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BENEVENTO THEROPOD



_Darren naish_ wrote:
<<I'm unaware of an Italian _Compsognathus_-like fossil. Might you be
referring
to the Benevento animal? This appears to be a dromaeosaurid, and was treated
as such by its describers (go to my post AMAZING NEW TINY THEROPOD at
http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1995Dec/0811.html - citation for the
paper is there if you want it). But, interestingly, someone (Dave Lambert I
think) has pencilled 'New ?compsognathid from Italy' on my copy.>>

I too have the paper that Darren speaks of*, and I am extremely doubtful that
this thing is a compsognathid.  Unfortunately, mine is about a 17th hand copy
and the figure with the full body photo is unbelievably blury, so it is not
possible to discern the position or shape of the pubis, or the details of the
feet from my copy.  The close-up of the skull shows something very short,
tall and triangular, similar to the baby cf Velociraptor skull fragments
found by the AMNH team recently.  There is a reconstruction of the entire
animal and the authors (or illustrator) seem to indicate that it is
opisthopubic (to some extent) and has a hyperextendable pedal digit 2, thus
probably a dromaeosaur or basal paravian.

Throughout the paper, the authors compair the new skeleton to _Velociraptor_,
however they include this as the last sentance in the discription section:

". . . rappresentare una famiglia, un genere, e una specie completemente
nuovi per la scienza."

[represents a family, genus, and species completely new to science]

So, perhaps, it isn't a dromaeosaur after all, but from all appearances it is

Peter Buchholz
Tetanurae@aol.com

"Definately not Swedish."
----------------------------------------------------
*Leonardi, G, and Teruzzi, G.  1993.  Prima segnalazione scheletro fossile di
dinosauro (Theropoda, Coelurosauria) in Italia (Cretacico di Pietraroia,
Benevento).  Paleocranachie I:7-14. (In Italian)