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*Variraptor*



  I am preparing the parts for the recent multi-part
post I'd mentioned previously, and the first section
will be ready to go out soon. My time is being taken
during the day primarily with getting bunches of stuff
gathered that have priority over my list-life :). The
following is after the dromaeosaurid part:

  Variraptor mechinorum
  However, the odd thing about this form is that while
the holotype may not be diagnostic, sensu Taquet and
Allain, there is diagnostic material refered to it,
including the cervical, that would have made better
sense if everything was associated ... but it wasn't.
The humerus and cervical vertebrae indicate an
advanced, eumaniraptoran theropod was present in the
French Var Valley, if not a dromaeosaurid. This form
can be provisionally referred to the polyphyletic
serial assemblage commonly referred to as "dinobirds,"
including velociraptorines, but the sacrum and dorsal
are only marginally diagnostic, though relatively
complete, and may be referred to Maniraptora or
Maniraptoriformes, but brevity of material and lack of
some diagnostic features suggests that if it was a
dromaeosaurid, it was a form basal to the
Velociraptorinae. Referred material does not compare
easily with *Pyroraptor*, but possible homology of the
two forms and all specimens may provide a single
taxon, if not two species of a single genus.

 -----

  Also as discussed elsehwere, the tibiotarsal
elements from Romania may pertain to a variety of
forms, but do not correspond to dromaeosaurid tibiae
or proximal tarsi; they do compare to troodontid or
mononykid tibiotarsi, and the former may be the more
parsimonious assignment.

  Fin,

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

  Dinosaurs are horrible, terrible creatures! Even the
  fluffy ones, the snuggle-up-at-night-with ones. You think
  they're fun and sweet, but watch out for that stray tail
  spike! Down, gaston, down, boy! No, not on top of Momma!

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