Happily for me I have been contacted by several colleagues in the wake of my last post pointing me to the specimens and papers that I’d either missed or have come out too recently for me to have included in the tails paper. More happily still a couple of them are really interesting and so worth sticking up here. Remember that I’d been scaling the length of the tail against the femur as a proxy for body size with most values being around 3-4 (i.e. the tail was 3 or 4 times the length of the femur) with the very shortest clocking in at just 1.2 or 1.3 and the highest at 8.8.
First off, Jordan Mallon pointed me to a paper of his describing a chasmosaurine with a complete tail that clocks in at just 1.9. The next lowest value I had for any ceratopsid was 2.8 so this is a quite a big drop and this is the same as Nomingia which I think is fair to call a very short-tailed oviraptorosaur. So there’s at least one more shorty out there.
I’ve also been mailed by Matthew Herne who’s working on Leaellynasaura and given me permission to publish this nugget of data here before his full description makes it into the literature. Now Leaellynasaura did get a mention in the paper as being a possible outlier with a long tail based on an SVP abstract by Matthew, but obviously without the actual data I had no idea just how low this might be. Well, as I say, he’s mailed in the result and it’s a truly whopping 12.4! It’s tail was more than 12 times the length of it’s femur. Wow.