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New ankylosaur material from Romania



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new online paper:

Attila Osi, Vlad Codrea, Edina Prondvai & Zoltán Csiki-Sava (2014)
New ankylosaurian material from the Upper Cretaceous of Transylvania.
Annales de Paléontologie (advance online publication)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.annpal.2014.02.001
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753396914000202


Ankylosaurian remains from the Transylvanian Basin, Romania, are
extremely rare. More than 100 years after the discovery of the first
and only better-known assemblage, namely the type material of
Struthiosaurus transylvanicus, new ankylosaurian material has been
discovered in the Maastrichtian of the Hateg Basin, as well as at
another locality (Vurpar), in the Transylvanian Basin, that is
described here. The material consists of one tooth in a small jaw
fragment (from the Hateg Basin) and at least two accummulations of
associated, as well as several isolated, postcranial elements (from
Vurpar). No diagnostic elements are preserved that would overlap with
the type of S. transylvanicus, so we cannot assign any of the new
specimens to this species. The tooth shows marked differences compared
to those of other anklyosaurs including S. austriacus and
Hungarosaurus in having only six, more or less equally sized, apically
pointed cusps separated by deep grooves. The postcranial material from
Vurpar represents at least three different individuals. The humerus is
the most diagnostic element among the postcranial remains being most
similar both in size and morphology to humeri referred to as
Struthiosaurus from different European localities, thus here we refer
the humerus and probably associated elements preserved in one
assemblage to as cf. Struthiosaurus sp.; the remaining specimens from
Vurpar are retained as Nodosauridae indet. Histological studies have
confirmed the adult nature of all sampled bones in the Vurpar
ankylosaur material suggesting that these fully grown animals were of
similar size to Struthiosaurus, a small-bodied nodosaurid the
ontogenetic status of which, however, has never been investigated
histologically. The obviously diminished body size of the
Transylvanian ankylosaurs compared to other members of the clade could
be explained by insular dwarfism using the same histology-based
argument as presented for Magyarosaurus.