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Subclade Archosauria: Avemetatarsalia to Neornithes 

Taxon Feedback
Taxon Compsognathidae 
Nominal Author Cope 1871 
2° Nominal Author  
Taxon Status active

Compsognathidae was originally coined by Cope (1871, Proc. Amer. Assoc. Adv. Science 1870:194-247) and was correctly cited by Chure and McIntosh (1989). The taxon was cited for the correct year but wrong publication by Holtz et al. (2004). Ostrom (1978), Chen et al. (1998), and Hwang et al. (2004) cited Marsh (1882) as author of Compsognathidae; Marsh claimed in that paper that this taxon (and other families) were named by himself, although he does not indicate specifically that the family is new. Kuhn (1967), Steel (1973), Paul (1988) and Naisch et al. (2004) cited Cope (1875) for Compsognathidae. Furthermore, the original description of the type species (Compsognathus longipes) by Wagner (1961; Abhandl. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. 9:30-38) is also often cited incorrectly with reference to another paper in the same volume by Wagner (1961; Abhandl. Bayer. Akad. Wiss. 9:65-124) that described the associated fauna (e.g. Chure and McIntosh 1989, Rauhut 2003).

Compsognathidae is defined here as a stem-based taxon that includes Compsognathus and two more recently named genera from China, Sinosauropteryx and Huaxiagnathus (Hwang et al. 2004). The active definition is a textual variant of that given in Holtz et al. (2004), the only definition published to date.

Two species at the base of Coelurosauria, Ornitholestes hermanni and Coelurus fragilis, may eventually be shown to be most closely related to Compsognathus, although this is not currently supported by any analysis. If that proves to be the case, the inclusion of Ornitholestes in Compsognathidae is not inappropriate, given that Osborn (1903) originally described Ornitholestes as a “compsognathoid” (although the superfamily has never been used to my knowledge). To include Coelurus and any closely related genera or species (new material close to the original has been found) in Compsognathidae also would not present a problem. Coeluridae (Marsh 1881) postdates Compsognathidae, and an eponymous subfamilial taxon could be defined, if either group became significantly more diverse.

Potential Synonomy Compsognatha, Compsognathia 

Active Phylogenetic Definition Feedback
Active Definition The most inclusive clade containing Compsognathus longipes Wagner 1861 but not Passer domesticus (Linnaeus 1758). 
Shorthand > Compsognathus longipes but not Passer domesticus
Definitional Author Holtz et al. 2004 
Definition Status original
textual substitution
first-order revision
second-order revision
Definition Type node
Node-Stem Triplet yes
Other Triplet Taxa  
Specifier A Compsognathus longipes 
Specifier(s) B  
Specifier(s) C Passer domesticus 
Taxonomic Content stem (entirely extinct)
crown (extant-bounded)
mixed (extant/extinct-bounded)
Publication Year 2004 

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

Current Age Range Feedback
Earliest Record Kimmeridgian (156 Ma) 
Latest Record Barremian (125 Ma) 
Range (My) 31 
Basis for Range The earliest record is based on Compsognathus longipes from the Morrison Formation and a lithographic limestone in southerrn France (Kimmeridgian); the latest record is Sinosauropteryx and Huaxiagnathus (Hwang et al. 2004) from the Yixian Formation of northeastern China (Barremian, Swicher et al. 2002). Dates are rounded to the nearest milion, 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 Compsognathus longipes and all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with it than with Passer domesticus
Author Holtz et al. 2004:104 
Type node  stem 
Specifiers Compsognathus longipes, Passer domesticus