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Haplocheirus (alvarezsauroid theropod) skull anatomy

Ben Creisler

A new paper. The AMNH open access link is not yet posted.

Jonah N. Choiniere, James M. Clark, Mark A. Norell, and Xing Xu (2014)
Cranial Osteology of Haplocheirus sollers Choiniere et al., 2010
(Theropoda: Alvarezsauroidea)
American Museum Novitates Number 3816 :1-44. 2014
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1206/3816.1

The basalmost alvarezsauroid Haplocheirus sollers is known from a
single specimen collected in Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) beds of the
Shishugou Formation in northwestern China. Haplocheirus provides
important data about the plesiomorphic morphology of the theropod
group Alvarezsauroidea, whose derived members possess numerous
skeletal autapomorphies. We present here a detailed description of the
cranial anatomy of Haplocheirus. These data are important for
understanding cranial evolution in Alvarezsauroidea because other
basal members of the clade lack cranial material entirely and because
derived parvicursorine alvarezsauroids have cranial features shared
exclusively with members of Avialae that have been interpreted as
synapomorphies in some analyses. We discuss the implications of this
anatomy for cranial evolution within Alvarezsauroidea and at the base
of Maniraptora.


AMNH link