[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Zuolong, new basal coelurosaur from China
_Zuolong_ means "General Tso's Dragon" - this being the same General
Tso (Zuo Zongtang) after which the famous Chinese restaurant dish
"General Tso's Chicken" is named (although nobody seems to know why).
But enough about the name. _Zuolong_ is one of a number of small,
fairly generalized Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous theropods that
form a plexus at or near the base of the Coelurosauria. Along with
_Zualong_, there is also _Coelurus_, _Tanycrolagreus_,
_Xinjiangovenator_, _Tugulusaurus_, _Proceratosaurus_ (if not a
tyrannosauroid), and _Juravenator_ (if not a compsognathid).
_Aniksosaurus_ is found by Choiniere &c to be a compsognathid, whereas
the position of _Nqwebasaurus_ is the subject of a future analysis.
AFAIK, these kind of small-bodied, relatively unspecialized
coelurosaurs are so far unknown in the Late Cretaceous. This got me
wondering that if basal coelurosaurs and compsognathids, which
presumably targeted small prey (insects and other arthropods,
amphibians, small squamates and mammals), may have run into
competition from paravians. Not just troodontids - which were not
only faster, but also equipped with a sickle-claw on the foot for
dispatching prey - but birds as well. The latter could swoop down
from the air onto small prey, and snatch it up.
BTW, speaking of basal coelurosaurs.... does anyone have a PDF of the
following paper they can send to me:
Chiappe, Luis M. and Göhlich, Ursula B. (2010) Anatomy of _Juravenator
starki_ (Theropoda: Coelurosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Germany.
Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie - Abhandlungen, 258:
I'm sure I have at least one PDF I can trade.