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Re: *Oviraptor*

Tim Williams wrote-

>These could be just oddball members of well-known lineages.  _Itemirus_ is
>possibly either a weird dromaeosaur or a weird tyrannosaur (and perhaps
>related to _Stokesosaurus_).  _Ricardoestesia_ could be a weird
>although I have wondered if it could be some kind of wacky bird.
>_Bagaraatan_ though seems to represent a unique lineage of Late Cretaceous
>small-ish Asian theropod, and _Shanshanosaurus_ might as well.

Although some evidence suggests that Itemirus is closely related to
Stokesosaurus, other details of the braincase (amount of pneumatization,
etc.) are completely different and the similarities could be due to the
paucity of well decribed theropod braincases rather than close phylogenetic
relationship.  A rediscription is certainly needed.

Why do you think Ricardoestesia is maniraptoran?  Every feature of
Ricardoestesia I know of is annoyingly plesiomorphic.  But I do agree, it is
either a unique lineage of theropod or related to something currently
without a head (perhaps a coeluroid like Nedcolbertia or even a

Bagaraatan is a . . . weird coelurosaur.  It will be interesting to see
where it shows up in my analysis.

Finally, Shanshanosaurus is probably a primitive tyrannosaur, like
Aublysodon/Stygivenator and Alectrosaurus.  All of these are separate OTU's
in my analysis, so their relationship to tyrannosaurs will be tested.  Of
course, a better description of Shanshanosaurus would be nice as well!

Mickey Mortimer