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Yunganglong, new basal hadrosauroid from Early Cretaceous of China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


New in PLoS ONE:

Run-Fu Wang, Hai-Lu You, Shi-Chao Xu, Suo-Zhu Wang, Jian Yi, Li-Juan
Xie, Lei Jia & Ya-Xian Li (2013)
A New Hadrosauroid Dinosaur from the Early Late Cretaceous of Shanxi
Province, China.
PLoS ONE 8(10): e77058.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077058
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0077058



Background

The origin of hadrosaurid dinosaurs is far from clear, mainly due to
the paucity of their early Late Cretaceous close relatives. Compared
to numerous Early Cretaceous basal hadrosauroids, which are mainly
from Eastern Asia, only six early Late Cretaceous (pre-Campanian)
basal hadrosauroids have been found: three from Asia and three from
North America.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Here we describe a new hadrosauroid dinosaur, Yunganglong datongensis
gen. et sp. nov., from the early Late Cretaceous Zhumapu Formation of
Shanxi Province in northern China. The new taxon is represented by an
associated but disarticulated partial adult skeleton including the
caudodorsal part of the skull. Cladistic analysis and comparative
studies show that Yunganglong represents one of the most basal Late
Cretaceous hadrosauroids and is diagnosed by a unique combination of
features in its skull and femur.

Conclusions/Significance

The discovery of Yunganglong adds another record of basal
Hadrosauroidea in the early Late Cretaceous, and helps to elucidate
the origin and evolution of Hadrosauridae.