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Pachycephalosaur habitat in North America

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Jordan C. Mallon and David C. Evans (2014)
Taphonomy and habitat preference of North American pachycephalosaurids
(Dinosauria, Ornithischia).
Lethaia (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/let.12082

The traditional view of North American pachycephalosaurids holds that
their domes are typically worn, as though they had undergone extensive
fluvial transport, and that these animals therefore inhabited upland
environments (e.g. piedmont/intermontane settings) relative to where
their remains are typically found. Using a statistically robust sample
of domes from Alberta, Canada, we subject these hypotheses to various
forms of quantitative testing and show that: (1) domes typically
exhibit minimal rounding; (2) dome roundness does not positively
correlate with distance from the presumed intermontane origin; and (3)
pachycephalosaurid remains are not relatively more abundant in
intermontane than in alluvial or coastal plain palaeoenvironments.
These findings contradict the traditional view of North American
pachycephalosaurid dome taphonomy and support the argument that
pachycephalosaurids frequented alluvial and coastal lowlands.