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Mapusaurus (carcharodontosaurid) cranial ontogenetic variation

Ben Creisler

A new online paper:

Juan Ignacio Canale, Fernando Emilio Novas, Leonardo Salgado & Rodolfo
Aníbal Coria (2014)
Cranial ontogenetic variation in Mapusaurus roseae (Dinosauria:
Theropoda) and the probable role of heterochrony in
carcharodontosaurid evolution.
Paläontologische Zeitschrift (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1007/s12542-014-0251-3

The carcharodontosaurid theropod Mapusaurus roseae (Cenomanian of
Neuquén Province, Argentina) is represented by at least seven
disarticulated individuals from a monospecific bonebed, all of
different sizes and presumably different stages of maturity. We report
a series of anatomical differences between repeated skull bones of
Mapusaurus, which we interpret as produced by peramorphic
heterochronic processes. The materials analyzed include maxillae,
lacrimals, dentaries, and isolated teeth. Most of the differences were
recorded in the maxilla, the most noticeable change being the
reduction of the pneumaticity. We found that some of the synapomorphic
characters of derived carcharodontosaurids appear to be the result of
peramorphic heterochronies, as in the strongly ornamented facial
bones, and the single opening in the anteroventral corner of the
antorbital fossa in the maxilla.