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Re: Jeholornis - long-tailed bird in today's Nature



Jaime Headden wrote-

>   The paper states that the prezygapophyses and chevrons are cranially
> lengthened, which does nto suppooirt your claim. Again, haven't seen the
> paper. Similarly, the first taxon abopve was claimed to be published soon,
> with a translation later _possibly_ in _Nature_. This would seem to be
> interesting if the English version got here first. We may have two groups
> publishing the two taxca and not know what the left hand is doing when the
> right is dipping into _Nature_.
>
>   My post was also meant to be a joke, not serious. :)

Of course. :-)
Seriously though, despite the claims I've heard of a "dromaeosaur tail on a
bird", similar to what "Archaeoraptor" was supposed to be, the tail is NOT
very deinonychosaur-like.  As I stated before, neither the prezygopophyses
nor chevrons are elongated anywhere close to as much as deinonychosaurs.
The prezygopophyses are about a third of a centrum long, similar to many
coelurosaurs.  The chevrons are long enough to barely contact each other, so
longer than non-deinonychosaurs, but nothing like the intertwining bundles
in deinonychosaurs.  I suppose the character "chevrons anteroposteriorly
long enough to contact each other" could be used to group Jeholornis and
deinonychosaurs together, but it isn't similar enough to give the ABSRDists
a problem.  The taxon's quite odd- toothless reduced maxilla, robust
mandible with three teeth and no mandibular fenestra, semi-heterocoelous
cervicals, twenty caudals, only two with transverse processes, coracoid like
Bambiraptor but more elongate, pointed scapular tip, proximally fused
carpometacarpus, four phalanges on digit III, unexpanded preacetabular
process, barely opisthopubic pelvis, two dorsal ischial processes, unfused
tarsus, proximally fused metatarsus, reversed hallux, enlarged second pedal
ungual.
More later today.....

Mickey Mortimer