Reconstruction of Caudipteryx zoui, by Matt Martyniuk.

Belongs within: Maniraptora.

The Oviraptorosauria are a group of cursorial theropods known from the Cretaceous of Eurasia and North America. Mostly less than two metres in length, they are characterised by deep, short skulls with the dentition reduced or absent. The ecology of oviraptorosaurs has been subject to much debate; they may have included herbivorous or omnivorous forms.

The majority of oviraptorosaurs belong to a clade Caenagnathoidea, which has been defined as the least inclusive clade including Oviraptor philoceratops and Caenagnathus collinsi. This clade is supported by several synapomorphies, including the presence of two longitudinal ridges and a toothlike ventral process on the palatal shelf of the maxilla, and a jaw joint close to the midline of the skull (Osmólska et al. 2004). Non-caenagnathoid oviraptorosaurs include the early Cretaceous Caudipteryx, the type species of which, C. zoui, is known from fossils in which a fan of feathers is preserved at the end of the tail.

Synapomorphies (from Osmólska et al. 2004): Premaxilla with crenulated ventral margin; parietal at least as long as frontal; ascending process of quadratojugal bordering more than three-quarters of infratemporal fenestra; U-shaped mandibular symphysis present; dentary edentulous; pubic foot with cranial process longer than caudal process.

    |  i. s.: Thecocoelurus Huene 1923OCB04
    |           |--*T. daviesi (Seeley 1888)OCB04 [=Thecospondylus daviesiOCB04, Coelurus daviesiN02]
    |           `--T. horneri Seeley 1882 (n. d.)N02
    |--+--Protarchaeopteryx Ji & Ji 1997GC13, P04
    |  |    `--P. robusta Ji & Ji 1997P04
    |  `--Incisivosaurus Xu, Cheng et al. 2002XT07, OCB04
    |       `--*I. gauthieri Xu, Cheng et al. 2002OCB04 [=Protarchaeopteryx gauthieriSB04]
    `--+--Similicaudipteryx yixianensisGC13, P10 [=Caudipteryx yixianensisP10]
       `--+--Avimimus Kurzanov 1981 [Avimimidae]OCB04
          |    `--A. portentosus Kurzanov 1981OCB04
          `--+--Microvenator Ostrom 1970GC13, OCB04
             |    `--M. celer Ostrom 1970OCB04
             |--Caudipteryx Ji, Currie et al. 1998XT07, OCB04 [Caudipterygidae]
             |    |--C. dongi Zhou & Wang 2000OCB04
             |    `--C. zoui Ji, Currie et al. 1998OCB04
             `--Caenagnathoidea [Caenagnathinae, Oviraptoroidea]OCB04
                  |--Caenagnathidae [Caenagnathiformes, Elmisauridae]OCB04
                  |    |--Hagryphus giganteusN10
                  |    |--Caenagnathasia Currie, Godfrey & Nessov 1993OCB04
                  |    |    `--C. martinsoni Currie, Godfrey & Nessov 1993 1994OCB04
                  |    |--Nomingia Barsbold, Osmólska et al. 2000OCB04
                  |    |    `--N. gobiensis Barsbold, Osmólska et al. 2000OCB04
                  |    |--Shanyangosaurus Xue, Zhang & Bi 1996P10, HMC04
                  |    |    `--S. niupanggouensis Zue, Zhang & Bi 1996HMC04
                  |    |--Elmisaurus Osmólska 1981MOW02, OCB04
                  |    |    |--E. elegans (Parks 1933)B93
                  |    |    `--E. rarus Osmólska 1981OCB04 [=Chirostenotes rarusP88]
                  |    `--Chirostenotes Gilmore 1924OCB04 (see below for synonymy)
                  |         |--C. elegans (Parks 1933)OCB04 (see below for synonymy)
                  |         `--C. pergracilis Gilmore 1924 (see below for synonymy)OCB04
                       |  i. s.: Shixinggia oblitaP10
                       |--Gigantoraptor Xu, Tan et al. 2007XT07
                       |    `--*G. erlianensis Xu, Tan et al. 2007XT07
                          |    |--Oviraptor Osborn 1924OCB04
                          |    |    `--O. philoceratops Osborn 1924OCB04
                          |    |--Rinchenia Barsbold 1997OCB04
                          |    |    `--R. mongoliensis (Barsbold 1986)OCB04 (see below for synonymy)
                          |    `--Citipati Clark, Norell & Barsbold 2001OCB04
                          |         |--C. barsboldi (Lü et al. 2004)P10, N10 [=Nemegtia barsboldiN10, Nemegtomaia barsboldiP10]
                          |         `--C. osmolskae Clark, Norell & Barsbold 2001OCB04
                               |--+--Conchoraptor Barsbold 1986OCB04
                               |  |    `--C. gracilis Barsbold 1986OCB04 [=Citipati gracilisP10]
                               |  `--Khaan Clark, Norell & Barsbold 2001OCB04
                               |       `--K. mckennai Clark, Norell & Barsbold 2001OCB04
                               `--+--‘Ingenia’ Barsbold 1981 non Gerlach 1957OCB04
                                  |    `--I. yanshini Barsbold 1981OCB04 [=Oviraptor (Ingenia) yanshiniP88]
                                  `--Heyuannia Lü 2003ZZ08, OCB04
                                       `--H. huangi Lü 2003OCB04 [=Citipati huangiP10]

