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Abelisaurus and Aucasaurus braincases described

From: Ben Creisler

In advance papers for Palaeontology:

Ariana Paulina Carabajal (2011)
Braincases of abelisaurid theropods from the Upper Cretaceous of north
Palaeontology (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4983.2011.01055.x

The braincases of the abelisaurid theropod dinosaurs Abelisaurus
comahuensis and Aucasaurus garridoi are described and compared. These two
taxa share the presence of a floccular recess that is'8'-shaped, the
absence of a medullar eminence in the floor of the endocranial cavity and
the possession of a well-developed, narrow and tall dorsal longitudinal
sinus. The basisphenoidal recess is continuous dorsocaudally with two
pneumatic cavities, which are separated medially by a thin septum. A
connection between the metotic canal and the columellar recess that
probably represents the exit of cranial nerve IX is observed in
Abelisaurus. Aucasaurus has a skull roof with a wide sagittal crest and a
low parietal eminence that differentiates it from other derived
abelisaurids such as Abelisaurus, Carnotaurus and Majungasaurus. The
abelisaurid braincases described herein show strong consistency in their
general morphology and structure. However, there is some variation, and
these detailed descriptions are important for understanding the variation
and distribution of braincase characters within Abelisauridae.

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