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RE: Aquilops, new ceratopsian from Lower Cretaceous of Montana, oldest in North America
Been waiting since I first saw this thing back in 1999 or so!
Thomas R. Lipka
Arundel Project and Geobiological Research
Affiliated Research Associate
University of Oklahoma/Sam Noble Museum
DigiMorph Links to Arundel Specimens:
NMNH Link: Backyard Dinosaurs
From: owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu [mailto:owner-DINOSAUR@usc.edu] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 14:26
Subject: Aquilops, new ceratopsian from Lower Cretaceous of Montana, oldest
in North America
New in PLoS ONE:
Andrew A. Farke, W. Desmond Maxwell, Richard L. Cifelli & Mathew J.
A Ceratopsian Dinosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of Western North America,
and the Biogeography of Neoceratopsia.
PLoS ONE 9(12): e112055.
The fossil record for neoceratopsian (horned) dinosaurs in the Lower
Cretaceous of North America primarily comprises isolated teeth and
postcrania of limited taxonomic resolution, hampering previous efforts to
reconstruct the early evolution of this group in North America. An
associated cranium and lower jaw from the Cloverly Formation (?middle-late
Albian, between 104 and 109 million years old) of southern Montana is
designated as the holotype for Aquilops americanus gen. et sp. nov. Aquilops
americanus is distinguished by several autapomorphies, including a strongly
hooked rostral bone with a midline boss and an elongate and sharply pointed
antorbital fossa. The skull in the only known specimen is comparatively
small, measuring 84 mm between the tips of the rostral and jugal. The taxon
is interpreted as a basal neoceratopsian closely related to Early Cretaceous
Asian taxa, such as Liaoceratops and Auroraceratops. Biogeographically, A.
americanus probably originated via a dispersal from Asia into North America;
the exact route of this dispersal is ambiguous, although a Beringian rather
than European route seems more likely in light of the absence of
ceratopsians in the Early Cretaceous of Europe. Other amniote clades show
similar biogeographic patterns, supporting an intercontinental migratory
event between Asia and North America during the late Early Cretaceous. The
temporal and geographic distribution of Upper Cretaceous neoceratopsians
(leptoceratopsids and ceratopsoids) suggests at least intermittent
connections between North America and Asia through the early Late
Cretaceous, likely followed by an interval of isolation and finally
reconnection during the latest Cretaceous.
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