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Eosinopteryx, new paravian from China

From: Ben Creisler

New in Nature Communications:

Pascal Godefroit, Helena Demuynck, Gareth Dyke, Dongyu Hu, François
Escuillié        & Philippe Claeys (2013)
Reduced plumage and flight ability of a new Jurassic paravian theropod
from China
Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1394

Feathered theropods were diverse in the Early Cretaceous Jehol Group
of western Liaoning Province, China. Recently, anatomically distinct
feathered taxa have been discovered in the older Middle-Late Jurassic
Tiaojishan Formation in the same region. Phylogenetic hypotheses
including these specimens have challenged the pivotal position of
Archaeopteryx in bird phylogeny. Here we report a basal troodontid
from the Tiaojishan Formation that resembles Anchiornis, also from
Jianchang County (regarded as sister-taxa). The feathers of
Eosinopteryx are less extensive on the limbs and tail than Anchiornis
and other deinonychosaurians. With reduced plumage and short uncurved
pedal claws, Eosinopteryx would have been able to run unimpeded (with
large foot remiges cursorial locomotion was likely problematic for
Anchiornis). Eosinopteryx increases the known diversity of
small-bodied dinosaurs in the Jurassic, shows that taxa with similar
body plans could occupy different niches in the same ecosystem and
suggests a more complex picture for the origin of flight.