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Re: Chatterjee's Protoavis



----- Original Message -----
From: "Tim Williams" <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2005 8:33 PM

Others have described the skull and neck to be possibly drepanosaurian in
nature.  The skulls of drepanosaurids and _Longisquama_ are superficially
bird-like - which is why Senter (2004) gave the name "Avicephala" to the
clade containing Drepanosauridae and _Longisquama_.

[...] One researcher has been overheard remarking: "It
seems to be a fauna, not a taxon".

The neck, at least, is pretty obviously drepanosaurian -- either that or it comes from a _highly derived_ bird (Ornithurae sensu strictissimo). I've seen photos of the necks of *P.* and a drepanosaurid, and they're identical. There's also theropod material in there; considering the fact that the lower leg is much too big for the femur + pelvis, there must be at least 2 individual theropods in there (provided that one isn't, say, a sphenosuchian...).


The foot, however, doesn't fit any of the above. It really looks birdlike, and closer to the short-tailed birds than, say, *Archaeopteryx*. That said, I should probably take another look at the small, bad photos... never trust Chatterjee's drawings; they are always generous reconstructions.