Getting to Eichstaett was really rather good timing given that the new and long description of Juravenator is finally out. This little theropod caused quite a stir when it first appeared in 2006, though of course as a specimen it had been around for a while before then. I did have a bunch of photos of this from previous trips, but nothing digital, and now the slab is out in display this was too good an opportunity to miss.

Juravenator is generally considered to be a compsognathid of some kind and the specimen is wonderfully complete. Partly prepared using UV light this meant that even very small details are preserved and not lost through cleaning the bones. In addition to the scales around the tail (see below) there is the possibility of some feather-like fibers amongst the scales. If there is a ‘problem’ as such with the material it is that this is another juvenile. This seems to be a common theme with compsognathids with the ‘classic’ Compsognathus holoype also obviously being a young animal as well. It would be nice to have a really good adult compsognathid turn up and give us a bit more insight into this group. While several taxa are now known, they don’t get anything like the attention of other even ‘minor’ theropods groups and its about time someone really got to grips with them (or if they have, I’ve clearly missed it).

Chiappe, L.M. and Göhlich, U.B. (2010). “Anatomy of Juravenator starki (Theropoda: Coelurosauria) from the Late Jurassic of Germany.Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie – Abhandlungen, 258(3): 257-296. doi:10.1127/0077-7749/2010/012

7 Responses to “Juravenator”

  1. 1 Kilian Hekhuis 17/12/2010 at 9:29 am

    I notice you regularly writing Compsoganthus instead of Compsognathus, I take this is just a typo?

    • 2 David Hone 17/12/2010 at 9:37 am

      You can’t be a regular reader. I’m not a good typist and a worse proof reader. I am at least consistent. I’ll go fix it.

  2. 3 Mark Robinson 18/12/2010 at 2:47 am

    David, you could try running your text through a spellchecker (although you’d have to ask an adult to add “Compsognathus” to the custom dictionary for you!).

    • 4 David Hone 18/12/2010 at 8:12 am

      That’s generally where I fall down on those pesky non-standard words. Generally I know how to spell them, I just type them wrong and then don’t spot the error. I have a particular knack of typing ornithischain instead of ornithischian, but oddly enough I don’t do it for saurischian….

      • 5 Mark Robinson 19/12/2010 at 1:47 am

        The ornith/saurischian thing prob has something to do with the preceding sequence of letters. For some reason, if I type a word with a capital ‘M’ followed by ‘o’ I always type (eg) “MOve” unless I force myself to slow down when typing it. It’s odd because “Mi…”, “No…”, and “Ni…” don’t suffer the same fate.

  3. 6 Tarchia 18/12/2010 at 4:57 am

    Nice photos, Dave! I need to actually get around to reading that manuscript in detail, I skimmed the figures and it looks awesome.

  1. 1 Sciurumimus « Dave Hone's Archosaur Musings Trackback on 03/07/2012 at 5:45 pm
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