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(Please accept my apology if you have already received this message. It was
held back from some recipients due to an inadvertent attachment).
Read about the discovery of a nearly complete, three dimensionally
preserved, 53 cm (20 inch) long immature troodontid, _Mei long_, fossilized
in a stereotypical avialan sleeping posture:
A new troodontid dinosaur from China with avian-like sleeping posture
XING XU1,2 AND MARK A. NORELL2
1 Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology & Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy
of Sciences, PO Box 643, Beijing 100044, China
2 American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New
York City, New York 10024, USA
Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to X.X.
(firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
Discovering evidence of behaviour in fossilized vertebrates is rare. Even
rarer is evidence of behaviour in non-avialan dinosaurs that directly
relates to stereotypical behaviour seen in extant birds (avians) and not
previously predicted in non-avialan dinosaurs. Here we report the discovery
of a new troodontid taxon from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of
western Liaoning, China. Numerous other three-dimensionally preserved
vertebrate fossils have been recovered recently at this locality, including
some specimens preserving behavioural information. The new troodontid
preserves several features that have been implicated in avialan origins.
Notably, the specimen is preserved in the stereotypical sleeping or resting
posture found in extant Aves. Evidence of this behaviour outside of the
crown group Aves further demonstrates that many bird features occurred early
in dinosaurian evolution.
"Dino Guy" Ralph W. Miller III
Docent at the California Academy of Sciences
proud member of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology