Friday, January 5, 2018

Favorite Maniraptor of 2016 Results


Last year was a close race, but the unusual Fukuivenator narrowly won against Tongtianlong, an oviraptorosaur known from a nearly complete skeleton preserved in three dimensions. Coming in third place was Apatoraptor, one of the most completely known caenagnathid oviraptorosaurs.

These polls are inevitably biased in favor of taxa that receive more press. Though a truly level playing field is impossible to achieve, I will try something new this year by providing a concise blurb for each contestant and links to their original description papers. This way at least, none of the taxa will be complete unknowns. That being said, I suspect one particular genus already has this year in the bag...

  • Albertavenator: A troodont from the Late Cretaceous of Canada. Known from a single bone in the skull.
  • Almas: A small troodont from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Known from a partial skeleton including a nearly complete skull. It has been included in several phylogenetic analyses in the past, but wasn't named until last year.
  • Aprosdokitos: A small penguin from the Eocene of Antarctica. Known from a single upper arm bone.
  • Beibeilong: An oviraptorosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China. Known from an embryo long nicknamed "Baby Louie" as well as several eggs. Its adult size would have been comparable to that of Gigantoraptor, the largest known oviraptorosaur.
  • Chupkaornis: A hesperornithine from the Late Cretaceous of Japan. Known from a partial skeleton including parts of the vertebral column and hind limbs. It is the most completely known Asian hesperornithine.
  • Corythoraptor: An oviraptorosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China, one of many recently named from the Nanxiong Formation. Known from a nearly complete skeleton. It had a particularly tall crest on its head.
  • Crexica: A rail from the Miocene of Russia. Known from partial limb bones.
  • Cruralispennia: An enantiornithine from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a mostly complete skeleton with preserved feathers. It had several features unusual for an enantiornithine, including strap-like feathers on its legs and wings as well as a rapid growth rate.
  • Daliansaurus: A troodont from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a nearly complete skeleton.
  • Diomedavus: A small albatross from the Oligocene of the USA. Known from parts of the limbs and hip as well as a single neck vertebra.
  • Garrdimalga: A large megapode from the Pleistocene of Australia. Known from parts of the limbs and skull.
  • Halszkaraptor: A small dromaeosaurid from the Late Cretaceous of Mongolia. Known from a nearly complete skeleton. It had some unusual anatomical features suggesting that it foraged in the water, including numerous teeth, a long neck, and paddle-like forelimbs.
  • Jianianhualong: A troodont from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a nearly complete skeleton with preserved feathers.
  • Junornis: An enantiornithine from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a mostly complete skeleton with preserved feathers. The size and shape of its wings suggest that it used bounding flight, similar to many small extant birds.
  • Kumimanu: A large penguin from the Paleocene of New Zealand. Known from a partial skeleton including parts of the limbs, hip, and vertebral column. Among the most completely known giant penguins.
  • Latagallina: A large megapode from the Pleistocene of Australia. Known from several specimens, including one that is nearly complete. The type species was formerly considered a species of Progura.
  • Latenivenatrix: A large troodont from the Late Cretaceous of Canada. Known from several specimens, including a partial skeleton. Many of these were formerly considered specimens of Troodon. The largest troodont known, estimated at over 3 m long.
  • Liaoningvenator: Yet another troodont from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a nearly complete skeleton.
  • Maaqwi: A euornithine from the Late Cretaceous of Canada. Known from parts of a forelimb. Its thickened bone walls suggest that it was a diving seabird.
  • Miohypotaenidia: A rail from the Miocene of Russia. Known from partial limb bones.
  • Ostromia: A basal paravian from the Late Jurassic of Germany. Known from a partial skeleton including parts of the limbs and faintly-preserved wing feathers. The holotype has had a convoluted taxonomic history, having been mistaken for a pterosaur and later considered a specimen of Archaeopteryx.
  • Piscivorenantiornis: An enantiornithine from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a partial skeleton along with a possible pellet containing fish bones.
  • Serikornis: A basal paravian from the Late Jurassic of China. Known from a complete skeleton with "silky" feathers preserved all over its body.
  • Tsidiiyazhi: A stem-mousebird from the Paleocene of the USA. Known from a partial skeleton. The oldest known member of the "core landbird" clade Telluraves.
  • Vanolimicola: A shorebird-like bird from the Eocene of Germany. Known from a partial skeleton.
  • Zhongjianosaurus: A small dromaeosaurid from the Early Cretaceous of China. Known from a partial skeleton. One of the smallest dromaeosaurids known.

2 comments:

  1. Is it true aardvarks make this noise?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IR6q1sMpfEM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not that I'm aware of. (That's doesn't mean it's not true, but I haven't personally read or seen anything confirming that it is.)

      Delete