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Re: Pygostyle

Tim Williams wrote:

<You could probably add _Caudipteryx_ to the list.>

  I could; however, given that an analysis explicitly
comparing *Caduipteryx* to oviraptorosauria and other
taxa outside of the general avian-mould, as was done
by Ji et al. (1998), has not been done, thus
suggesting placement, I am loathe to refer it. On my
pages, I have ovis and I have Caudi, but a page I have
not uploaded due to incompleteness and a lack of
references in hand to work from, would compare the two
along with some other taxa as "Possible
Oviraptorosaurs" -- it's been over a year in the
making, and I'm only now getting around to analyzing
this, as well as the other taxa now that I have most
of the papers I need.

<There's also possible oviraptorosaur from the
mid-Cretaceous of Australia and Brazil, and a caudal 
vertebra from the Morrison.>

  Actually, there is a more extensive list which will
be put on line, including specimens and provenance,
and some of these locations will surprise many. The
problem, though, I have with some of these new
specimens in not locality, but morphology: the sacrum
from the Santana (Martill and Frey, 1996) is poorly
preserved and only preserves a few oviraptorosaurian
synapomorphies, but lacks many others, and these taxen
as they are are diagnostic only for the
Maniraptoriformes (I will discuss this at some length
when the page pops up some time). The vertebrae are
certainly strange in their form, and may well be ovis,
as well as the odd jaw from Victoria (Currie, Rich,
and Vickers-Rich, 1994), but the cervical from
Argentina (Frankfurt and Chiappe, 1999) and the one
from the Morrison (Makovicky, 1997) almost certainly
do seem to offer oviraptorosaurian affinities, but
published work on oviraptorosaurian cervicals has only
been done on *Chirostenotes* (Currie and Russell,
1988; Sues, 1997) and *Microvenator* (Ostrom, 1970;
Makovicky and Sues, 1998; Sereno, pers. comm.),
limiting our knowledge of these in other, key,
oviraptorosaurs; work is now being done on
oviraptorids as well to publish on vertebral
morphology (Norell, pers. comm.; Clark, pers. comm.)
and hopefully this will aid in analyzing future
specimens. Until all this is done, work on explicit
comparisons to be published will have to wait.

  But yes, *Caudipteryx* does look like an
oviraptorosaur, at least a basal one, but it also
looks like a basal bird, and unless its both, which
would be something strange indeed because "true" ovis
are definately not avialian material ( :) ), its one
or the other, and such a study would have to take this
issue down.

Jaime "James" A. Headden

"Come the path that leads us to our fortune."

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