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New Australovenator (Theropoda) Hind Limb Elements

From: Ben Creisler

New in PLoS ONE:

Matt A. White, Roger B. J. Benson, Travis R. Tischler, Scott A.
Hocknull, Alex G. Cook, David G. Barnes, Stephen F. Poropat, Sarah J.
Wooldridge & Trish Sloan (2013)
New Australovenator Hind Limb Elements Pertaining to the Holotype
Reveal the Most Complete Neovenatorid Leg.
PLoS ONE 8(7): e68649.

We report new skeletal elements pertaining to the same individual
which represents the holotype of Australovenator wintonensis, from the
‘Matilda Site’ in the Winton Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of western
Queensland. The discovery of these new elements means that the hind
limb of Australovenator is now the most completely understood hind
limb among Neovenatoridae. The new hind limb elements include: the
left fibula; left metatarsal IV; left pedal phalanges I-2, II-1,
III-4, IV-2, IV-3; and right pedal phalanges, II-2 and III-1. The
detailed descriptions are supported with three dimensional figures.
These coupled with the completeness of the hind limb will increase the
utility of Australovenator in comparisons with less complete
neovenatorid genera. These specimens and the previously described hind
limb elements of Australovenator are compared with other theropods
classified as neovenatorids (including Neovenator, Chilantaisaurus,
Fukuiraptor, Orkoraptor and Megaraptor). Hind limb length proportion
comparisons indicate that the smaller neovenatorids Australovenator
and Fukuiraptor possess more elongate and gracile hind limb elements
than the larger Neovenator and Chilantaisaurus. Greater stride lengths
to body size exist in both Fukuiraptor and Australovenator with the
femur discovered to be proportionally shorter the rest of the hind
limb length. Additionally Australovenator is identified as possessing
the most elongate metatarsus. The metatarsus morphology varies with
body size. The larger neoventorids possess a metatarsus with greater
width but shorter length compared to smaller forms.