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Subclade Archosauria: Avemetatarsalia to Neornithes 

Taxon Feedback
Taxon Tetanurae 
Nominal Author Gauthier 1986 
2° Nominal Author  
Taxon Status active

Gauthier coined and defined Tetnaurae as a stem-based taxon to include all theropods closer to birds than to Ceratosauria, a clade that has since been separated into two clades (Coelophysoidea, Ceratosauria sensu stricto; Wilson et al. 2003). Novas (1992) acknowledged Gauthier’s definition but then, without explanation, redefined Tetanurae as a node-based group for a less inclusive clade. Holtz (1994) and Hutchinson and Padian (1997) used Gauthier’s definition, and Sereno listed Tetanurae as a stem-based taxon, consistent with Gauthier (1986).

Sereno (1998) and Padian et al. (1999) altered “birds” to Neornithes (crown-group birds). Sereno (1998:64) accidentally used an ingroup genus, Torvosaurus, as an external specifier (which clearly contradicted the position of Tetanurae on an associated cladogram), wheras Padian et al. (1999) used Ceratosaurus. Wilson et al. (2003) clarified Sereno’s error, replacing Torvosaurus with Ceratosaurus nasicornis. Although Ceratosaurus is not nested within Ceratosauria, it is the eponymous taxon and it was thought best not to introduce yet another specifier or alternative taxon, a consideration discussed by Wilson et al. (2003).

The active definiton is a first-order revision of that in Wilson et al. (2003) that replaces Neornithes with Passer domesticus and adds one additional, nested species, Carnotaurus sastrei, to ensure the stability of the taxonomic content of Tetanurae.

Potential Synonomy Dinoaves, Tenarurae (Chure and McIntosh, misspelling)

Active Phylogenetic Definition Feedback
Active Definition The most inclusive clade containing Passer domesticus (Linnaeus 1758) but not Ceratosaurus nasicornis Marsh 1884, Carnotaurus sastrei Bonaparte 1985. 
Shorthand > Passer domesticus but not Ceratosaurus nasicornis, Carnotaurus sastrei
Definitional Author Sereno 2005 
Definition Status original
textual substitution
first-order revision
second-order revision
Definition Type node
Node-Stem Triplet yes
Other Triplet Taxa  
Specifier A Passer domesticus 
Specifier(s) B  
Specifier(s) C Ceratosaurus nasicornis, Carnotaurus sastrei 
Taxonomic Content stem (entirely extinct)
crown (extant-bounded)
mixed (extant/extinct-bounded)
Publication Year 1986 

Inactive Taxon Status Feedback
Rejection Criteria junior synonym
historically polyphyletic
incomplete definition
no definition

Current Age Range Feedback
Earliest Record Bathonian (168 Ma) 
Latest Record Recent 
Range (My) 168 
Basis for Range The earliest records are Poekilopleuron bucklandii (Allain and Chure 2004; also Poekilopleuron? valesdunensis Allain 2002) from Bathonian-age beds of France, a torvosaurid from the late Callovian-age beds in England (Eustreptospondylus oxoniensis), and Monolophosaurus jiangi from Middle Jurassic beds in China (Zhao and Currie 1993). The latest record are extant birds. Dates are rounded to the nearest million, the earliest from the beginning of the stage and the latest from the end of the stage (Gradstein et al. 2004). 

Definitional History #1
Definition 1 Birds and all other theropods closer to birds than they are to Ceratosauria. 
Author Gauthier 1986:23 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers birds, Ceratosauria 

Definitional History #2
Definition 2 The group which includes the common ancestor of Aves, Allosaurus and all its descendants [in Spanish]. 
Author Novas 1992:144 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Aves, Allosaurus 

Definitional History #3
Definition 3 All neotheropods closer to Neornithes than to Torvosaurus
Author Sereno 1998:64 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Neornithes, Torvosaurus 

Definitional History #4
Definition 4 All neotheropod more closely related to Neornithes than to Ceratosaurus
Author Padian et al. 1999:72 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Neornithes, Ceratosaurus 

Definitional History #5
Definition 5 The most inclusive clade including Neornithes but not Ceratosaurus nasicornis
Author Wilson et al. 2003:30 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Neornithes, Ceratosaurus nasicornis 

Definitional History #6
Definition 6 Passer domesticus (the extant European sparrow) and all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with P. domesticus than with Ceratosaurus nasicornis
Author Holtz et al. 2004:78-79 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Passer domesticus, Ceratosaurus nasicornis