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Lythronax argestes, the Gore King of the Southwest
The long-awaited Wahweap Fm tyrant dinosaur (and presumed
Loewen MA, Irmis RB, Sertich JJW, Currie PJ, Sampson SD (2013) Tyrant Dinosaur
Evolution Tracks the Rise and Fall of Late Cretaceous
Oceans. PLoS ONE 8(11): e79420. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079420
The Late Cretaceous (~95-66 million years ago) western North American landmass
of Laramidia displayed heightened non-marine
vertebrate diversity and intracontinental regionalism relative to other latest
Cretaceous Laurasian ecosystems. Processes generating
these patterns during this interval remain poorly understood despite their
presumed role in the diversification of many clades.
Tyrannosauridae, a clade of large-bodied theropod dinosaurs restricted to the
Late Cretaceous of Laramidia and Asia, represents an
ideal group for investigating Laramidian patterns of evolution. We use new
tyrannosaurid discoveries from Utah-including a new taxon
which represents the geologically oldest member of the clade-to investigate the
evolution and biogeography of Tyrannosauridae. These
data suggest a Laramidian origin for Tyrannosauridae, and implicate sea-level
related controls in the isolation, diversification,
and dispersal of this and many other Late Cretaceous vertebrate clades.
The oldest proper tyrannosaurid discovered, but closer to the
Tarbosaurus-Tyrannosaurus clade than is Daspletosaurus.
Lythronax, from lythron (Greek), gore, and anax (Greek), king; and argestes
(Greek), the Homeric wind from the southwest, in
reference to the geographic location of the specimen within North America.
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: email@example.com Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
Faculty Director, Science & Global Change Program, College Park Scholars
Mailing Address: Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Department of Geology
Building 237, Room 1117
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742 USA