Enjoy this allusory introduction to a forthcoming post. While the news is out about this paper, and it’s “available,” the paper is unpublished and the version “available” is a proofed manuscript (containing various revision marks and formatting structure that I will not hold it as the “final” version — but is available from the Witmer Lab for free nonetheless, here).
Update: I was unaware that the final (as in identical to “print”) version of the online copy was available for free from Informaworld, and is here. (Like the link above, this is the actual pdf link, so click at your own peril — it may take time to load.) I’m still curious about waiting for the print copy (the “formal” version of the paper) to be published, although I suspect this is also the case.
This paper interests me for various reasons, not the least because I’ve discussed mini-tyrants before (here and here) as well as discussed “heterodonty” in tyrannosauroids (here), but because it brings the two subjects into one neat package (a juvenile with dentition that differs from that of the adult), and because this intersects with the debate over whether Bakker et al.’s Nanotyrannus lancensis is an appropriate monicker for the single skull described, or else it is a juvenile Tyrannosaurus bataar. The jury’s out because there is substantive argument on both sides (with Carr et al. arguing for ontogenetic work supporting synonymy, and Currie et al. arguing for morphologic distinction or lack of substantive reason for synonymy), and this new paper positions itself tentatively to one of those sides with ontogenetic inference backing it up. Fun stuff. We’ll get there when it’s published