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Yulong, new oviraptorid from China known from baby specimens



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper. The new taxon appears to be named Yulong but I
haven't seen the full paper yet.

Junchang Lü, Philip J. Currie, Li Xu, Xingliao Zhang, Hanyong Pu &
Songhai Jia (2013)
Chicken-sized oviraptorid dinosaurs from central China and their
ontogenetic implications.
Naturwissenschaften (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-1007-0
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00114-012-1007-0



Oviraptorids are a group of specialized non-avian theropod dinosaurs
that were generally one to 8 m in body length. New specimens of baby
oviraptorids from the Late Cretaceous of Henan Province are some of
the smallest individuals known. They include diagnostic characters
such as the relative position of the antorbital fenestra and the
external naris, distinct opening in the premaxilla anteroventral to
the external naris, antorbital fossa partly bordered by premaxilla
posterodorsally, lacrimal process of premaxilla does not contact the
anterodorsal process of the lacrimal, parietal almost as long as
frontal; in dorsal view, posterior margin forms a straight line
between the postzygapophyses in each of the fourth and fifth
cervicals; femur longer than ilium. They also elucidate the
ontogenetic processes of oviraptorids, including fusion of cranial
elements and changes in relative body proportions. Hind limb
proportions are constant in oviraptorids, regardless of absolute body
size or ontogenetic stage. This suggests a sedentary lifestyle that
did not involve the pursuit of similar-sized prey. The functional
implications for bite force and therefore dietary preferences are
better understood through the study of such small animals. The
comparison of the measurements of 115 skeletons indicates that
oviraptorids maintain their hind limb proportions regardless of
ontogenetic stage or absolute size, which is a pattern seen more
commonly in herbivores than in carnivores. This may weakly support the
hypothesis that oviraptorids are herbivores rather than active
carnivores.