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Unenlagiid vertebra from Brazil



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Carlos Roberto A. Candeiro, Andrea Cau, Federico Fanti, Willian R.
Nava, Fernando E. Novas (2012)
First evidence of an unenlagiid (Dinosauria, Theropoda, Maniraptora)
from the Bauru Group, Brazil.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2012.04.001
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667112000742


In this study, we describe a small theropod dorsal vertebra from the
Late Cretaceous Bauru Group (Brazil). The specimen is referred to the
maniraptoran clade Unenlagiidae based on the following combination of
characters: diapophyses short, wide and weakly inclined; dorsal
surface of the neural spine transversely expanded; neural spine at
least twice as high than it is long at mid-height; and deep lateral
excavations of the ventrolateral surface of the neural spine. The
vertebra belonged to an ontogenetically mature individual with an
estimate total body length of around 1 m. This is the first evidence
of Unenlagiidae in Brazil, a clade currently known only from Argentina
and possibly Madagascar. The presence of large- to small-bodied forms
in the Turonian–Santonian of South America indicates that Unenlagiinae
were ecologically disparate during the first half of the Cretaceous.
The Bauru vertebra shows a combination of avian-like, Rahonavis-like
and Unenlagia-like features, making it a possible pivotal taxon in
future phylogenetic investigations of intra- and interrelationships of
unenlagiids.