Ornitholestes now nests nearby.
The CNJ7 specimen of Compsognathus (Fig. 0) is closer to the base of the Tyrannosaurus clade.
Figure 0. Taxa ancestral to tyrannosaurs beginning with the CNJ7 specimen of Compsognathus.
At odds with other published trees
the large reptile tree finds the following taxa in the clade of, and ancestral to, Tyrannosaurus, everyone’s favorite dinosaur.
Figure 1. The following taxa nest in the clade of Tyrannosaurus at present: Gorgosaurus, Alioramus, Zhenyuanlong, Tinayuraptor and Ornitholestes. Click to enlarge. There appears to be a linkage from Zhenyuanlong to T-rex in the shape of the orbit and relatively short rostrum.
Seems pretty obvious.
even when you look at that very distinctive hourglass-shaped quadratojugal. Not sure why others have missed this.
We looked at traditional contenders,
now almost all nesting with similarly long-snouted spinosaurs here and here. None have a similar QJ.
And, as we learned earlier…
Ornitholestes nests basal to the very bird-like Microraptor and Sinornithosaurus.