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Re: Early Birds

>During discussions on Early birds no one even mentions Protoavis. Now I 
>know that most vertebrate palaeontologists have been skeptical of 
>Sankar's elaborate reconstructions based on what is probably a small 
>fluvial accumulation of bones from several differant taxa. However in 
>amongst the collection are some very puzzling pieces, including what for 
>all the world looks like an arctometatarsalian metatarsus (comments Tom?). 

I haven't seen it yet, and that is very puzzling.  By the way, Ostrom
suggested the term 'arctometatarsus' for a metatarsus demonstrating the
arctometatarsalian condition.  I like it, so I'm using it.  (Also, George
Olshevsky has coined "arctometatarsality", but in Japanese, it just came out
as "arctometatarsal-Kanji" (whatever that kanji was).

>Also has any one seen the Shuvosaurus
>skull? needless to say the presence of derived coelurosaurs (which 
>otherwise appear to be products of a Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous 
>radiation) in the Late Triassic,  is hard to swallow.    

I have not seem the Shuvosaurus skull in person.  The fact that the Late
Triassic is the peak of archosaurian diversity (less the dinosaurs, at
least) may have something to do with strange, coelurosaur-like material
appearing in the Dockum.  All the Dockum theropod postcrania I have seen
looks very "coelophysoidy" to me.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
College Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661