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Microraptor specimen described



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper. The open access version is not yet posted on the AMNH site.


Rui Pei, Quanguo Li, Qingjin Meng, Ke-Qin Gao, and Mark A. Norell (2014)
A New Specimen of Microraptor (Theropoda: Dromaeosauridae) from the
Lower Cretaceous of Western Liaoning, China.
American Museum Novitates Number 3821: 1-28
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1206/3821.1
http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.1206/3821.1
open access link (when posted):
http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/9

Microraptor zhaoianus is known from several specimens collected in
western Liaoning Province, China. However, several aspects of the
morphology of Microraptor remain unknown or ambiguous due to poor
preservation of the described specimens. A well-preserved new specimen
of Microraptor zhaoianus is described in this study. This specimen
preserves significant morphological details that are not present or
are poorly preserved in the other Microraptor specimens including
aspects of the skull, the rib cage, and the humerus. These new
characters corroborate Microraptor as a member of the Dromaeosauridae
as previously suggested and support the close relationship of
troodontids and dromaeosaurids (Deinonychosauria). The morphology of
the rib cage also suggests Microraptor and the early volant avialans
very likely may have shared a similar mechanism to assist respiration.