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RE: weird jurassic dinobird with very weird feathers



Jaime Headden wrote-

> I will most certainly love to have Mickey Mortimer and Tim Williams chime in 
> on this, as well.

I agree it seems to be a scansoriopterygid, mainly based on the pelvic 
similarities (short unbooted barely propubic pubes, elongate dorsally concave 
ischia with no processes, Rahonavis-like ilium).  The tail is quite a surprise- 
apparently scansoriopterygids were like enantiornithines in shortening their 
tails as they grew up.  This may also support my idea Zhongornis is a juvenile 
confuciusornithid.  While the skull does seem grossly caudipterid-like, the 
posterior mandible resembles Confuciusornis more closely.  The upper dentition 
is more like omnivoropterygids than oviraptorosaurs in being roughly the same 
size through the tooth row and ending with a couple teeth in the maxilla.  
Furthermore, there is no coronoid process and the retroarticular process is 
short.  The nasal seems to lack enlarged pneumatic foramina as well.  So while 
the rough shape is oviraptorosaurian (short snout, decurved dentary, tall 
premaxilla), detailed oviraptorosaur synapomorphies are lacking.  Combined
 with the paravian ilium and Bambiraptor-like coracoid, this suggests the 
oviraptorosaurian similarities are convergences.  I do wish the manus were 
better preserved.  For all we know, the articulated phalanx and ungual are I-1 
and ungual I, while the ventrally placed disarticulated ones are II-1 (which 
seems basally expanded as in birds), II-2 and ungual II.  Maybe the short 
curved 'phalanx' by the distal radius and ulna is metacarpal I then.  The 
labeled metatarsal I is a phalanx, of course.  In any case, I'm entering it 
into my revised Senter 2007 matrix.  The matrix the authors used may be 
Senter's as well (based on the taxon content), though it's not online yet.

Mickey Mortimer
The Theropod Database- http://home.comcast.net/~eoraptor/Home.html