The new species also sits deep within the evolutionary tree of theropods, much more so than coelurosaurs
, meaning that the species that stem from Sciurumimus are likely to have similar characteristics.
Similarly, there is only limited evidence that tyrannosaurids and other derived coelurosaurs, the dominant large theropods of the Campanian-Maastrichtian of Laurasia, developed large body size and filled the apex predator niche earlier in time.
Without exception, all of these large theropods are coelurosaurs, and several are particularly closely related to birds.
Finally, among more traditional predatory coelurosaurs, there are few obvious examples of non-tyrannosaurid taxa obtaining large body size during the Late Cretaceous of Asia.
Whereas the functional implications of tail size can be elucidated, the adaptive significance of caudal reduction in terrestrial coelurosaurs
is less clear.
Many paleontologists speculate that modern-day birds emerged from Coelurosaur rootstock, an idea bolstered by recent finds in China of early Cretaceous fossils of what were apparently feathered Coelurosaurs (SN: 4/28/01, p.
Kirkland describes the new predator, a yet-unnamed type of Coelurosaur, as "the coyote of the Cretaceous.
The group used information from Chinese fossils to reconstruct the new Coelurosaur from the remains of two individuals.
From his studies of the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx, Ostrom recognized various anatomical similarities between the ancient bird and a group of bipedal dinosaurs called coelurosaurs.
Although many paleontologists at the time viewed dinosaurs as clumsy and cold-blooded, Ostrom theorized that coelurosaurs and other theropod dinosaurs were agile, warm-blooded predators.