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Linhevenator, new troodontid from Inner Mongolia
From: Ben Creisler
New in PLoS ONE:
Xu X., Tan Q., Sullivan, C., Han F., Xiao D. (2011)
A Short-Armed Troodontid Dinosaur from the Upper
Cretaceous of Inner Mongolia and Its Implications for
PLoS ONE 6(9): e22916.
The Troodontidae represents one of the most bird-like
theropod groups and plays an important role in our
understanding of avian origins. Although troodontids have
been known for over 150 years, few known derived
troodontid specimens preserve significant portions of
both the forelimb and the hindlimb.
Here, we report a new troodontid taxon, Linhevenator tani
gen. et sp. nov., based on a partial, semi-articulated
skeleton recovered from the Upper Cretaceous Wulansuhai
Formation of Wulatehouqi, Inner Mongolia, China. L. tani
has an unusual combination of primitive and derived
character states, though our phylogenetic analysis places
it in a derived clade within the Troodontidae. As a
derived taxon, L. tani has a dromaeosaurid-like pedal
digit II, and this species also possesses a humerus that
is proportionally much shorter and more robust than those
of most other troodontids.
The combination of features present in Linhevenator
indicates a complex pattern of character evolution within
the Troodontidae. In particular, the discovery of
Linhevenator suggests that derived troodontids have
independently evolved a highly specialized pedal digit II
and have significantly shortened the forelimb over the
course of their evolution.