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RE: Gargantuavis a bird, not a pterosaur



Thank you Mickey.

The ten sacral vertebrae do seem to be the character cited to diagnose
Gargantuavis as a bird. Buffetaut and le Leouff cite Chiappe(1996), when
they state that no non - avian dinosaur has that many sacral vertebrae.

That leaves open three areas of doubt in my mind.

1) The authors were not certain of the vertebral number in Gargantuavis.
To quote Buffetaut and le Loeuff, 1998:

"...the exact number of vertebrae in the synsacrum is not easy to determine"

and

"...it appears that ten vertebrae are present...".

2) Have any non - avian maniraptorans been found since 1996 that have more
than 8 sacral vertebrae?

3) If this type of broad, highly fused, synsacrum with neurapophyses fused
into a low median dorsal ridge is seen in therizinosaurs such as
Nothronychus, can we rule out the possibility that gargantuavis is a
previously unknown species of therizinosaur?

To be fair, Nothronychus' pelvis is described as dorsoventrally crushed,
so I may be seeing more superficial similarity than there really was.

-Jason