Saturday, April 03, 2010

New Alvarezsaurid, Xixianykus zhangi

A basal parvicursorine (Theropoda: Alvarezsauridae) from the Upper Cretaceous of China. 2010. X. Xing, et al., Zootaxa 2413: 1–19.

Illo: Matt Van Rooijen
Abstract [edit]: A new alvarezsaurid theropod, Xixianykus zhangi gen. et sp. nov., is described based on a partial postcranial skeleton collected from the Upper Cretaceous Majiacun Formation of Xixia County, Henan Province.

Cladistic analysis places this taxon as a basal parvicursorine within the Alvarezsauridae, a position consistent with the presence of several incipiently developed parvicursorine features in this taxon and also with its relatively early geological age. A brief analysis of vertebral functional morphology, together with data from the hindlimb, suggests that parvicursorines represent extreme cursors among non-avian dinosaurs.