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Showing posts from March, 2016

Hind limb proportions do not support the validity of Nanotyrannus

While it was not the main focus of their paper, Persons and Currie (2016), in a recent paper in Scientific Reports hinted at the possibility of Nanotyrannus lancensis being a valid taxon distinct from Tyrannosaurus rex, using deviations from a regression model of lower leg length on femur length.

Similar to encephalisation quotients, Persons and Currie devised a score (cursorial-limb-proportion; CLP) based on the difference between the observed lower leg length and the predicted lower leg length (from a regression model) expressed as a percentage of the observed value. The idea behind this is pretty simple in that if the observed lower leg length value is higher than that predicted for its size (femur length), then that taxon gets a high CLP score. I don't particularly like this sort of data characterisation (a straightforward regression [albeit with phylogeny, e.g. pGLS] would do the job well), but nonetheless, Persons and Currie found that when applied to Nanotyrannus, its CLP s…