A new paper:
Alvarezsaurian dinosaurs, a group of bizarre theropods with greatly shortened and modified forelimbs, are known mostly from the Cretaceous of Asia and South America. Here we report a new alvarezsaurian, Shishugounykus inexpectus gen. et sp. nov, based on a specimen recovered from the Middle-Upper Jurassic Shishugou Formation of the Junggar Basin, western China. Together with two other alvarezsaurians from this formation, i.e., Haplocheirus sollers and Aorun zhaoi, these Shishugou forms represent the only known Jurassic alvarezsaurians worldwide. Similar to the two other Shishugou alvarezsaurians, this new alvarezsaurian displays early stages in the development of the highly modified alvarezsaurian forelimb, but it possesses a number of manual features closer to the typical coelurosaurian theropod condition. Combining morphological and histological features, our analysis indicates that the earliest known alvarezsaurians are variable in size and other important morphological features, and in particular display a mosaic distribution of forelimb features.