rapidly, were capable of crushing bite forces,
had accelerated growth rates and keen senses, and underwent pronounced
changes during ontogeny. The biology and evolutionary history of
tyrannosaurs provide a foundation for comparison with other dinosaurs and
living organisms.


A review paper, not new research as such. But Brusatte & Carr have pooled
their resources to produce a new phylogeny:

|  |--Kileskus
|  `--+--Proceratosaurus
|     `--+--Guanlong
|        `--Sinotyrannus
      |  `--Stokesosaurus
                        |  |--Albertosaurus
                        |  `--Gorgosaurus
                           `--+--Utah taxon

Congrats, folks!

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA