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Ozraptor and Kakuru - Aussie abelisaurs?




Apologies in advance if this paper has been mentioned previously on this list (I seem to have missed some recent posts):


Rauhut, O.W.M. (2005). Post-cranial remains of 'coelurosaurs' (Dinosauria, Theropoda) from the Late Jurassic of Tanzania. Geol. Mag. 142: 97?107.

It contains a lot of info about isolated theropod bones from Tendaguru in Tanzania. No new genera or species are described. Very interesting, with the Tendaguru theropod fauna dominated by different ceratosaurs. Some elements hitherto identified as 'coelurosaurs' are re-identified as small abelsiaurs.

Rauhut briefly discusses two Australian theropods, _Ozraptor_ (Middle Jurassic) and _Kakuru_ (Early Cretaceous), which have proven difficult to classify. A small tibia (MB.R 1750) from Tendaguru is identified as coming from a small abelisauroid, and shares with _Ozraptor_ "the derived character of a depressed, subdivided facet for the ascending process of the astragalus". Thus, _Ozraptor_ is identified as a Middle Jurassic abelisauroid. If the identification is correct, it indicates a pre-Bajocian divergence for ceratosaurids and abelisauroids.

The little theropod _Kakuru_ has a "flattened anterior side of the distal end of the tibia with a medial vertical ridge", which Rauhut mentions as possible synapomorphies of small abelisauroids.

A third Aussie theropod, _Rapator_, is mentioned as a possible abelisaur, and Rauhut cites Molnar (1992). However, there is good evidence that the isolated "metacarpal" of _Rapator_ is in fact the phalanx of a large alvarezsaurid (Holtz et al., 2004).



Tim