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Re: Sciurumimus, the fuzzy megalosaur
From: Ben Creisler
Many thanks to Tom for posting the article so quickly.
Fixing the subject line, the authors used the Neo-Latin cut-and-paste
spelling Sciurumimus "squirrel mimic"--unfortunately. The word roots
are Greek [skiouros "shadow-tail" and mimos "mimic"] so "Sciuromimus"
would have been the better form. They must have taken it from the
Latinized genus Sciurus--but even then "o" would be the usual
connecting vowel. (Hey---Suchomimus got it right.)
Here are a couple of news stories in English:
Oliver W. M. Rauhut, Christian Foth, Helmut Tischlinger, and Mark A.
Exceptionally preserved juvenile megalosauroid theropod dinosaur with
filamentous integument from the Late Jurassic of Germany.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (advance online publication)
Recent discoveries in Asia have greatly increased our understanding of
the evolution of dinosaurs’ integumentary structures, revealing a
previously unexpected diversity of “protofeathers” and feathers.
However, all theropod dinosaurs with preserved feathers reported so
far are coelurosaurs. Evidence for filaments or feathers in
noncoelurosaurian theropods is circumstantial and debated. Here we
report an exceptionally preserved skeleton of a juvenile
megalosauroid, Sciurumimus albersdoerferi n. gen., n. sp., from the
Late Jurassic of Germany, which preserves a filamentous plumage at the
tail base and on parts of the body. These structures are identical to
the type 1 feathers that have been reported in some ornithischians,
the basal tyrannosaur Dilong, the basal therizinosauroid
Beipiaosaurus, and, probably, in the basal coelurosaur
Sinosauropteryx. Sciurumimus albersdoerferi represents the
phylogenetically most basal theropod that preserves direct evidence
for feathers and helps close the gap between feathers reported in
coelurosaurian theropods and filaments in ornithischian dinosaurs,
further supporting the homology of these structures. The specimen of
Sciurumimus is the most complete megalosauroid yet discovered and
helps clarify significant anatomical details of this important basal
theropod clade, such as the complete absence of the fourth digit of
the manus. The dentition of this probably early-posthatchling
individual is markedly similar to that of basal coelurosaurian
theropods, indicating that coelurosaur occurrences based on isolated
teeth should be used with caution.