Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

Avialan status for Oviraptorosauria

Teresa Maryańska, Halszka Osmólska, and Mieczysław Wolsan

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 47 (1), 2002: 97-116

Oviraptorosauria is a clade of Cretaceous theropod dinosaurs of uncertain affinities within Maniraptoriformes. All previous phylogenetic analyses placed oviraptorosaurs outside a close relationship to birds (Avialae), recognizing Dromaeosauridae or Troodontidae, or a clade containing these two taxa (Deinonychosauria), as sister taxon to birds. Here we present the results of a phylogenetic analysis using 195 characters scored for four outgroup and 13 maniraptoriform (ingroup) terminal taxa, including new data on oviraptorids. This analysis places Oviraptorosauria within Avialae, in a sister-group relationship with Confuciusornis. Archaeopteryx, Therizinosauria, Dromaeosauridae, and Ornithomimosauria are successively more distant outgroups to the Confuciusornis-oviraptorosaur clade. Avimimus and Caudipteryx are successively more closely related to Oviraptoroidea, which contains the sister taxa Caenagnathidae and Oviraptoridae. Within Oviraptoridae, "Oviraptor" mongoliensis and Oviraptor philoceratops are successively more closely related to the Conchoraptor-Ingenia clade. Oviraptorosaurs are hypothesized to be secondarily flightless. Emended phylogenetic definitions are provided for Oviraptoridae, Caenagnathidae, Oviraptoroidea, Oviraptorosauria, Avialae, Eumaniraptora, Maniraptora, and Maniraptoriformes.

Key words: Dinosauria, Theropoda,Avialae, Oviraptorosauria, birds, phylogenetic analysis, phylogenetic nomenclature.

Teresa Maryańska [mzpaleo@warman.com.pl], Muzeum Ziemi PAN, al. Na Skarpie 20/26, PL−00−488Warszawa, Poland; Halszka Osmólska [osm@twarda.pan.pl] and Mieczysław Wolsan [wolsan@twarda.pan.pl], Instytut Paleobiologii PAN, ul. Twarda 51/55, PL−00−818 Warszawa, Poland.