Temporal range:
Middle JurassicPresent, 167–0 Ma Possible Early Jurassic record
Ornitholestes Royal Tyrrell 2.jpg
Skeleton mount of Ornitholestes hermanni
Vultur gryphus head (Linnaeus, 1758).jpg
Andean condor (Vultur gryphus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Clade: Dinosauria
Clade: Saurischia
Clade: Theropoda
Clade: Coelurosauria
Clade: Tyrannoraptora
Clade: Maniraptoromorpha
Cau, 2018

Maniraptoromorpha is a clade of coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs that includes the taxa Ornitholestes, Coelurus, Compsognathidae and Maniraptoriformes.[4][1] There has been several phylogenetic analyses that have shown support in the grouping of Maniraptoriformes with at least the aforementioned Ornitholestes.[5] This group was named by Andrea Cau, who defined it as the "most inclusive clade containing Vultur gryphus Linnaeus, 1758, and excluding Tyrannosaurus rex Osborn, 1905."[4]

This group of coelurosaurs according to Cau (2018) has the following synapomorphies:[4]

Keel or carinae in the postaxial cervical centra, absence of hyposphene-hypantra in caudal vertebrae (reversal to the plesiomorphic theropodan condition), a prominent dorsomedial process on the semilunate carpal, a convex ventral margin of the pubic foot, a subrectangular distal end of tibia and a sulcus along the posterior margin of the proximal end of fibula.

In 2019 Hendrickx et al. established the maniraptoromorph subclade Neocoelurosauria as a branch-based node for the clade containing Maniraptoriformes and Compsognathidae.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Hendrickx, C.; Mateus O.; Araújo R. & Choiniere J. (2019). "The distribution of dental features in non-avian theropod dinosaurs: Taxonomic potential, degree of homoplasy, and major evolutionary trends". Palaeontologia Electronica. 22 (3): 1–110.
  2. ^ Choiniere, J. N.; Clark, J. M.; Forster, C. A.; Xu, X. (2010). "A basal coelurosaur (Dinosauria: Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) of the Shishugou Formation in Wucaiwan, People's Republic of China". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 30 (6): 1773–1796. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.520779. S2CID 86543963.
  3. ^ Zichuan Qin; James Clark; Jonah Choiniere & Xing Xu (2019). "A new alvarezsaurian theropod from the Upper Jurassic Shishugou Formation of western China". Scientific Reports. 9 (1). Article number 11727. Bibcode:2019NatSR...911727Q. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-48148-7. PMC 6692367. PMID 31409823.
  4. ^ a b c Andrea Cau (2018). "The assembly of the avian body plan: a 160-million-year long process" (PDF). Bollettino della Società Paleontologica Italiana. 57 (1): 1–25. doi:10.4435/BSPI.2018.01.
  5. ^ Hendrickx, C.; Hartman, S.A. & Mateus, O. (2015). "An Overview of Non- Avian Theropod Discoveries and Classification". PalArch's Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology. 12 (1): 1–73.