Revised January 30, 2016. Additional taxa and revisions to Compsognathus now nest Dracoraptor with Coelophysis in the large reptile tree.
Revised again March 11, 2016 with a rearrangement of the manual elements to match those of sister taxa.
From the Martill et al. paper:
“Diagnosis. A basal neotheropod with the following autapomorphies and unique combination of plesiomorphies: Three teeth in the premaxilla, slender maxillary process of jugal, large narial opening with slender subnarial bar, anteriorly directed pubis considerably longer than ischium, and large dorsal process on distal tarsal IV.”
Martill et al nested
Dracroraptor (with long manual digit 3 interpretation, Fig. 3) between Tawa and Coelophysis. Tawas also has a longer manual digit 3. I could not confirm the longer manual digit 3.
In the large reptile tree (subset Fig. 4) Dracoraptor now nests with Coelophysis among tested taxa.
One of the problems with scattered digits is producing scores in analysis. The best practice, IMHO, is to nest the taxon first without scoring the scattered digits, then use phylogenetic bracketing to reassemble the scattered phalanges based on sister taxa patterns.
Generally it is problematic
to score scrappy taxa like this. Basal taxa are always interesting. Happily, enough is known to nest Dracoraptor without losing resolution.
As you can see
(Fig. 3), the published drawing does not accurately reflect the shapes of the published skull bones. In addition, the published tracing of the phalanges had to be warped to fit the published photograph. I wish tracings were taken from published photos so there would be a one-to-one correspondence.
Martill DM, Vidovic SU, Howells C and Nudds JR 2016. The Oldest Jurassic Dinosaur: A Basal Neotheropod from the Hettangian of Great Britain. PLoS ONE 11(1): e0145713. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145713