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Re: Archaeopteryx skull more theropod-like than previously recognized

My bad... This paper was actually from 2013 in online form. It is now
officially published in final form in the June 2014 issue of
Paläontologische Zeitschrift. Worth mentioning but not as new as I

On Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 4:27 PM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new paper not yet mentioned:
> Oliver W. M. Rauhut (2014)
> New observations on the skull of Archaeopteryx.
> Paläontologische Zeitschrift 88(2): 211-221
> DOI: 10.1007/s12542-013-0186-0
> http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12542-013-0186-0
> Although skeletal remains of the iconic oldest known avialian
> Archaeopteryx have been known for almost 150 years, several aspects of
> the cranial anatomy of this taxon have remained enigmatic, mainly
> because of the strongly flattened and often fractured and incomplete
> nature of available skull materials. New investigation of the skulls
> of the recently described, excellently preserved tenth (Thermopolis)
> and the seventh (Munich) specimens revealed several previously
> unrecognized characters and helps to resolve some problematic issues.
> Thus, the nasal of Archaeopteryx shows a lateral notch for the
> lacrimal, as is found in many other saurischian dinosaurs, the maxilla
> clearly participates in the margin of the external nares, and there
> seems to be a pneumatic foramen in the lacrimal, comparable to the
> lacrimal fenestra found in many non-avian theropods. In the braincase,
> Archaeopteryx shows pneumatic features reminiscent of non-avian
> theropods, including a ventral basisphenoid recess and an anterior
> tympanic recess that is laterally incised into the
> basisphenoid/prootic. Most importantly, however, the postorbital
> process of the jugal shows a facet for the suture with the
> postorbital, thus resolving the question of whether Archaeopteryx had
> a closed postorbital bar. A new reconstruction of the skull of
> Archaeopteryx is presented, making the skull of this taxon even more
> theropod-like than previously recognized. Furthermore, the closed
> postorbital bar and the configuration of the bones of the skull roof
> cast serious doubt on claims that an avian-style cranial kinesis was
> present in this taxon.