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Re: Sinosauropteryx bones?

At 09:01 AM 10/21/98 -0400, Larry Febo wrote:
>I`ve recently been checking into these more recent Laioning
>fossils.I`ve searched a few times on the web for a good picture (or drawing)
>of a Sinosauropteryx skeleton...and found nada.

That surprises me: photos of the critter have been published since 1995.

>Has anyone drawn one as yet?
>I was wondering how closely it compares to Archaeopteryx ?

It's a small coelurosaur, so it compares better to Archie than to, say,
_Triceratops_.  Still, it isn't that similar.

>It is a

Yes.  It shares several unique features with _Compsognathus_ proper.

>If so, it`s probably very close, but being from
>somewhat later strata (by 5-10 my?), does it appear more as a modern avian
>(in skull details at least?).

No, nor should it.  Compsognathids branched from the line leading to birds
at least by the Late Jurassic, possibly by the Early Jurassic (if the Lufeng
therizinosauroid IS a therizinosauroid), and maybe even earlier than that.
We shouldn't expect it to be any more bird-like than _Compsognathus_ than we
should expect _T. rex_ to be more bird-like than _Gorgosaurus_, just because
_T. rex_ is later in time.

>Can anyone direct me to a skeletal diagram and/or list of synapomorphies?

Check the Dinofest websites (www.dinofest.org?) for photos (I think they
have some on there). The most important paper so far on the beast is:

Chen P.-J., Dong Z.-M. & Zhen S.-N.  1998.  An exceptionally well-preserved
theropod dinosaur from the Yixian Formation of China. Nature 391:147-152.

Hope this helps.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist     Webpage: http://www.geol.umd.edu
Dept. of Geology              Email:tholtz@geol.umd.edu
University of Maryland        Phone:301-405-4084
College Park, MD  20742       Fax:  301-314-9661