Sunday, September 30, 2018

Favorite Maniraptor of 2017 Results

Longtime readers will notice that this post comes at an unusual time of the year. I hadn't planned on retiring more than one of my few annual traditions on here, but thanks to external circumstances outside of my control, it looks like I might have to.

A few months ago, Blogger got rid of its poll widget, bringing my ongoing poll on newly-named maniraptors of 2017 to a premature close. Probably needless to say, this will also prevent me from hosting these polls in future years. There are plenty of other sites that allow for poll creation, but I suspect the voter base would greatly diminish if the polls weren't hosted on the blog itself. And though embedding a third-party poll on the blog by editing the HTML is a possibility, it sounds like too much work to spend on a bit of frivolity.

Without further ado, presenting the results of perhaps the last ever annual favorite maniraptor poll on Raptormaniacs...

Unsurprisingly, the unusual, possibly semi-aquatic dromaeosaurid Halszkaraptor took the lead by a long shot. Coming in second was the large troodont Latenivenatrix, and third place went to the well-preserved anchiornithid Serikornis. I was somewhat disappointed to see that no one picked Cruralispennia, despite it being the subject of one of my most popular blog posts. This was particularly jarring given that even Junornis (a bog-standard enantiornithine by comparison) got one vote, though I will admit that its holotype looks spectacular. More astounding was the fact that Corythoraptor, a tall-crested oviraptorid, also failed to gain any votes.

As it happens, 2017 also saw the publication of several new maniraptors that took some time to filter into the online paleontology community and thus did not make it into my poll. These new taxa include:
  • Awengkere: A large diving duck from the Miocene of Australia.
  • Deliaphaps: A pigeon from the Miocene of New Zealand, likely closely related to the Nicobar pigeon and the dodo.
  • Microenantiornis: A small enantiornithine (shocker!) from the Early Cretaceous of China.
  • Miocariama: A seriema from the Miocene of Argentina. The holotype was formerly referred to Noriegavis, which the describers reevaluate as a synonym of the falcon Thegornis.
  • Pampagyps: A condor from the Pleistocene-Holocene of Argentina.
Among these, Microenantiornis escaped notice by having been published in an obscure Chinese journal. The others were named in a printed volume, the conference proceedings of the 9th SAPE meeting (held in 2016). Even now, the description of Miocariama has to my knowledge yet to appear in digital format.