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Re: Falcarius utahensis (was RE: Newfound Dinosaur a Transitional Creature)

At 12:30 PM -0700 5/4/05, T. Michael Keesey wrote:
>Not to mention that the sister group to _Maniraptora_,
>_Ornithomimosauria_, seems to have been omnivorous or even
>herbivorous. Perhaps omnivory could be the basal state for
>_Maniraptoriformes_, with dromaeosaurids (as well as tyrannosauroids,
>if they are maniraptoriforms) exhibiting a reversal to carnivory? At
>the least, maniraptoriforms appear to exhibit far more diversity in
>diet than any other theropod clade, and perhaps more than any other
>dinosaur clade.
>So does _F. utahensis_ strengthen the case for _Oviraptorosauria_ and
>_Therizinosauria_ as sister groups?
That sister group relationship comes through strongly on the phylogentic tree 
in their Nature paper. 

There also should be a story of mine up at Newscientist.com, but at the moment 
the web site isn't responding. An error message suggests it may be busy. 

This is definitely a neat critter, and they've got nearly 2000 bones, which 
they can put together to get over 90% of the animal. They also have age 
sequences. Kirkland thinks it was a mass death site at a spring. Virtually all 
of the bones are Falcarius. 

Jeff Hecht, science & technology writer
jeff@jeffhecht.com; http://www.jeffhecht.com
Boston Correspondent: New Scientist magazine
Contributing Editor: Laser Focus World
525 Auburn St., Auburndale, MA 02466 USA
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