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Re: Cretaceous taeniodont -- long, combined answer
Many thanks to everyone for the pdfs... *Sinusonasus* seems to be more
derived than *Sinovenator* (with which it co-occurs) and *Sinornithoides*,
but less than the rest; *Aberratiodontus* (real spelling) has a huge
postorbital, but the lower half is almost completely missing and may or may
not have contacted the thin jugal... Teeth of different sizes are
distributed much like in mammals. The sternum is quite big, much like in
ornithurines, but has a short keel restricted to the caudal end (now I just
hope the specimen is really in ventral view!) The feet say "shorebird" --
long toes, small claws --, "but not a very specialized one". The authors say
in passing that *Yanornis* should be considered a synonym of
> Why are avisaurids more predatory than other enantiornithines again?
Because of their feet: very strongly curved claws, fully retroverted 1st toe
(accomplished by an extra twist in mt I).
> Apatornis seems to be a non-neornithine carinate more derived than
> Ichthyornis (Clarke, 2002).
Oopsie. I remembered Hope's chapter in Mesozoic Birds instead of Clarke's
> The earliest neornithine seems to be Gallornis (Neocomian),
If we really think "a fragment of the proximal femur and an indeterminate
portion of the humerus"
diagnostic to that level.
> then a Bissekty tibiotarsus (Coniacian; Nessov, 1992).
Hmmm... does it have things like the bridge over the extensor tendons?
> Besides these records, there are many Campanian taxa.
"Many"? *Palintropus* (a ?galliform) and?