[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Osteology of Khaan mckennai (Oviraptorosauria: Theropoda)

From: Ben Creisler

A new issue of the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History.
The free link is not posted yet on the AMNH site.

Amy M. Balanoff and Mark A. Norell (2012)
Osteology of Khaan mckennai (Oviraptorosauria: Theropoda)
Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History ( December 2012) 372 : 1-77
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1206/803.1

The monophyly of Oviraptoridae, a group of theropod dinosaurs, which
share a uniquely bizarre morphology, has never been called into
question due in large part to their unusual complex of characters.
Despite a vivid recent history of discovery and broad public appeal
the nature of their morphological diversity has not been explored
extensively. Many previous descriptions of oviraptorid taxa are lost
in the obscurity of hard-to-find journals, and many lack illustrations
of what are now recognized as phylogenetically important characters.
The primary goal of this paper is to provide a relatively
comprehensive descriptive morphology and illustrations for one member
of Oviraptoridae, namely Khaan mckennai, with an emphasis on
characters that can be used to establish a phylogenetic hypothesis for
the taxon and group as a whole. K. mckennai is a small-bodied,
crestless oviraptorid that is known from pristine material that has
been collected from the Late Cretaceous sediments of Mongolia. Similar
to other oviraptorids, it shares a wide number of features in common
with extant birds. However, when these characters are put in the
context of Oviraptorosauria, including relatively new, more basal
forms like Incisivosaurus gauthieri and Caudipteryx zoui, character
states such as extreme pneumatization of the skull or the reduction in
the number of caudal vertebrae are found to be either homoplastic for
the two groups or plesiomorphic for a more inclusive clade.