Long Fluffy Tails

While the news is abuzz about new things in the paleontological circles (a new South American tyrannosaurine [which has yet to be published], a new tapejaroid pterosaur from the fantastic beds of Las Hoyas, Spain named Europejara olcadesorum) there is also a new small tetanuran theropod dinosaur. The paper is currently published online (here; Brian Switek has a write-up here), but because I’m a stickler for rules that seem to work, I will follow the ICZN until they change their antiquated rules on digital vs paper publishing, and abstain from mentioning the name, or discussing the paper that much at all.

There’s a reason the authors chose a name that essentially means “squirrel imitator.” The best part is a extensive soft-tissue preservation comprised of fibrils around large portions of the body, especially the tail. There’s a furcula, the braincase is not too crushed, vertebrae are beautifully preserved, the medial mandible is partially available, and details as fine as keratin sheaths and dental serrations and the “dinofuzz” make this a fantastically high bar-setting specimen (even though it’s still a baby).

I’ll have more to say shortly.

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3 Responses to Long Fluffy Tails

  1. Bicentenaria is a tyrannosaurine?
    Thanks for the link, by the way.

  2. There has been nothing published on Bicentenaria yet. Furthermore, the public press in Spanish simply hint at it being a theropod (phrases such as “the same group as Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor“). Wait for the paper.

    • I don’t even use the name unless it’s been published (much less formally announced, in which case it’s not even a nomen nudum)! I was linking to the commentary that has been made recently, rather than affecting it myself.

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