An oviraptorosaur

This is a mount that stands on display in the Carnegie and has no name attached to it. The reason is quite simple – the specimen has yet to be formally described. The consensus is that is a new taxon and will be getting a name in due course. However, having not actually seen the original material (well, beyond a few bits) I don’t know how complete this is or which bits of the mount are reconstructed (though I’d guess the skull is all sculpted).

Oddly enough, I saw this (or perhaps a duplicate) in Japan a few years ago as part of a touring exhibit. I’d wondered what it was then as I didn’t know which taxon it belonged to, only of course to later discover it hadn’t been named. It does hinder your ability to diagnose something when it’s not actually in the literature.

13 Responses to “An oviraptorosaur”


  1. 1 Zhen 18/01/2012 at 2:31 pm

    Out of curiosity, how many unnamed dinosaurs are on display across museums world wide? There can’t be that many, right?

    • 2 Eric Morschhauser 18/01/2012 at 8:30 pm

      I think there is generally more than one would expect. I know of at least two other unnamed dinosaurs on public display. One of these is extremely forgivable as it almost certainly represents a new taxon, but the preserved material is not diagnostic.

    • 3 Jim Kirkland 19/01/2012 at 2:52 am

      Quite a few undescribed dinosaur species are on exhibit. I know of several mounts of undescribed dinosaur species from Utah alone.

  2. 4 Mickey Mortimer 18/01/2012 at 8:11 pm

    It’s based on two individuals which are pretty complete-

    (CM 78000) incomplete skull, mandibles, six cervical vertebrae, twenty-one ribs, gastralia, twelve caudal vertebrae, six chevrons, scapulocoracoids, humerus, radius, ulna, femora, tibiae, fibulae, astragali, calcanea, metatarsals I, metatarsal IV, partial metatarsal V, ten phalanges, three unguals
    (CM 78001) incomplete skull, twelve cervical vertebrae, ten dorsal vertebrae, seventeen ribs, eleven gastralia, six sacral vertebrae, twelve caudal vertebrae, eight chevrons, sternal plates, ilia, pubes, ischia, femora, tibiae, fibulae, astragali, metatarsal V, two phalanges, four unguals

    Will be nice when Lamanna publishes them, so that we have more information on caenagnathids. I would guess since he’s still describing them that the mount is all cast and the real material is in the back.

  3. 5 TEO 18/01/2012 at 8:47 pm

    It looks exactly like Chirostenotes pergracilis.

    Look here:

    http://www.skeletaldrawing.com/psgallery/pages/chirostenotes.html

    • 6 Anonymous 19/01/2012 at 2:35 am

      Sort of. The two “privately held specimens owned by Triebold Paleontology” that Scott Hartman’s drawing is based on are the same specimens Mickey mentioned were in the Carnegie Museum (CM 78000 and CM 78001). Exactly what these two specimens are is still debated. Most of the time I hear the two specimens referred to as Chirostenotes sp. nov., but others have suggested they might refer to a new genus.

  4. 7 Jaime A. Headden 19/01/2012 at 10:11 am

    Best course of action, regardless of the work of Steve Jasinski and Bob Sullivan last year to establish larger-bodied caenagnathids as new “genera,” is to refer the material to Chirostenotes pergracilis. This follows Hans Sues’ otherwise published (and presented, at 2011 SVP) views on the material. It may merely allow someone else to come along and attempt a thourough review of Oviraptorosauria and attempt a clear systematic treatment of the range of Campano-Maastrichtian NA material. Hopefully, in the next few years.

  5. 8 Thomas R. Holtz, Jr. 19/01/2012 at 2:02 pm

    Although the mount you saw in Japan was based on this Triebold composite, there are additional specimens of this taxon beyond those mentioned by Mickey in the collection of the National Science Museum, Tokyo. (Unfortunately I don’t have specimen numbers on me.)

  6. 9 Mickey Mortimer 20/01/2012 at 4:36 pm

    Interesting that there’s more material in Japan.

    Contra Jaime, I would not recommend merely calling this Chirostenotes pergracilis. The situation is different than that for ROM 43250 (“Epichirostenotes curriei” of Sullivan et al.) because the latter doesn’t differ from pergracilis in ways more important than individual variation. Note that Lamanna et al. (2011) DON’T follow Jaime’s views and actually call the CM material a “new … caenagnathid taxon” and state its mandible differs from pergracilis (=collinsi). While ROM 4320 doesn’t preserve the pes which could be used to compare it to Elmisaurus or the mandible that could compare it to elegans (=sternbergi), the CM material does. So we should be able to tell if it’s closer to pergracilis or Elmisaurus and thus make an informed decision once it is described.

  7. 10 Nick Gardner 20/01/2012 at 7:57 pm

    I thought the description of this taxon is due out soon.

  8. 12 Walter Stein 11/04/2012 at 3:34 am

    Considering Carnegie has had the original specimens since 2004 and we handed a ton of notes/observations over to them at the same time… A complete description of these two specimens is LONG overdue.


  1. 1 A different oviraptorosaur « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 21/01/2012 at 2:38 pm

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