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Gondwanan theropods: new papers by Novas and colleagues


The following are abstracts from the latest issue of Revista del Museo
Argentino de Ciencias Naturales, n.s. (Volumen 6, número 1, Mayo de 2004).
I haven't seen the papers themselves.  The abstracts are available at:

Unquillosaurus ceibali Powell, a giant maniraptoran (Dinosauria, Theropoda)
from the Late Cretaceous of Argentina.

Fernando E. NOVAS & Federico L. AGNOLIN

Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 6(1): 61-66, 2004

Abstract: A reviewed anatomy and phylogenetic relationships of the Late
Cretaceous theropod Unquillosaurus ceibali is presented. This taxon is
represented by an isolated pubis from Los Blanquitos Formation
(Maastrichtian), from the province of Salta, NW Argentina. The size of the
bone (51 cm long) originally lead to interpret this theropod as a member of
the large "Carnosauria". However, the pubic anatomy of Unquillosaurus is
more congruent with that present in metornithine coelurosaurians, a group
including Alvarezsauridae, Therizinosauroidea, Oviraptorosauria,
Deinonychosauria, and Aves. Derived features present in Unquillosaurus
include: opisthopubic pelvis, pubic pedicle of ilium craniocaudally wide,
ventral margin of pubic pedicle strongly concave, cranial process of pubic
foot short, and length of pubic foot less than 30 percent of pubic total
length. Moreover, some traits shared with early avians (e.g., pubic foot
proximodistally tall and craniocaudally short), suggest that this dinosaur
may be more closely related to birds than suspected. The set of
autapomorphic features recognized in the pubis indicates that Unquillosaurus
may belong to an endemic lineage of large maniraptoran theropods.

Cretaceous theropods from India: A review of specimens described by Huene
and Matley (1933)

Fernando E. NOVAS, Federico L. AGNOLIN and Saswati BANDYOPADHYAY

Rev. Mus. Argentino Cienc. Nat., n.s. 6(1): 67-103, 2004

Abstract: The Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Lameta Formation of central
India has yielded dissociated elements of a variety of predatory dinosaurs,
most of them coming from a quarry named the "Carnosaur bed." The materials
were described by Huene and Matley nearly 70 years ago. They recognized nine
theropod species, which they sorted out into the theropod subgroups
"Carnosauria" and "Coelurosauria". Huene and Matley also described a
considerable amount of theropod hindlimb bones (e.g., femora, tibiae,
metatarsals, and pedal phalanges) that they could not refer to any of these
species, but vaguely interpreted as corresponding to "allosaurid" or
"coelurosaurid" theropods. We reviewed the available collection of
Cretaceous theropods from Bara Simla housed at the Geological Survey of
India, Calcutta, arriving to the following conclusions: 1) Indosuchus and
Indosaurus are abelisaurids, as recognized by previous authors, but
available information is not enough to judge whether they are synonyms; 2)
Laevisuchus indicus is a small abelisauroid, related to Noasaurus and
Masiakasaurus on the basis of their peculiar cervical vertebrae; 3) the
controversial taxa "Compsosuchus", "Dryptosauroides", "Ornithomimoides", and
"Jubbulpuria" are represented by isolated vertebrae corresponding to
different portions of the neck and tail, and also exhibit abelisauroid
features; 4) hindlimb bones originally referred to as "allosaurid" and
"coelurosaurian" also exhibit abelisauroid characters, and bones of large
size are tentatively referred to as corresponding to Indosuchus or
Indosaurus, whereas some pedal bones of smaller size may belong to
Laevisuchus; 5) two kinds of abelisaurid feet are apparent: one in which the
phalanges of digit III and IV are robust, and another type in which the
phalanges of digit IV are transversely narrow and dorsoventrally deep. This
review demonstrates that all of the theropod elements discovered at the
"Carnosaur bed" belong to a single theropod clade, the Abelisauroidea.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796