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Er... why? The taxa around the base of Avialae seem to be okay runners
okay climbers (Archaeopteryx, Rahonavis, Microraptor, Jinfengopteryx,
Okay runners, yes. Okay climbers... hmm... for bird standards, yes...
I don't know about this. Jinfengopteryx and Mei have shorter maxillae
Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis.
Wow! I've completely missed this so far.
At any rate, this taxon probably lived sometime in the late Triassic or
[...] I say Middle Jurassic, where we have taxa slightly less derived
than Archaeopteryx (Epidendrosaurus), and basal paravians (Pedopenna).
I do not advocate the use of salamanders in biostratigraphy.
However, the Yixian Fm (radiometrically dated to what is now thought to be
the Barremian-Aptian boundary) has *Liaoxitriton zhangjiani*, and the
Daohugou Fm has the other species, *Liaoxitriton daohugouensis*.
Furthermore, the Daohugou Fm _overlies_ the allegedly Tithonian but probably
quite a bit younger Tuchengzi Fm (where *Chaoyangsaurus* is from). I have
the pdf of a paper by Wang Yuan on this... but stupidly I didn't forward it
to myself. It's on the computer in the lab. So, Monday.
It's a real pity that we don't have any terrestrial Middle Jurassic
Konservatlagerstätte... *Batrachognathus* and *Sordes* are at least from a
Late Jurassic one, though...
Oh, and, before I forget, I should answer the question that the subject line
is. *Proavis* is hypothetical. *Protoavis* is only a hypothetical
interpretation of real fossil material.