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Madagascan flying raptor NOT Vorona
Just a reminder,
Many people (including a recent poster to the net) confuse Vorona with the
*as yet unnamed* Madagascan flying "raptor" ...er... dromaeosaur-like
bird/bird-like dromaeosaur. Unless Forster, Sampson, Chiappe, Krause &
Dodson have found some even more recent material to counter the following,
they are not the same.
Vorona berivotrensis (described in Forster, C.A., L.M. Chiappe, D.W. Krause
& S.D. Sampson. 1996. The first Cretaceous bird from Madagascar. Nature 382:
532-534) is known only from tibiotarsi, a tarsometatarsus, a fibula, and the
head of a femur. It is considered an ornithothoracine bird, part of a
unresolved trichotomy with Enantiornithes and the Patagopteryx-Ornithurae
The sickle-clawed form is not yet named, includes much more material
(forelimbs, relatively complete hindlimbs including digits, vertebral
column, pelvic girdle, etc.). It ain't the same animal as Vorona.
Sampson, S.D., C.A. Forster, D.W. Krause, P. Dodson & F. Ravoavy. 1996. New
dinosaur discoveries from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar: implications
for Gondwana Biogeography. Sixth North American Paleontological Convention
Abstracts of Papers. The Paleontological Society Special Publication No. 8.
"Discoveries of other previously unknown taxa include remains of a small
non-avian theropod and at least three taxa of avian theropods (i.e., birds),
the first skeletal remains from the Mesozoic of Gondwana outside of South
America, Australia, and Antarctica."
So, there's I) Vorona; II) the "flying raptor", shown in Natural History
last year and apparently on display at the Field Museum; and III) yet
another bird, not yet described.
So please, be careful when talking about the Madagascan birds. I have
already had to deal (as an editor) with at least one paper where the author
was convinced that Vorona was the "flying raptor". Apparently he got that
idea from the dinosaur list... :-(
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology Email:email@example.com
University of Maryland Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD 20742 Fax: 301-314-9661