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Re: Dinosaur Genera List update #196



Nick Gardner wrote-

> But the pictures are so beautiful, they make me want to drool for hours.
;)

Beautiful, yes.  Informative, no.  Yixian material often photographs in such
a way that it's difficult to determine morphological characters from photos
alone.

> >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.
>
> Besides, isn't _C. pauli_ considered volant?  Doesn't it have
> deinonychosaur-like pedal morphology though?  I've not looked at it in
> detail.

The second pedal ungual is enlarged, but this is also found in Rahonavis of
course.  It is uncertain if the proximoventral heel on phalanx II-2 was
fully developed like deinonychosaurs or distinct from the proximal articular
surface like Rahonavis.  And if it was a basal avialan, its ability to fly
wouldn't matter much in the context of neoflightlessness.

Mickey Mortimer