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RE: Neuquenraptor argentinus



Wow, Nature is out early today!

Yes, Neuquenraptor argentinus (the taxon formerly called "Araucanoraptor" on 
the list) is now published. It is an apparently fully
arctometatarsalian dromaeosaurid, although the proximal end of the metatarsus 
isn't known. No, it doesn't seem to be a troodontid!
Other than the fully pinched mtIII, the anatomical details and relative 
proportions of the foot support it as a probable
dromaeosaurid. Material consists of fragments of cervical vertebra, dorsal 
ribs, haemal arches, left proximal radius, right femur
and distal tibia, proximal tarsals, and most of the foot of the left hindlimb, 
found while digging up the ribcage of a titanosaur.

In their analysis it falls out in a basal polytomy with Unenlagia, 
Sinornithosaurus, Microraptor, and a clade comprised of
Dromaeosaurinae (Dromaeosaurus, Utahraptor, Achillobator, and Adasaurus) and 
Velociraptorinae (Velociraptor, Deinonychus, and the
Ukhaa dromaeo). They note that the dromaeosaurine-velociraptorine group does 
seem to be a strictly Laurasian clade, but that
Dromaeosauridae as a whole is cosmopolitan.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796