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

Martharaptor, new theropod (therizinosauroid?) from Lower Cretaceous of Utah



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New in PLoS ONE:


Phil Senter, James I. Kirkland & Donald D. DeBlieux (2012)
Martharaptor greenriverensis, a New Theropod Dinosaur from the Lower
Cretaceous of Utah.
PLoS ONE 7(8): e43911.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043911
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0043911


Background

The Yellow Cat Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation (Early
Cretaceous, Barremian?) of Utah has yielded a rich dinosaur fauna,
including the basal therizinosauroid theropod Falcarius utahensis at
its base. Recent excavation uncovered a new possible therizinosauroid
taxon from a higher stratigraphic level in the Cedar Mountain
Formation than F. utahensis.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we describe a fragmentary skeleton of the new theropod and
perform a phylogenetic analysis to determine its phylogenetic
position. The skeleton includes fragments of vertebrae, a scapula,
forelimb and hindlimb bones, and an ischium. It also includes several
well-preserved manual unguals. Manual and pedal morphology show that
the specimen is distinct from other theropods from the Cedar Mountain
Formation and from previously described therizinosauroids. It is here
named as the holotype of a new genus and species, Martharaptor
greenriverensis. Phylogenetic analysis places M. greenriverensis
within Therizinosauroidea as the sister taxon to Alxasaurus +
Therizinosauridae, although support for this placement is weak.

Conclusions/Significance

The new specimen adds to the known dinosaurian fauna of the Yellow Cat
Member of the Cedar Mountain Formation. If the phylogenetic placement
is correct, it also adds to the known diversity of Therizinosauroidea.