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What is Caudipteridae?

Pronunciation: kaw-dip-teh-ruh-day
Author: Zhou and Wang
Year: 2000
Meaning: Caudipteryx family (see etymology)
Locomotion: Bipedal (two legs)
Synonyms: Caudipterygidae (Osmólska et al., 2004)
Definition
Not officially defined
About

Caudipteridae is a family of oviraptorosaurs known only from Aptian-aged (Early Cretaceous, 125-120 mya) Formations in China, who are typified by a unique dagger-shaped pygostyle—the bone at the tip of the tail in birds, used to anchor a "fan" of feathers.

It was was named in 2000 to house Caudipteryx and its closest relatives, which at the time ammounted to just two species of Caudipteryx, and given that a family isn't really a family unless it houses at least a couple of genera it was a bit pointless. Nevertheless, Caudipteridae was unfathomably renamed Caudipterygidae by Osmólska, Currie and Barsbold in 2004, four years before the second and still only other member, the creatively-named Similicaudipteryx (similar to Caudipteryx) was coined. Most paleontologists still use Caudipteridae, anyway.

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Etymology
Caudipteridae is derived from the Latin "cauda" (tail), the Greek "pteryx" (wing, feather) and the Latin "idae" (family), named for the group anchor, Caudipteryx, whose stumpy tail sports a fan-like arrangement of large feathers.
Relationships
Further reading
Zhou, Z. and Wang, X. (2000) "A new species of Caudipteryx from the Yixian Formation of Liaoning, northeast China".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "DinoChecker FAQ entry :: What is Caudipteridae?"
http://www.dinochecker.com/dinosaurfaqs/what-is-caudipteridae›. Web access: 20th Oct 2017.
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