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Re: Dinosaur Genera List update #196



Dino Guy Ralph wrote-

> _Shenzhouraptor_ and _Jeholornis_ are described as birds (avian
dinosaurs).
> Jaime Headden suspects that they should perhaps be considered congeneric.
In
> spite of cranial similarities to oviraptorosaurs, _Omnivoropteryx_ is also
> described as an avian dinosaur (a bird).

Yeah, if you don't count Yandangornis, Sapeornis, Archaeopteryx or
Rahonavis, these three taxa should be left out as well.

> Hey, how come _Cryptovolans pauli_ didn't make headlines in 2002?  It
looks to be
> what _Archaeovolans_ was purported to be.  Whether you fall in love with
the
> paper that describes _Cryptovolans_ or not, the specimens are crucial to
an up to
> date understanding of the early evolution of birds and are notable for
providing
> evidentiary support for Gregory S. Paul's secondarily flightless
dromaeosaur
> hypothesis.

Probably because-
1. It was not described in Science or Nature.
2. It was described so very poorly, with virtually no useful described
morphology or line drawings.
Even though it seems to be a dromaeosaur, this is only based on the elongate
distal caudal prezygopophyses and chevrons.  The fused sternal plates are an
avian character that could put it at the base of the Avialae.  If this were
true, it would not be good evidence of secondary flightlessness.

> Hopefully _Archaeovolans_ will get its due in mainstream
> paleontological circles soon, and hopefully more wonderful finds will
issue forth
> from the astonishing fossil beds of China.

Yanornis (=Archaeovolans) really isn't that "new and exciting".  It's
basically a complete version of what Hou and them have been claiming
Chaoyangia is since 1993 (based largely on Songlingornis).  Besides, Zhou
and Zhang did a good job preliminarily describing yanornithids, and Clarke
et al. have started a more detailed description as evidenced by their talk
at SVP on Yixianornis.

Mickey Mortimer