Preview of New Early Jurassic "Coelophysoid" Fossil from China

This is a link to an article discussing new finds of "coelophysoid" material from Lufeng.

Photos of the new material can be seen here.  Pretty impressive!

Added 9 pm 10/9/2010: Looking at this a bit closer now that I have some time... I'm not convinced it is coelophysoid. The snout is too short and the face isn't "pointed" enough. There is a short-snouted form of "Coelophysis" out of the Coelophysis quarry that was mentioned by David Smith in a 2006 paper (I don't have the ref right now), but this also appears to be different than that. Rather this appears to be some kind of basal theropod, which would be very interesting out of an Early Jurassic deposit.


  1. Glad to see you agree. I made the same point on the DML this morning, in relation to the lack of a subnarial gap or expanded dentary symphysis.

  2. smith 2006 paper:

  3. So is it any coincidence that the skull shown in the picture looks kind of like Eoraptor?

  4. Those are valid points, but if it were the basalmost/outgroup to coelophysoids then we might expect a plesiomorphic head on an apomorphic body (or vice versa) if it had mosaic-y evolution. Not having read Mickey's dml analysis, are any other plesiomorphies (postcranial) apparent? Or, conversely, are there any notabley derived features juxtaposed in the otherwise primitive head (the pictures are a rather harsh constraint--here's hoping it gets published soon!)

  5. One would certainly expect a subnarial gap, as this is also present in Tawa, the sister group to Neotheropoda.

  6. @Jon - There does appear to be postcrania, but it isn't shown clearly in the phtotos, which are all we have until the paper comes out.

    @220mya - any guesses as to what this could be?

    Over at the DML someone suggested that the premaxilla may be missing.


Markup Key:
- <b>bold</b> = bold
- <i>italic</i> = italic
- <a href="">FoS</a> = FoS