STL Science Center

STL Science Center

16 August 2014

Feet, Hands, Maybe Some Ribs

Fernando Novas and Neuquenraptor foot
Gianechini and Apesteguía (2011) further discussed the synonymy of Neuquenraptor and Unenlagia. Their paper discussed the skeletal remains and the amount and quality of that material. The phalanges are compared but the authors determined that the proposed synonymy is not possible to ensure based on the comparison of phalanges alone and there we have the main reason that Neuquenraptor and Unenlagia are still both considered valid taxa. The remains of Neuquenraptor also include the tarsals and metatarsals of the left foot, ribs, a radius, and a few cervical vertebrae. Gianechini and Apesteguía (2011) do not compare all of these elements in their discussion of the two genera in part because the remains of Unenlagia, both species, actually lack many of these elements. I considered posting the image from the above paper that best exemplifies the remains of Unenlagia on here, but I think that posting a link to another discussion of these taxa rather than just posting a second image is more beneficial to everyone. In fact, Jaime Headden's article treats not only the two taxa in question, but the entire tribe of South American dromaeosaurs. The remains available do not fit together in a peg and socket fashion, but the missing elements from each species do seem to coincide with present elements of the other species, which may or may not be a sign of the relatedness of the three species we are considering. Presently, however, the synonymy remains in question at this time despite the fragmentary nature of the animals.

Gianechini, F. A. and Apesteguía, S. (2011). Unenlagiinae revisted: Dromaeosaurid theropods from South America. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 83(1):163-195.

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