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Fukuivenator, new coelurosaurian theropod from the Early Cretaceous of Japan (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:


Yoichi Azuma, Xing Xu, Masateru Shibata, Soichiro Kawabe, Kazunori
Miyata & Takuya Imai (2016)
A bizarre theropod from the Early Cretaceous of Japan highlighting
mosaic evolution among coelurosaurians.
Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 20478 (2016)
doi:10.1038/srep20478
http: // www.nature.com/articles/srep20478


Our understanding of coelurosaurian evolution, particularly of bird
origins, has been greatly improved, mainly due to numerous recently
discovered fossils worldwide. Nearly all these discoveries are
referable to the previously known coelurosaurian subgroups. Here, we
report a new theropod, Fukuivenator paradoxus, gen. et sp. nov., based
on a nearly complete specimen from the Lower Cretaceous Kitadani
Formation of the Tetori Group, Fukui, Japan. While Fukuivenator
possesses a large number of morphological features unknown in any
other theropod, it has a combination of primitive and derived features
seen in different theropod subgroups, notably dromaeosaurid dinosaurs.
Computed-tomography data indicate that Fukuivenator possesses inner
ears whose morphology is intermediate between those of birds and
non-avian dinosaurs. Our phylogenetic analysis recovers Fukuivenator
as a basally branching maniraptoran theropod, yet is unable to refer
it to any known coelurosaurian subgroups. The discovery of
Fukuivenator considerably increases the morphological disparity of
coelurosaurian dinosaurs and highlights the high levels of homoplasy
in coelurosaurian evolution.