Earlier we looked at Zhenyuanlong (Lü and Brusatte 2015), a purported dromaeosaurid that nested in the large reptile tree between Compsognathus and Tyrannosaurus. Zhenyuanlong was considered close to Tianyuraptor ostromi (Zheng et al. 2010), so I had to check it out.
After tracing and reconstruction
(Figs. 1-4), in the large reptile tree Tianyuraptor nests between Compsognathus and Zhenyuanlong, all basal to T-rex. Like Compsognathus, Tianyuraptor has an orbit that is as wide as tall. Tianyuraptor also has a longer ‘Compy‘ torso.
the reconstruction of Tianyuraptor was created using DGS (digital graphic segregation).
the skull was reconstructed (Fig. 3) rom color tracings (Fig. 4).
these taxa all have a distinct postfrontal (Fig. 5). Dinosaurs are supposed to fuse that bone to the frontal or postorbital, but in this clade, as in the bird clade, fusion of the postfrontal did not always happen.
Lü J and Brusatte SL 2015. A large, short-armed, winged dromaeosaurid (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Early Cretaceous of China and its implications for feather evolution. Scientific Reports 5, 11775; doi: 10.1038/srep11775.
Zheng X-T; Xu X; You H-L; Zhao, Qi; Dong Z 2010. A short-armed dromaeosaurid from the Jehol Group of China with implications for early dromaeosaurid evolution. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 277 (1679): 211–217.