A reexamination of the French Compsognathus corallestris, from the Portlandian lithographic limestones of the Tithonian of southern France, provides new cranial and postcranial information crucial for a better understanding of the taxon Compsognathus. The French Compsognathus is almost completely preserved either as actual bony elements or as impressions, lacking only the distal portion of its tail, and some of the manual phalanges. It is preserved in two blocks, one containing the skull and postcranial skeleton up to the seventh caudal vertebra, the other caudal vertebrae nine through 31. Compsognathids are currently known from Europe, South America, and China. The absence of an external mandibular fenestra, dorsally fan-shaped dorsal neural spines with hook-shaped ligament attachments, and a very short McI and a PhI-1, which is stouter than the radius distinguish compsognathids from other coelurosaurs. Anatomical and morphological characters of the Bavarian specimen of Compsognathus are nearly identical to those of the French specimen. The differences are related to ontogenetic or within-species variation or are caused by preservational factors. Therefore this study proposes that C. corallestris is a subjective junior synonym of Compsognathus longipes from Bavaria.
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Vol. 26 • No. 4