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New troodontid in PLoS ONE
Geminiraptor suarezarum, from the Cedar Mountain Formation, was just
published in PLoS ONE. I would encourage those who are interested to
register at the website and comment on the paper there!
Senter P, Kirkland JI, Bird J, Bartlett JA (2010) A New Troodontid
Theropod Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Utah. PLoS ONE 5(12):
Freely downloadable at:
The theropod dinosaur family Troodontidae is known from the Upper
Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, and Upper Cretaceous of Asia and from the
Upper Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous of North America. Before now no
undisputed troodontids from North America have been reported from the
Herein we describe a theropod maxilla from the Lower Cretaceous Cedar
Mountain Formation of Utah and perform a phylogenetic analysis to
determine its phylogenetic position. The specimen is distinctive enough
to assign to a new genus and species, Geminiraptor suarezarum.
Phylogenetic analysis places G. suarezarum within Troodontidae in an
unresolved polytomy with Mei, Byronosaurus, Sinornithoides, Sinusonasus,
and Troodon + (Saurornithoides + Zanabazar). Geminiraptor suarezarum
uniquely exhibits extreme pneumatic inflation of the maxilla internal to
the antorbital fossa such that the anterior maxilla has a triangular
cross-section. Unlike troodontids more closely related to Troodon, G.
suarezarum exhibits bony septa between the dental alveoli and a
promaxillary foramen that is visible in lateral view.
This is the first report of a North American troodontid from the Lower
Cretaceous. It therefore contributes to a fuller understanding of
troodontid biogeography through time. It also adds to the known
dinosaurian fauna of the Cedar Mountain Formation.