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Changchunsaurus (basal ornithopod) osteology described



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org


New paper in Palaeontology:

RICHARD J. BUTLER, JIN LIYONG, CHEN JUN & PASCAL GODEFROIT (2011)
The postcranial osteology and phylogenetic position of the small
ornithischian dinosaur Changchunsaurus parvus from the Quantou Formation
(Cretaceous: Aptian?Cenomanian) of Jilin Province, north-eastern China.
Palaeontology (advance online publication)
Article first published online: 30 MAR 2011
DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01046.x
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01046.x/abstract

Abstract: 
Ornithopods were the most important group of Cretaceous ornithischians and
achieved high levels of abundance and taxonomic diversity. An understanding
of the phylogeny, early evolution and diagnosis of the clade is hampered by
a shortage of detailed anatomical descriptions of basal taxa. One of the
most important basal ornithopod taxa discovered in recent years is
Changchunsaurus parvus, from the Quantou Formation (?middle? Cretaceous) of
Jilin Province, China, represented by excellent cranial and postcranial
material. Here, we present the first description of the postcranial anatomy
of the holotype specimen of Changchunsaurus and provide comparisons to
other basal cerapodans and basal ornithopods. A phylogenetic analysis finds
relationships amongst basal ornithopods to be extremely poorly resolved,
but supports a sister-group relationship between Changchunsaurus and
Jeholosaurus shangyuanensis from the Yixian Formation (late Barremian?early
Aptian) of Liaoning Province, China. Numerous characters distinguish the
two taxa, supporting their generic distinction. The proposed sister-group
relationship suggests that an endemic clade of small-bodied bipedal
ornithopods existed in north-east China during the Early to ?middle?
Cretaceous.


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