Tuesday, May 15, 2012

New dromaeosaurid Yurgovuchia

So a new dromaeosaurid was described today by Senter et al. (2012), whose description is free at PLoS ONE.

Interesting that the authors sink Linheraptor into Tsaagan.  No evidence is given, and they commit a pet peeve of mine, in sinking a species into a genus, so Linheraptor exquisitus becomes Tsaagan sp..  Which not only is improper, as you can't just destroy species, but unecessary since Linheraptor only has one named species.

The phylogenetic analysis is Senter et al.'s (2010), with several taxa added.  One of these is Xiaotingia, which makes this a partial test to see if Archaeopteryx stays a deinonychosaur when paravians Senter didn't include are added.  The authors importantly add Sinusonasus (from Senter, 2010), Austroraptor, Mahakala, Shanag and Tianyuraptor, which leads to Archaeopteryx being an avialan as usual.  See what I meant about waiting for other analyses to confirm Xu et al.'s finding before accepting it?  Also contra Xu et al., Anchiornis and Xiaotingia aren't archaeopterygids and don't form a clade, with the former remaining a troodontid as in Senter (2010) and the latter being a basal dromaeosaurid.  Still not included are Balaur, Pedopenna, Jinfengopteryx, IGM 100/1128, Jixiangornis, Dalianraptor or Yandangornis among important basal paravians.  What will the Lori analysis say?  We'll have to see...

References- Senter, 2010. Using creation science to demonstrate evolution: application of a creationist method for visualizing gaps in the fossil record to a phylogenetic study of coelurosaurian dinosaurs. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 23(8), 1732-1743.

Senter, Kirkland, Bird and Bartlett, 2010. A new troodontid theropod dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah. PLoS ONE. 5(12), e14329.

Xu, You, Du and Han, 2011. An Archaeopteryx-like theropod from China and the origin of Avialae. Nature. 475, 465-470.

Senter, Kirkland, DeBlieux, Madsen and Toth, 2012. New dromaeosaurids (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah, and the evolution of the dromaeosaurid tail. PLoS ONE. 7(5), e36790.

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