Chirostenotes Gilmore 1924OCB04 [incl. Caenagnathus Sternberg 1940OCB04, Macrophalangia Sternberg 1932N85]

Chirostenotes elegans (Parks 1933)OCB04 [=Ornithomimus elegansOCB04; incl. Caenagnathus sternbergi Cracraft 1971OCB04, Chirostenotes sternbergiD07]

Chirostenotes pergracilis Gilmore 1924 [incl. Caenagnathus collinsi Sternberg 1940, Macrophalangia canadensis Sternberg 1932]OCB04

Rinchenia mongoliensis (Barsbold 1986)OCB04 [=Oviraptor mongoliensisOCB04, Citipati mongoliensisP10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B93] Benton, M. J. 1993. Reptilia. In: Benton, M. J. (ed.) The Fossil Record 2 pp. 681–715. Chapman & Hall: London.

[D07] Dixon, D. 2007. The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs & Prehistoric Creatures. Hermes House: London.

[GC13] Godefroit, P., A. Cau, Hu D.-Y., F. Escuillié, Wu W. & G. Dyke. 2013. A Jurassic avialan dinosaur from China resolves the early phylogenetic history of birds. Nature 498: 359–362.

[HMC04] Holtz, T. R., Jr, R. E. Molnar & P. J. Currie. 2004. Basal Tetanurae. In: Weishampel, D. B., P. Dodson & H. Osmólska (eds) The Dinosauria 2nd ed. pp. 71–110. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[MOW02] Maryańska, T., H. Osmólska & M. Wolsan. 2002. Avialan status for Oviraptorosauria. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 47 (1): 97–116.

[N02] Naish, D. 2002. The historical taxonomy of the Lower Cretaceous theropods (Dinosauria) Calamospondylus and Aristosuchus from the Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association 113: 153–163.

[N10] Naish, D. 2010. Tetrapod Zoology: Book One. CFZ Press: Bideford (UK).

[N85] Norman, D. 1985. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs. Salamander Books: London.

[OCB04] Osmólska, H., P. J. Currie & R. Barsbold. 2004. Oviraptorosauria. In: Weishampel, D. B., P. Dodson & H. Osmólska (eds) The Dinosauria 2nd ed. pp. 165–183. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[P04] Padian, K. 2004. Basal Avialae. In: Weishampel, D. B., P. Dodson & H. Osmólska (eds) The Dinosauria 2nd ed. pp. 210–231. University of California Press: Berkeley.

[P88] Paul, G. S. 1988. Predatory Dinosaurs of the World: A Complete Illustrated Guide. Simon & Schuster: New York.

[P10] Paul, G. S. 2010. Dinosaurs: A Field Guide. A & C Black.

[SB04] Senter, P., R. Barsbold, B. B. Britt, & D. A. Burnham. 2004. Systematics and evolution of Dromaeosauridae (Dinosauria, Theropoda). Bulletin of Gunma Museum of Natural History 8: 1–20.

[XT07] Xu, X., Q. Tan, J. Wang, X. Zhao & L. Tan. 2007. A gigantic bird-like dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of China. Nature 447: 844–847.

[ZZ08] Zhang, F., Z. Zhou, X. Xu, X. Wang & C. Sullivan. 2008. A bizarre Jurassic maniraptoran from China with elongate ribbon-like feathers. Nature 455: 1105–1108.

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