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Nqwebasaurus, an African ornithomimosaur

From: Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Jonah N. Choiniere, Catherine A. Forster & William J. de Klerk (2012)
New information on Nqwebasaurus thwazi, a coelurosaurian theropod from
the Early Cretaceous (Hauteriverian?) Kirkwood Formation in South
Journal of African Earth Sciences (advance online publication)

We performed additional preparation on the holotype skeleton of
Nqwebasaurus thwazi and discovered new skeletal material from the
holotype. We describe this material, which includes a maxilla with
small, conical, unserrated teeth as well as bones of the braincase, as
well as parts of the holotype postcranial anatomy that were previously
poorly documented. We incorporate this new anatomical information into
a broadly sampled matrix designed to test theropod relationships. Our
phylogenetic results hypothesize that Nqwebasaurus is the basalmost
ornithomimosaur, and recover numerous characters supporting this
relationship, including features of the maxilla, frontal, dentition,
axial skeleton, forelimb and hindlimb. Nqwebasaurus is the first
African ornithomimosaur and the first Gondwanan member of this group
known from articulated skeletal material, supporting the hypothesis
that coelurosaurian groups were cosmopolitan during their early
evolutionary history. The presence of reduced dentition and a gastric
mill in Nqwebasaurus strongly suggest that this taxon was herbivorous.