Still hotly contested by many biologists, the newly named clade Archaeoplumia includes only two genera, African Archaeopluma (gen. nov.) and Indian Echinornithoides (previously classified as a mattiraptor).
Only two species of Archaeoplumia has been identified.
Manticorant (Echinornithoides protervus)The manticorant has proven to be a difficult beast to classify. Its skeleton has some derived features that closely align it with maniraptorans, but it also several peculiarly archaic features, and not only in the skeleton; the manicorant's spiny integument seems to be even more primitive than that of errosaurs. DNA analysis seems to place the manicorant somewhere inside Tyrannoraptora, and yet outside Maniraptora. Currently it is classified within Archaoplumia together its equally primitive African cousin, Archaeopluma (sp.)
One of the more interesting skeletal characters of the manticorant is a pygostyle-like fusion of the last caudal vertebrae. This structure seems to have evolved to act as a base for the numerous large quills at the tip of the manticorant's tail.
African Manticorant (Archaeopluma archeoplumoides)
A newly discovered archaeoplumian theropod (Archaeopluma archeoplumoides), subtly colored dappled brown, and quick witted, has only ever been seen or collected among passing gihugrongos (hosers), and apparently associates with them its whole life. It is most often only 70cm long and weighs little more than 1 kilogram. Obviously having fine lives foraging in the shadows of giants, no large predator would be able to get close enough to chase it, even if the sharp-eyed archaeoplume didn't notice the danger. Recent evidence suggests that they even nest among hosers, raising the chicks on prey attracted to hoser nests and foraged from adjacent areas. The theropod itself is clearly too small to tackle even a newly hatched hoserling.