Oviraptor

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TMSOviraptor.jpg

Oviraptor sitting on a nest of eggs – American Museum of Natural History, New York.

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For what it’s worth, the big body skeleton with the nest is GI 100/979 – nicknamed “Big Momma” – and the little egg with the embryo at the bottom is GI 100/971. Both have been described. Both have also been referred, not to “Oviraptor,” but to Citipati, a related taxon (“genus”) of the Oviraptoridae (for which “Oviraptor” is incorrectly used as “shorthand” for). Consider this link.

Clark, J. M., Norell, M. A. and Chiappe, L. M. 1999. An oviraptorid skeleton from the Late Cretaceous of Ukhaa Tolgod, Mongolia, preserved in an avian-like brooding position over an oviraptorid nest. American Museum Novitates 3265:1–36. Norell, M. A., Clark, J. M., Chiappe, L. M. and D. Dashzeveg 1995. A nesting dinosaur. Nature 378:774–776. Norell, M. A, Clark, J. M., Dashzeveg D., Barsbold R., Chiappe, L. M., Davidson, A. M., McKenna, M. C. and Novacek, M. J. 1994. A theropod dinosaur embryo, and the affinities of the Flaming Cliffs dinosaur eggs. Science 266:779–782.

See also: this

Amazing how the Fludd waters that could carve the Grand Canyon in a few days left this poor mother undisturbed!

Only God coulda diddit.

The very name Oviraptor means “egg stealer”, because the first fossils of this dinosaur were found near nests of eggs that were assumed to belong to a different dinosaur named Protoceratops. It wasn’t until recently that the matter was reexamined and found that those eggs were actually Oviraptor’s own!

That dinosaur should be renamed, as should others that have been misidentified. Even a marine mammal was misidentified as a dinosaur and named Basilosaurus.

qilong said:

For what it’s worth, the big body skeleton with the nest is GI 100/979 – nicknamed “Big Momma” – and the little egg with the embryo at the bottom is GI 100/971. Both have been described. Both have also been referred, not to “Oviraptor,” but to Citipati, a related taxon (“genus”) of the Oviraptoridae (for which “Oviraptor” is incorrectly used as “shorthand” for). Consider this link.

Clark, J. M., Norell, M. A. and Chiappe, L. M. 1999. An oviraptorid skeleton from the Late Cretaceous of Ukhaa Tolgod, Mongolia, preserved in an avian-like brooding position over an oviraptorid nest. American Museum Novitates 3265:1–36. Norell, M. A., Clark, J. M., Chiappe, L. M. and D. Dashzeveg 1995. A nesting dinosaur. Nature 378:774–776. Norell, M. A, Clark, J. M., Dashzeveg D., Barsbold R., Chiappe, L. M., Davidson, A. M., McKenna, M. C. and Novacek, M. J. 1994. A theropod dinosaur embryo, and the affinities of the Flaming Cliffs dinosaur eggs. Science 266:779–782.

See also: this

I think I saw this specimen at the special AMNH exhibition devoted to dinosaurs from the Gobi Desert a few years ago. If I’m not mistaken, this is still on loan to AMNH by the Mongolian Academy of Sciences.

circleh:

Were it so simple to rename a taxon on a whim, we would be neck deep in billions of names because people thought the name should be different. In fact, this happened at the beginning of the era of paleontology. The best example is Archaeopteryx, famed “first bird.” When first named, Hermann von Meyer had available to him a feather and a fossil on a slab, what would be known as “the Feather” and the London Specimen. He applied the name Archaeopteryx liyhographica (lit., “ancient feather, written in stone”) and it is assumed that he meant the body fossil. Thinking the name was applied to the feather, Petronievics applied the name Archaeornis siemensii to a new specimen, the Berlin Specimen. This was outdone earlier by Andreas Wagner, who opposed the evolutionary principles arising in the end of the 1800s, who said it could not possibly be a bird, and called it Griphosaurus problematicus (for the Berlin Specimen, claiming the feather could not possibly belong to the body skeleton), and later by Woodward who tried to replace this name, thinking it was not correctly formed at the time, with Griphornis longicaudatus. Woodward, if you may note the use of “ornis,” agreed with von Meyer the animal was a bird.

Now imagine all taxonomy was like that. Every time someone named something, for any reason, if you could find something wrong with the formation of that name (Wagner disliked the implciation of birdiness), you got to change it.

I wrote a short history on the subject of Oviraptor philoceratops as egg-thief here, check it out.

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This page contains a single entry by Timothy Sandefur published on July 25, 2011 12:00 PM.

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