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Old refs :-)
Zhou Zhonghe, Wang Xiaolin, Zhang Fucheng, Xu Xing: Important features of
*Caudipteryx* -- evidence from two nearly complete new specimens, Vertebrata
PalAsiatica = Gu Jizhui Dongwu Xuebao 38 (4), 241 -- 254 (October 2000)
Finally managed to copy this paper! It must have lain around on some
professor's desk for a year. As HP Mickey Mortimer wrote then, IVPP V 123430
(called *Caudipteryx* sp. in the paper) is obviously a new species, it's
strange they didn't name it. Diagnostic features all over the place :-) The
famous reduced third finger looks IMHO different from birds like
*Longipteryx* (no surprise) because the two remaining phalanges are similar
in length; in *Longipteryx* the second looks like a tiny reduced claw.
Phalanx III-1, whatever fusion it constitutes, lies next to the joint of mc
II and phalanx II-1, which should have made that joint immobile; its
surfaces look indeed flat, but II-1 has a flexor tubercle, if I identify
Fig. 3 is a drawing of the end of the tail of the new species. The
caudals are labeled 18 -- 22; 22 is larger than 21 and has a slightly
expanded rounded end, while the preceding caudals have rather flat distal
surfaces. The last caudals of *Archaeopteryx* and *Stegosaurus* (good cast
of the latter in the Institute of Paleontology here) are rather pointed.
Like in *Nomingia* 18 carries the distalmost preserved chevron (tiny rodlike
chevrons are fused under 22 and 23 in *Nomingia*); no transverse processes
are drawn, while the lateral view of *Nomingia* shows the distalmost ones at
17, the ventral view at 18 and the dorsal view at 19. In *Nomingia* caudals
17 -- 20 are amphiplatyan, 21 and 22 have rounded distal surfaces (sutures,
that is), 23 has a tiny distal surface that is apparently flat again, and
that of 24 is too tiny to qualify; if the sutures would have been
obliterated 23 and 24 would be considered a pointed end of 22. Hmmm... maybe
in IVPP V 123430 tiny 23 and 24 have fallen off, so we can't tell whether
these two were fused to one another? (Caudal 20 is preserved in ventral view
while the rest is seen laterally, and 19 is lifted a bit out of line, so
disarticulation occurs in that area.)
But hey! *Nomingia* has _7 sacrals_, *Caudipteryx* only 5, that
means, *Nomingia* has transformed a caudal into a sacral, thus 22 of
*Caudipteryx* is homologous to 21, not 22, of *Nomingia*!!! This fits their
shapes better and means that not 2 but _3_ caudals may be missing from the
tail end in IVPP V 123430!
On page 123 of Mesozoic Vertebrate life the tail end of NGMC 97-4-A,
the type specimen of *Caudipteryx zoui*, is drawn. It looks totally unlike
that of IVPP V 123430 and is pointed, which means that the latter specimen
does NOT preserve the very end of the tail. The real end seems to exhibit
some fusion, but the drawing isn't very detailed, and the fossil itself
isn't of much better quality, as shown by the large areas of unpreserved
Therefore I conclude _for now_: If Caudipter(yg)idae sensu Mortimer (onlist)
is real, *Caudipteryx* _may_ have fused its last 3 vertebrae into a
pygostyle; the claim in the paper that "None of the caudals are fused, the
pygostyle that was recently reported in oviraptorids (Barsbold et al., 2000)
is absent in *Caudipteryx* (Fig. 3; Pls. I -- II, VI)" is apparently not
based on the very end of the tail.
BPM 0001, referred to *C. zoui*, is the specimen a cast of which is
now somewhere in the museum here, which means I should sooner or later get a
look at its complete tail end. Practically no feather remains are preserved
or at least prepared. So I was talking about its pubis when I introduced the
character "pubis gently concave over its entire cranial margin" into my
matrix and gave it to oviraptorosaurs including *Caudipteryx* but not
*Avimimus*. But now I reread
Zhou Zhonghe, Wang Xiaolin: A new species of *Caudipteryx* from the Yixian
Formation of Liaoning, northeast China, same journal 38 (2), 111 -- 127
Fig. 2, the reconstruction of the pelvis of IVPP V 12344 (holotype of
*Caudipteryx dongi*), shows a pubis intermediate between that of BPM 0001
and *Avimimus* (with an additional convex curve shortly above the pubic
boot). I can't say how accurate this is because the fused pubes are
preserved in caudal view which should make diagenetic compression able to
produce this additional curvature. If on the other hand this feature is real
it may add evidence for putting *Avimimus* among the oviraptorosaurs as was
done in several SVP talks.
I'm still not entirely convinced that *Caudipteryx* had reverted halluces.
All feet are compressed and slightly or completely disarticulated.
In Vertebrata PalAsiatica 38 (4) there is, on p. 325 (just after the
preliminary description of *Jeholosaurus shangyuanensis*), a short note by
Xu Xing in Chinese only. Apparently "Archaeoraptor liaoningensis" ("Liaoning
old ??? bird", always in quotation marks) has returned from the USA to
China, but my Chinese ends here.
Wang Yuanqing, Hu Yaoming, Meng Jin, Li Chuankui: An Ossified Meckel's
Cartilage in Two Cretaceous Mammals and Origin of the Mammalian Middle Ear,
Science 294, 357 -- 361 (12 October 2001)
*Repenomamus* (correct spelling) is known from 4 skulls; like an unnamed
*Gobiconodon* species from the same site it has a bony rod in the lower jaw
that is interpreted as the ossified middle part of Meckel's cartilage. Isn't
that the splenial? It has a muscle attachment site. *Repenomamus* is huge,
its lower jaw is 4.2 cm long, that of *Gobiconodon* sp. apparently 5 cm.
*Repenomamus* is the sister group to the gobiconodontids.