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[dinosaur] Buitreraptor (dromaeosaurid) postcranial skeletal anatomy (free pdf)

Ben Creisler

A new pre-print paper in open access:

Federico A Gianechini, Peter J Makovicky, SebastiÃn ApesteguÃa & Ignacio Cerda (2018)
Postcranial skeletal anatomy of the holotype and referred specimens of Buitreraptor gonzalezorum Makovicky, ApesteguÃa and AgnolÃn 2005 (Theropoda, Dromaeosauridae), from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia.
PeerJ Preprints 6:e26450v1
doi: https://doi.org/10.7287/peerj.preprints.26450v1

Here we provide a detailed description of the postcranial skeleton of the holotype and referred specimens of Buitreraptor gonzalezorum. This taxon was recovered as a unenlagiine dromaeosaurid in several recent phylogenetic studies and is the best represented Gondwanan dromaeosaurid discovered to date. It was preliminarily described in a brief article, but a detailed account of its osteology is becoming known for recent work. Hitherto, the holotype is the most complete specimen found, so its exhaustive description provides much valuable anatomical information. The holotype and referred specimens preserve the axial skeleton, pectoral and pelvic girdles, and both fore- and hindlimbs. Diagnostic postcranial characters of this taxon include: anterior cervical centra exceeding the posterior limit of neural arch; antepenultimate and penultimate cervical vertebral centra with lateroventral tubercles; pneumatic foramina only in anteriormost dorsals; medial and distal caudal centra with a complex of ridges on lateral surfaces; pneumatic furcula with two pneumatic foramina on the ventral surface; scapular blade transversely expanded at mid-length; well-projected flexor process on distal humerus; dorsal rim of the ilium laterally everted; and concave dorsal rim of the postacetabular iliac blade. A paleohistological study of limb bones shows that the holotype represents a younger ontogenetic stage than one of the referred specimens (MPCA 238), which correlates with the fusion of the last sacral vertebra to the rest of the sacrum in MPCA 238. A revised phylogenetic analysis recovered Buitreraptor as a unenlagiine dromaeosaurid, in agreement with previous works. The phylogenetic implications of the unenlagiine synapomorphies and other characters, such as the specialized pedal digit II and the distal ginglymus on metatarsal II, are discussed within the evolutionary framework of Paraves.

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