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EOTYRANNUS & DROMAEOSAURS
On _Eotyrannus_ (it's a silly name for a Cretaceous taxon I known but
it seems to have worked well in the media), Ken asked...
> They indicate that you said Eotyrannus may also be "closely
> related" to Velociraptor. Is that an accurate quote, and if so, is it
> related" enough to have important implications concerning the
> phylogeny of coelurosaurs as a whole? That would make it even more
As you might have guessed, this is typical media fact-scrambling.
Newspaper people have only a few frames of reference when talking
about theropods and _Tyrannosaurus_ and _Velociraptor_ are among
the few names they know. _Eotyrannus_ has no characters that link it
with velociraptorines (though see the paper for some comments on
_Dromaeosaurus_) - what instead happened was that I said that
_Eotyrannus_ would have superficially resembled _Velociraptor_
perhaps more than _Tyrannosaurus_ (in being a svelte long-armed
long-handed predator). In other words, it seems to be confirmation of
the 'tyrannoraptor' hypothesis hinted at by Matthew and Brown and
discussed by someone called Tom Holtz.
So far as we can tell _Eotyrannus_ is a basal tyrannosauroid. It has
some strange autapomorphies and some of its characters may in the
long run have implications for the position of tyrannosauroids in the
coelurosaur tree, but this will have to wait for the full osteology
(something I'm trying to work on now). Time constraints meant that
we couldn't publish the phylogenetic analysis but expect incorporation
of _Eotyrannus_ in cladograms within the near future.
Incidentally, the paper includes a general review of the Wealden small
theropods. A more detailed review is to be published later this year.
Oh well, back to the pterosaur proofs...
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