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Insane Yixian theropod diversity
This may have been addressed before on this list before, but I couldn't find
it. I'm wondering how come there are so many freakin theropods (actually,
just coelurosaurs!) being described from the Yixian and not much else (when
it comes to dinosaurs anyway). It reminds me of certain localities in the
I mean, for Team Theropod it's:
Beipiaosaurus, Caudipteryx, Cryptovolans, Dilong, Graciliraptor,
Huaxiagnathus, Incisivosaurus, Microraptor, Protarchaeopteryx,
Shenzhousaurus, Sinornithosaurus, Sinosauropteryx, Sinovenator, Sinusonasus,
and Yixianosaurus ... some of which have multiple species, probably
forgetting a few (no doubt starting with Sino-), and not even _counting_ the
bazillion or so birds that have been found.
Some Token Herbivores, represented by:
Hongshanosaurus, Jeholosaurus, Jinzhousaurus, Liaoningosaurus, and maybe
So why is that? Is it an artifact of preservation (tiny theropods are
smaller and more easily buried whole), of collection (small slabs easier to
collect and transport than lots of larger bones), or of publication
(feathered theropods look sexier on your CV)? Or some other bias? Was it an
ancient hockey game with the theropods on the biggest power play in history?
Or is it actually representative of the Yixian fauna? Can we even tell?
Mike de Sosa
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