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Re: Moroccan noasaurid?



I'm still really skeptical of "Noasauridae". The thing is, the cervical neural arches assigned to Noasaurus have anterior prongs of the epipophyses, a character which is absolutely unique in theropoda except for abelisaurids like Carnotaurus; it isn't seen in Masiakasaurus. This feature seems to imply that Noasaurus is a small relative of Carnotaurus. That and Noasaurus also hails from Argentina so it may be simpler to assume it's related to Carnotaurus rather than something in Madagascar.
And I mean, even for animals for which a very large percentage of the skeleton is known for more than a century- Coelurus, Compsognathus, Ornitholestes- we're still not sure what the heck these things are. Alvarezsaurids are known from really good material, virtually all of the skeleton and there's a lot of debate over what they relate to. Noasaurus is known from like a maxilla, a neural arch, some digital material, all of it mixed up in a bonebed... and there's no way to even be sure *where* that claw goes. Can anyone give a single good reason why it absolutely has to fit on the second digit of the foot... or even why it has to be a pedal claw rather than a manual claw? As far as I know, there's never been any evidence published to support this interpretation.
Given that (a) the material is really lacking (about a half dozen bones to Noasaurus of probable yet unproven association and identification), (b) at least some of the morphology argues against a Noasaurus-Masiakasaurus clade exclusive of Carnotaurus (those weird epipophyses), and (c) theropod phylogeny in general is still in a state of flux in a lot of respects, well I think that it is a bit premature to talk about a "Noasauridae".
re: Ornitholestes having a parietal crest, yeah as best I can tell Ornitholestes does have a sagittal crest on the parietals so this seems to be typical of many coelurosaurs.