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Arcovenator, new abelisaurid theropod from Late Cretaceous of southern France



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:


Thierry Tortosa, Eric Buffetaut, Nicolas Vialle, Yves Dutour, Eric
Turini & Gilles Cheylan (2013)
A new abelisaurid dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of southern
France: Palaeobiogeographical implications.
Annales de Paléontologie (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annpal.2013.10.003
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S075339691300089X

The Abelisauridae are a family of mainly Cretaceous theropod dinosaurs
with a wide distribution across the Gondwanan land masses. Although
their presence in Europe was reported twenty-five years ago, it has
often been considered as controversial largely because of the
incompleteness of the available specimens. We report here the
discovery of well-preserved abelisaurid material, including a highly
diagnostic braincase, at a Late Cretaceous (late Campanian) locality
in the Aix-en-Provence Basin, near the eponym city in south-eastern
France. A new abelisaurid taxon is erected, Arcovenator escotae gen.
nov., sp. nov., on the basis of cranial and postcranial material. A
phylogenetic analysis reveals that the new Abelisauridae from Provence
is more closely related to taxa from India and Madagascar than to
South American forms. Moreover, Genusaurus, Tarascosaurus and the
previous Late Cretaceous discoveries are identified as basal
abelisaurids. Contrary to previously proposed palaeobiogeographical
models of abelisaurid evolution, the presence of the new taxon in
Europe suggests that Europe and Africa may have played a major role in
abelisaurid dispersal, which apparently involved crossing marine
barriers.