[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Non-avian theropods from Iharkút

Ösi A., Apesteguía S., Kowalewskic M.
Non-avian theropod dinosaurs from the early Late Cretaceous of central Europe
Cretaceous Research


Quantitative and qualitative analyses of isolated teeth and
postcranial elements of non-avian theropod dinosaurs from the Upper
Cretaceous (Santonian) Csehbánya Formation, Iharkút (western Hungary)
indicate that these remains represent multiple dinosaur groups. Based
on comparative and statistical analyses, 58 teeth and tooth fragments
are identified as belonging to medium-sized basal tetanuran theropods
that may have represented the top-predator of the terrestrial Iharkút
ecosystem. These teeth are almost identical with the two ‘Megalosaurus
pannoniensis’ teeth from the lower Campanian of Muthmannsdorf
(Austria) and show a notable similarity to teeth of the Middle
Jurassic M. bucklandii and the Lower Cretaceous ‘M. dunkeri’ from
England. A single pedal ungual phalanx is interpreted as the oldest
European occurrence of Late Cretaceous abelisaurids, as suggested by a
ventral groove and bifurcated grooves laterally bordering a convex,
triangular area. Small-bodied paravian theropods are found to be the
best represented group in Iharkút, including teeth, caudal vertebrae,
a metacarpal III, manual phalanges, and a fragmentary left tibia. A
particularly notable paravian remain is a complete left
scapulocoracoid possessing a unique pneumatic foramen ventral to the
coracoid foramen. This specimen is assigned to Pneumatoraptor fodori
n. g. et sp. Finally, numerous postcranial elements of Theropoda
indet. were recovered, including a fragmentary sacrum that offers new
insights into the sacral pneumaticity of theropods. The presence of
these theropods in the Santonian Iharkút ecosystem provides the first
evidence that during the early Late Cretaceous the Mediterranean
archipelago was inhabited by both Gondwanan and Euramerican members of
theropod dinosaurs. Consistent with data available for other
archosaurian taxa, the close relationship of the basal tetanuran teeth
with much older forms suggests that the Iharkút area may have
functioned as a refugium in the early Late Cretaceous Mediterranean

Jocelyn Falconnet