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Re: Yi qi, bizarre new bat-winged theropod from Jurassic of China

I have a news story up at New Scientist on it


And there should be lots of others. This is one seriously weird critter.

Jeff Hecht 

On Apr 29, 2015, at 1:27 PM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new paper:
> Xing Xu,  Xiaoting Zheng, Corwin Sullivan, Xiaoli Wang, Lida Xing, Yan
> Wang, Xiaomei Zhang, Jingmai K. O’Connor,  Fucheng Zhang & Yanhong Pan
> (2015)
> A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran theropod with preserved evidence of
> membranous wings.
> Nature (advance online publication)
> doi:10.1038/nature14423
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14423.html
> The wings of birds and their closest theropod relatives share a
> uniform fundamental architecture, with pinnate flight feathers as the
> key component. Here we report a new scansoriopterygid theropod, Yi qi
> gen. et sp. nov., based on a new specimen from the Middle–Upper
> Jurassic period Tiaojishan Formation of Hebei Province, China. Yi is
> nested phylogenetically among winged theropods but has large stiff
> filamentous feathers of an unusual type on both the forelimb and
> hindlimb. However, the filamentous feathers of Yi resemble pinnate
> feathers in bearing morphologically diverse melanosomes. Most
> surprisingly, Yi has a long rod-like bone extending from each wrist,
> and patches of membranous tissue preserved between the rod-like bones
> and the manual digits. Analogous features are unknown in any dinosaur
> but occur in various flying and gliding tetrapods, suggesting the
> intriguing possibility that Yi had membranous aerodynamic surfaces
> totally different from the archetypal feathered wings of birds and
> their closest relatives. Documentation of the unique forelimbs of Yi
> greatly increases the morphological disparity known to exist among
> dinosaurs, and highlights the extraordinary breadth and richness of
> the evolutionary experimentation that took place close to the origin
> of birds.
> ***
> Commentary:
> Kevin Padian (2015)
> Palaeontology: Dinosaur up in the air
> Nature (advance online publication)
> doi:10.1038/nature14392
> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14392.html
> ====
> News:
> http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/fluffy-little-dinosaur-had-bat-wings-180955122/
> http://www.livescience.com/50663-bat-winged-dinosaur.html
> http://www.livescience.com/50662-bizarre-bat-dinosaur-photos.html
> http://news.discovery.com/animals/dinosaurs/bat-like-pigeon-sized-dino-soared-over-china-150429.htm
> http://www.theguardian.com/science/lost-worlds/2015/apr/29/bird-yi-qi-the-dinosaur-evolution-flight-feather-nature