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RE: Coelophysis' furcula (was Re: Suchomimus' forcula)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of
> Dino Ralph and the Lady
>
> Concerning _Coelophysis_' furcula:
>
> On page 42 of their _Scientific American_ article, "The Origin of
> Birds and
> Their Flight," February 1998, Kevin Padian and Luis M. Chiappe include Ed
> Heck's diagram comparing the clavicles, manus, and clavicles/furculae of
> various theropods (including the avian _Archaeopteryx_ and
> _Columba_).  Here
> the unfused clavicles of _Segisaurus_ are used as proxy components of the
> _Coelophysis_ skeleton because it is claimed that "no
> _Coelophysis_ clavicles
> are well preserved" and _Segisaurus_ is a "close relative of
> _Coelophysis_."
>
On the status of coelophysoid furculae:

1) Work is ongoing to document the true status of _Segisaurus_'s clavicles,
as part of a (MUCH NEEDED) redescription of the little critter.

2) As Alex Downs reports in the Dinosaurs of New Mexico volume, there are
elements in the Ghost Ranch material which could well be isolated furculae
of _Coelophysis_; however, they may also be elements from the weird little
diapsid that he's uncovered there.

3) However, as Downs also reports, similar elements are present in the
isolated _Syntarsus_ material from Africa and from North America.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796