[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Novas, F.E. & D. Pol, 2005. New evidence on deinonychosaurian dinosaurs
from the Late Cretaceous of Patagonia. Nature 433: 858 - 861.
ABSTRACT: Most of what is known about the evolution of deinonychosaurs
(that is, the group of theropods most closely related to birds) is based on
discoveries from North America and Asia. Except for *Unenlagia comahuensis*
and some fragmentary remains from northern Africa, no other evidence was
available on deinonychosaurian diversity in Gondwana. Here we report a new,
Late Cretaceous member of the clade, *Neuquenraptor argentinus* gen. et sp.
nov., representing uncontroversial evidence of a deinonychosaurian theropod
in the Southern Hemisphere. The new discovery demonstrates that Cretaceous
theropod faunas from the southern continents shared greater similarity with
those of the northern landmasses than previously thought. Available evidence
suggests that deinonychosaurians were probably distributed worldwide at
least by the beginning of the Cretaceous period. The phylogenetic position
of the new deinonychosaur, as well as other Patagonian coelurosaurian
theropods, is compatible with a vicariance model of diversification for some
groups of Gondwanan and Laurasian dinosaurs.