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New specimen of Archaeopteryx provides insights into the evolution of pennaceous feathers
TLDR
An analysis of the phylogenetic distribution of pennaceous feathers on the tail, hindlimb and arms of advanced maniraptorans and basal avialans strongly indicates that these structures evolved in a functional context other than flight, most probably in relation to display, as suggested by some previous studies.
Exceptionally preserved juvenile megalosauroid theropod dinosaur with filamentous integument from the Late Jurassic of Germany
TLDR
Sciurumimus albersdoerferi represents the phylogenetically most basal theropod that preserves direct evidence for feathers and helps close the gap between feathers reported in coelurosaurian theropods and filaments in ornithischians, further supporting the homology of these structures.
The oldest Archaeopteryx (Theropoda: Avialiae): a new specimen from the Kimmeridgian/Tithonian boundary of Schamhaupten, Bavaria
TLDR
The iconic primeval bird Archaeopteryx was so far mainly known from the Altmühltal Formation of Bavaria, southern Germany, with one specimen having been found in the overlying Mörnsheim Formation, but a new specimen from the earliest Tithonian Painten Formation of Schamhaupten (Bavaria) represents the so far oldest representative of the genus.
Re-evaluation of the Haarlem Archaeopteryx and the radiation of maniraptoran theropod dinosaurs
TLDR
Results indicate an explosive radiation of maniraptoran coelurosaurs probably in isolation in eastern Asia in the late Middle Jurassic and a rapid, at least Laurasian dispersal of the different subclades in the Late Jurassic.
On the use of osteoderm features in a phylogenetic approach on the internal relationships of the Chroniosuchia (Tetrapoda: Reptiliomorpha)
TLDR
A par- simony analysis of the internal rela- tionships of the Chroniosuchia including, among others, 23 morphological and osteohistological osteoderm characters and 12 chroni- osuchian taxa shows that hypothesis A provides a better stratigraphic fit than hypothesis B.
Unappreciated diversification of stem archosaurs during the Middle Triassic predated the dominance of dinosaurs
TLDR
It is indicated that non-archosaurian archosauromorphs were highly diverse components of terrestrial ecosystems prior to the major radiation of archosaurs, including dinosaurs, while disparity patterns of the Ladinian and Carnian indicate a gradual faunal replacement of stem archosaurs by the crown group.
Do different disparity proxies converge on a common signal? Insights from the cranial morphometrics and evolutionary history of Pterosauria (Diapsida: Archosauria)
TLDR
Pterosaurs provide an exemplar case demonstrating that different proxies for morphological form can converge on the same disparity signal, which is encouraging because often only one such proxy is available for extinct clades represented by fossils.
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: The Influence of Skull Reconstructions and Intraspecific Variability in Studies of Cranial Morphometrics in Theropods and Basal Saurischians
TLDR
Based on the current results, shape variation of different skull reconstructions based on the same specimen seems to have generally little influence on the results of a geometric morphometric analysis, although it cannot be excluded that some erroneous reconstructions of poorly preserved specimens might cause problems occasionally.
Macroevolutionary and Morphofunctional Patterns in Theropod Skulls: A Morphometric Approach
TLDR
The results indicate that the cranial shape of theropods is closely correlated with phylogeny and dietary preference, and basal birds occupy a large area within the morphospace, indicating a high cranial, and thus also ecological, diversity.
On the identification of feather structures in stem-line representatives of birds: evidence from fossils and actuopalaeontology
  • C. Foth
  • Biology
    Paläontologische Zeitschrift
  • 1 March 2012
TLDR
The investigation of plumage in a specimen of the Mesozoic bird Confuciusornis sanctus reveals similar structures, indicating that flattening of specimens during fossilization amplifies the effect of overlapping among feathers and also causes a loss of morphological detail which can lead to misinterpretations.
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