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Re: Query: Epidendrosaurus=Scansoriopteryx?

Luis Rey (luisrey@ndirect.co.uk) wrote:

<What is the current thinking on Epidendrosaurus as compared to
Scansoriopteryx? I still haven't got the Czerkas volume but I do have the
(admittedly poor) photographs I managed to take from the tiny specimen
presented at the Florida Symposium several years ago. I have compared
those photographs  with the ones in the Epidendrosaurs paper. I don't
think that the animal I saw in Florida is the same as Epidendrosaurus. One
of the main characteristics (apart from the extremely elongated third
finger) was that the feet were prehensile and the hallux opposable
(nothing that I  see evident in Epidendrosaurus). I'd appreciate opinions
on this subject.>

  From what I've seen of *Scansoriopteryx*, at least what I think has been
made into that taxon, it has some superficial and distinctive features
that compare easily to *Epidendrosaurus* and argue for synonymy: the
fourth metatarsal is very short, the femoral/tibial/metatarsal lengths are
comparable in ratio to one another, the protracted length of the third
manual phalanges, the larger first manual claw than second ... I feel the
evidence regarding heterodactyly in *Epidendrosaurus* is equivocal as it
is in most dinosaurs and fossil birds where the element is not fused to
the second metatarsal. Mickey reported on the abstract of a study on first
metatarsal position at this years SVP, and a similar presentation at the
99 SVP showed animations of the torsion that occured in birds to "twist"
the digit around.

  Anyway, by any matter, with dating of the release, not the printed date,
of Czerkas' volume, *Scansoriopteryx* has precedence if synonymous over
*Epidendrosaurus*, which was only just published in print (when it is
"legally" published).


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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