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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): e14329. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014329

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 Early Cretaceous.

Methodology/Principal Findings
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.