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The Oviraptorosaur Thread



  • It was about chicken-sized but apparently very young at the moment of death. I am not really sure about all those different genera of oviraptorosaurs from the same time and place; all of them seem pretty similar to me.


  • New fossils from Canada suggest Chirostenotes as a valid taxon after all, as well as a strange, short-tailed appearance:

    The taxonomy of caenagnathids from the Dinosaur Park Formation of Alberta, Canada, has remained problematic because of incomplete, partial skeletons that do not overlap anatomically. This is particularly problematic for referring mandibular remains, which are the most abundant caenagnathid fossils recovered, but cannot be confidently tied to taxa known from postcranial remains. A new, partial skeleton of Chirostenotes pergracilis preserves the mandibles, cervical and caudal vertebrae, and parts of the hindlimb. Importantly, this is the first specimen with associated mandibles and postcrania of a caenagnathid from the Dinosaur Park Formation, allowing for unambiguous referral of mandibles to this taxon. The mandibles are remarkably similar to those previously suggested to pertain to Chirostenotes pergracilis, and support its distinction from Caenagnathus collinsi. An unfused distal tarsal IV distinguishes the skeleton from Leptorhynchos elegans and supports the referral of small, upturned mandibles to this taxon. Osteohistological analysis indicates that the individual was approaching maximum body size, and provides information on the growth patterns and size of Chirostenotes pergracilis. Accordingly, this supports the division of Dinosaur Park Formation caenagnathids into three taxa of varying body sizes.

  • Oksoko, a new oviraptorid from the Gobi desert, is unusual in that it has reduced forelimbs with only two digits, different from the long and three-fingered forelimbs of its relatives.




    It has long been believed that oviraptorids used their long forelimbs to procure food (famously, the original Oviraptor was accused of being an egg-robber, using its "hands" to snatch eggs from other dinosaurs' nests). However, the current consensus is that these dinosaurs were probably catching prey or foraging with their jaws, and that the clawed forelimbs were more akin to bird's wings, with the claws being used as weapons against same species rivals (not unlike the claws, spurs and clubs that "weaponize" the wings of some birds today).