Qiu, Wang, Wang, Li, Zhang & Ma, 2019
Illustration: Dmitry Tokalchik
Caudipteridae is a basal clade of Oviraptorosauria, all known species from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of northeastern China. They were one of the first feathered dinosaur groups discovered, and possessed avian-like pennaceous remiges and rectrices. Their discovery provided significant information on early oviraptorosaurian evolution and the origins of birds and feathers. Here we describe a new caudipterid species Xingtianosaurus ganqi gen. et sp. nov. from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Liaoning Province, China. This new taxon differs from other caudipterids by a small pleurocoel close to the dorsal edge of the lateral surface of the dorsal vertebrate centrum, a humerus longer than the scapula, a proportionally long ulna, a relatively small radiale angle, and a relatively short metacarpal I. The phylogenetic results shows X. ganqi is an early diverging caudipterid. It exhibits a mosaic morphology, providing new morphological information on early manual evolution of Oviraptorosauria, and giving new light on the evolution of radiale angle among Coelurosauria.
Oviraptorosauria Barsbold, 1976
Caudipteridae Zhou et Wang, 2000
Xingtianosaurus gen. nov
Etymology: XingTian, a Chinese deity recorded in Shanhaijing who continued to fight even after his head had been cut off, in reference to the skull-less holotype; saurus, Greek for lizard.
Type species: Xingtianosaurus ganqi
Diagnosis: A caudipterid dinosaur distinguished from other caudipterid taxa by the following combination of characters: small pleurocoel close to the dorsal edge of the lateral surface of the dorsal vertebral centrum, humerus longer than the scapula, proportionally long ulna (as long as humerus), relatively small radiale angle (39°, compared to >48° in other oviraptorosaurs with known radiale angle), extremely short metacarpal I (<40% length of the metacarpal II), small ligament pits on the manual phalanges.
Xingtianosaurus ganqi sp. nov.
Etymology: Ganqi, the weapon of Xingtian recorded in Shanhaijing.
Holotype: IVPP (Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) V13390 (Fig. 1). A partial skeleton, missing the skull, cervical vertebrae, anterior dorsal vertebrae and coracoids.
Locality and horizon: Wangjiagou, Yixian County, Liaoning Province. The Dakangpu Bed (same horizon to Dawangzhangzi Bed) of Yixian Formation, Lower Cretaceous (Fig. 2).
Rui Qiu, Xiaolin Wang, Qiang Wang, Ning Li, Jialiang Zhang and Yiyun Ma. 2019. A New Caudipterid from the Lower Cretaceous of China with Information on the Evolution of the Manus of Oviraptorosauria. Scientific Reports. 9, 6431. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42547-6