Posts Tagged 'Limusaurus'

Some Limusaurus images

Obvious the wonderful little Limusaurus has gained a fair bit of attention on here this year, what with it being a herbivorous ceratosaur (and thus some interesting prospects for theropod diets), having interesting hand homology implications, and of course was collected in a rather impressive block of matrix.

Limusaurus holotype

The IVPP has now put out the holotype on display and thus since it’s free for the public to see and photograph I’m happy to join in and stick up some photos of the block. So enjoy some nice shiny new pictures of the specimen and a couple of close-ups below.

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OK one last bit of Limusaurus

So some judicious badgering on my part of people who were part of the great Limusaurus excavation has turned up a few images. These come courtesy of the great Jonah Choiniere who is working on theropods for his PhD with Jim Clark and has been part of the IVPP field crew for a number of years now. Johan passed these photos onto me to show the block that contained Limusaurus being excavated and shipped out in a ‘jacket box’, my thanks to him.

Theropod block 2Theropod block 3Positioning the boxXu, X., Clark, J.M., Mo, J., Choiniere, J., Forster, C.A., Erickson, G.M., Hone, D.W.E., Sullivan, C., Eberth, D.A., Nesbitt, S. Zhao, Q., Hernandez, R. Jia, C., Han, F., & Guo, Y. 2009. A Jurassicceratosaur from China helps clarify avian digital homologies. Nature

Limusaurus confusion

ResearchBlogging.orgThe advent of the description of Limusaurus and the associated hypothesis of digit homologies in the paper is likely to generate quite a lot of interest in dinosaurian and avian circles. However, it will, I suspect, also generate a fair bit of confusion in the short and perhaps even long term, even if the hypothesis is rapidly refuted or is not adopted by the palaeontological community. It’s a problem that comes up occasionally in palaeontology (and I imagine other fields too) and is worth commenting on at least a little.
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Limusaurus – four fingers and a whole mess of homologies

OK, so Limusaurus was, bizarrely, a basal herbivorous ceratosaur from the Middle Jurassic of China, but what is all this manual homology stuff that seems to be exciting everyone? Well, it is quite long and complicated, so bear with me. You have no idea how many rewrites that papers went through as most of the people on the paper at one time or another completely rewrite the section from scratch in an effort to get all the information in and keep both the other authors and the referees happy.

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Limusaurus – an herbivorous ceratosaur?

limu skel

Drawing of the Limusaurus skeleton

Well, what can I say about Limusaurus? Quite a lot actually and I hope to do so over the next few posts. Obviously this animal is generating quite a bit of excitement and / or controversy so it’s well worth commenting on at some length for a variety of reasons. The focus of the paper and by extension most of the media and blogging interest is in the hand and the implications it has for the identity of the fingers of derived theropods and of birds. I will deal with that in due course but this is also incredibly interesting as another probably herbivorous theropod in a lineage full of animals that are anything but vegetarians.
Continue reading ‘Limusaurus – an herbivorous ceratosaur?’

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