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RE: Dalianraptor - a composite?



Déjà vu! 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
Tim Williams
Sent: Saturday, August 11, 2012 3:49 AM
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Dalianraptor - a composite?

This has been bubbling away for a while now, but the issue of the
composite nature of the basal avialan _Dalianraptor_ surfaced recently
at Darren Naish's _Tetrapod Zoology_ blog:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/08/09/bird-chapter
-in-complete-dinosaur-ii/

With a follow-up by Matthew Martyniuk at DinoGoss:

http://dinogoss.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/dalianraptor-cuhe-forgery.html

Although not yet official, it appears that the type specimen of
_Dalianraptor cuhe_ is a deliberate chimera: a probable _Jeholornis_
specimen with the wings replaced with (much) shorter forelimbs from a
non-avian theropod.  Fiendishly clever.  The _Jeholornis palmapenis_
description by O'Connor et al. mentioned that _Dalianraptor_ had been
"tampered" with, but no details were provided.  Darren is more
explicit: "Meanwhile, long-tailed, short-armed _Dalianraptor_ - mooted
in my text as a possibly flightless relative of Jeholornis - turns out
to be a composite, its short arms being from a non-avialan
maniraptoran".


The suggestion that short-armed _Dalianraptor_ was a secondarily
flightless jeholornithid was somewhat uncertain from the beginning -
because it's not clear that long-armed _Jeholornis_ itself was capable
of powered flight.  Now there are short odds that _Dalianraptor_ (sans
undersized forelimbs) is merely a "normal" _Jeholornis_.





Cheers

Tim