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Ornitholestes Relationships

Probably most importantly, I should clarify that my earlier comments on
*Ornitholestes* similarity to oviraptorosaurs were predicated on the
nature of the skull as figured and previously reconstructed by Paul, in
1988, and by Osborn, in 1917. Problematically, actual photos of the skull
and postcrania show that earlier restorations of the skull are erroneous
and deformed (the skull is twisted towards one side, unnaturally
shortening the aspect in the main illustrated view, the other side is
stretched; restorations differ in the ventral curvature of the jaw, with
Paul showing a strong curvature, Rauhut (in his thesis (pers. obs.))
showing none, and Osborn showing an intermediate condition. Actual photos
show that the restoreed curvature is the result of fracture along the
dentary ramus. Without going into detail, many features now show that the
skull no longer conforms to my earlier interpretations, and they were
tentative to begin with.

  Current study is in progress to redescribe *Ornitholestes*, and I would
be very tentative before assigning much relationship to it. Makovicky is
part of the group that has examined the material, and the recent
conclusions by him and by Holtz that *Ornitholestes* has maniraptoran
affinities may need to wait for descriptive publication, but are more or
less apt and on-the-mark.


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.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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