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RE: Gargantuavis neck vertebra

I'm amused by the idea that a referred vertebra which does not overlap with the 
type material can "confirm its avian nature".  Not that I doubt Gargantuavis is 
a bird, or that the cervical belongs to it (though there may be two large birds 
living there, who knows), but the new vertebra itself doesn't show either 
thing.  We already had the clearly non-pterosaurian paratype femur MDE-A08 
anyway, even if some people thought the pelvis was pterosaurian.

Mickey Mortimer

> Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2012 09:09:47 -0700
> From: bcreisler@gmail.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Gargantuavis neck vertebra
> From: Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new online paper:
> New evidence of a giant bird from the Late Cretaceous of France.
> Geological Magazine (advance online publication)
> http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S001675681200043X
> A large heterocoelous cervical vertebra from the Late Cretaceous of
> Cruzy (Hérault, southern France) is described and referred to the
> giant bird Gargantuavis philoinos Buffetaut & Le Loeuff, 1998,
> confirming its avian nature. Gargantuavis appears to have been a
> long-necked bird with possibly a relatively small skull. Derived
> features such as heterocoely suggest that Gargantuavis was an advanced
> ornithuromorph, close to ornithurines.