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Re: Protoavis Material, Episode II



 
 
Back in December of 1999, HP Holtz posted the following information to the Dinosaur Mailing List (entire message available at http://www.cmnh.org/fun/dinosaur-archive/1999Dec/msg00137.html):
 
<<<I do not recall anyone setting down in print (in the technical literature)an element-by-element, taxon-by-taxon description of the _Protoavis_ material, but opinions voiced by various authors seem to converge on several points:
The braincase is probably theropodan;
Maybe (I've even read tetanuran), but the entire skull and neck are probably from a drepanosaurid... (Apart from "details" such as the heterocoelic vertebrae, the skull and neck look too big compared to e. g. the dorsals or the rest of the animal.)
The manus is probably rauisuchian (and Sereno 1997 suggests it is a foot, not a hand);
I'm pretty sure that the hand is a hand, and since it has the formula 2-3-4-0-x (IIRC), it should be of a theropod. Maybe of a coelophysid (fingers I, II, III and the proposed wing-folding mechanism IMHO agree with this, but coelophysids have a tiny phalanx on IV, while Protoavis doesn't) or a (rather hypothetical) very basal tetanuran.
Some of the limb elements are some non-archosaurian diapsid (can't recall what was the suggestion: prolacertiform, maybe?).>>>
Of the limb elements? ~:-|
 
Well, I have Chatterjee's "1999" paper here, with all its illustrations. I will do the next Details On segment pretty soon, I hope. First I have to pass the physics-for-biologists exam tomorrow...