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A definitive abelisaurid theropod dinosaur from the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia

Lamanna, MC and Martínez, RD and Smith, JB (2002) A definitive abelisaurid theropod dinosaur from the early Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 22 (1). 58 - 69. ISSN 0272-4634

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A nearly complete, well-preserved maxilla of an abelisaurid theropod from the early Late Cretaceous (middle Cenomanian-Turonian) Lower Member of the Bajo Barreal Formation of Chubut, Argentina represents the first definitive member of the abelisaurid clade from pre-Senonian (Coniacian-Maastrichtian) deposits. The new maxilla shares derived characters with the maxillae of Carnotaurus and Aajungatholus, and with AMNH 1955, a maxilla previously referred to Indosuchus, suggesting that it pertains to the abelisaurid subclade Carnotaurinae. Abelisaurus shares apomorphic characters with Carnotaurinae, but many of these characters are also found in the carcharodontosaurid allosauroid Giganotosaurus. As it is known only from cranial material lacking carnotaurine synapomorphies, Abelisaurus may represent a late-surviving carcharodontosaurid derivative. The presence of the Bajo Barreal predator in the early Late Cretaceous indicates that the origin of Abelisauridae had occurred by then. The occurrence of the new maxilla is nearly concurrent with the accepted interval of tectonic divergence between South America and Africa. Its discovery thus weakens support for the recent hypothesis that the abelisaurid clade could not have penetrated Africa. The known occurrence of Abelisauridae may reflect a former pan-Gondwanan distribution, and is thus of limited utility in the support of Late Cretaceous paleogeographic hypotheses. © 2002 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lamanna, MC
Martínez, RD
Smith, JB
Date: 1 March 2002
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Volume: 22
Number: 1
Page Range: 58 - 69
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1671/0272-4634(2002)022[0058:adatdf];2
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Planetary Science
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0272-4634
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2014 19:11
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018 00:55


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