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Compsognathus (and Sinosauropteryx) hand



I seem to note three metacarpals on the right manus of the German 
*Compsognathus* (*C. longipes* and the type -- I do not assume *C. 
corallestris* is a valid species, but am open to the possibility). The 
first metacarpal is about two-thirds as long as the other two, the third 
which shortens only by a eighth or so. But the main point is that the 
third little metacarpal is just the same size as the second, and doesn't 
look like it's migrated up from the other hand; they are lying perfectly 
side-by-side, so I'm wondering here. This supports Greg Paul's 
third-finger restoration, and also the *Sinosauropteryx* "thumb". I, 
personally, do not believe compys had only two fingers.

On a related note, how does a phylogeny of the Compsognathidae, 
Ornitholestidae, and Coeluridae as sister taxa sound? Paraphyletic 
derivatives of the dinos related to some upstart paleodinosaur (to use 
Greg's term) that is in turn related to the Coelophysoidea. Well, I'm 
researching this, and I'd like some pointers in a few directions 
(without refering to a paper, which I lack the capability of accessing 
unless some people could start posting them or making a web-site for 
them . . . hint-hint).

Jaime A. Headden

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