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Haplocheirus, the alvarezsauroid that looked normal


Jonah N. Choiniere, X. Xu, J.M. Clark, C.A. Forster, Y. Guo, F. Han. 2010. A
Basal Alvarezsauroid Theropod from the Early Late Jurassic of Xinjiang,
China. Science 327:571-574 DOI: 10.1126/science.1182143

The fossil record of Jurassic theropod dinosaurs closely related to birds
remains poor. A new theropod from the earliest Late Jurassic of western
China represents the earliest diverging member of the enigmatic theropod
group Alvarezsauroidea and confirms that this group is a basal member of
Maniraptora, the clade containing birds and their closest theropod
relatives. It extends the fossil record of Alvarezsauroidea by 63 million
years and provides evidence for maniraptorans earlier in the fossil record
than Archaeopteryx. The new taxon confirms extreme morphological convergence
between birds and derived alvarezsauroids and illuminates incipient stages
of the highly modified alvarezsaurid forelimb.

Haplocheirus sollers, the Xinjiang alvarezsauroid with three functioning
fingers and a propubic pelvis. Nearly complete. Sadly the phylogenetic
analysis does NOT include Nqwebasaurus...

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216                        
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Fax: 301-314-9661               

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Fax: 301-314-9843

Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                        Department of Geology
                        Building 237, Room 1117
                        University of Maryland
                        College Park, MD 20742 USA