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Theropod ootaxa and Cretaceous dinosaur turnover in SW Europe



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:


Albert G. Sellés, Bernat Vila & Àngel Galobart (2014)
Diversity of theropod ootaxa and its implications for the latest
Cretaceous dinosaur turnover in southwestern Europe.
Cretaceous Research 49: 45-54
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2014.02.004
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667114000111


The scarcity of diagnostic skeletal elements in the latest Cretaceous
theropod record of the Ibero-Armorican domain (southwestern Europe)
prevents to perform accurate phylogenetic, paleobiogeographic, and
diversity studies. In contrast, eggs and eggshells of theropod
dinosaurs are relatively abundant and well known in this region from
which several ootaxa have been described. Here, we describe the first
Late Maastrichtian theropod ootaxon (Prismatoolithus trempii oosp.
nov.) from SW Europe and demonstrate that oological record can be used
as a proxy for assessing diversity of egg-producers and may help to
complement their scarce bone record. The performed analyses indicate
that the theropod taxa and ootaxa reach their diversity maxima during
the Late Campanian and start to decrease near the
Campanian-Maastrichtian boundary at both global and regional scales.
The oological diversity of theropods in the Ibero-Armorican domain is
consistent with the theropod diversity identified at high taxonomic
level. Two distinct assemblages of theropod ootaxa can be recognized
in the latest Cretaceous of the Ibero-Armorican domain. Their temporal
transition can be correlated with other dinosaur faunal changes
recorded in the region. This faunal turnover took place around the
Early-Late Maastrichtian boundary, involving ornithopods, sauropods,
ankylosaurs and, according to the present results, theropods as well.

Highlights
The new theropod ootaxon Prismatoolithus trempii oosp. nov. is described.
Theropod ootaxa diversity is used as a proxy of the taxonomic diversity.
Two theropod oological assemblages are found for the latest Cretaceous
in SW Europe.
Change in ootaxa assemblages correlates with a early Maastrichtian
dinosaur turnover.