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Panguraptor, new coelophysoid theropod from Early Jurassic of China

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Hai-Lu You, Yoichi Azuma, Tao Wang, Ya-Ming Wang & Zhi-Ming Dong
The first well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia.
Zootaxa 3873 (3): 233–249


Coelophysoid dinosaurs represent the earliest major radiation of
neotheropods. These small-to-medium-sized agile bipeds lived
throughout much of Pangaea during the Late Triassic–Early Jurassic.
Previously reported coelophysoid material from Asia (excluding the
Gondwanan territory of India) is limited to two specimens that
comprise only limb fragments. This paper describes a new genus and
species of coelophysoid, Panguraptor lufengensis, from the Lower
Jurassic Lufeng Formation of Yunnan Province, China. The new taxon is
represented by a well-preserved skeleton, including the skull and
lower jaw, the presacral vertebral column and partial ribs, the right
scapula, a partial forelimb, part of the pelvic girdle, and an almost
complete hind limb. It is distinguished from other coelophysoid
theropods by the unique combination of the following three character
states: 1) diagonal (rostrodorsal-caudoventral) ridge on lateral
surface of maxilla, within antorbital fossa, 2) elliptical, laterally
facing fenestra caudodorsal to aforementioned diagonal ridge, and 3)
hooked craniomedial corner of distal tarsal IV. Cladistic analysis
recovers Panguraptor lufengensis deeply nested within Coelophysoidea
as a member of Coelophysidae, and it is more closely related to
Coelophysis than to “Syntarsus”. Panguraptor represents the first
well-preserved coelophysoid theropod dinosaur from Asia, and provides
fresh evidence supporting the hypothesis that terrestrial tetrapods
tended to be distributed pan-continentally during the Early Jurassic.