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Re: Reflections on Recent "Dromaeosaurs"



  I'm running through my back list of mail, like this
one from the beginning of last month! Sorry, Tim...

I wrote:

<<I feel the avian character of the coracoid and the
frontals being more "swollen" than in velociraptorines
like *Saurornitholestes*>>

and Tim Williams wrote:

<How do you mean "swollen"? To me, the frontals of
_Bambiraptor_look identical to those of
_Saurornitholestes_, at least in dorsal view.
(Comparing Sues (1978) and Burnham et al. (2000).)>

  For starters, my use of the term "swollen" follows
that the slightly elevated frontal midline as seen in
most tetanurines is "normal" for these animals; some
taxa, such as *Avimimus*, birds, *Archaeopteryx* [a
bird? A bird! Whatever...], oviraptorids,
*Erlikosaurus* have frontals more prominently elevated
over the dorsal rim of the orbit, most extremely in
*Avimimus*, Archie, and birds, and also *Bambiraptor*.
Comparing the lateral aspeces of these,
*Bambiraptor*'s frontals more closely resemble
Archie's, though the dorsal aspect, as you suggest,
may resemble more to *Saurornitholestes*; there is an
elongate intraorbital region as in the two forms
without rostral widening, or significantly anyway, and
this shows that, as I placed it in my tree, possibly a
plesiomorph altered in larger forms (eg,
*Deinonychus*). I do seem to put my foot forward the
line that dromaeosaurids, as conventionally-known, are
polyphyletic. 

=====
Jaime "James" A. Headden

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

Qilong---is temporarily out of service.
Check back soon.

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