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Re: Deinocheirus, mystery dinosaur revealed at last

Does anyone know of a good detailed account of the stolen skull and how it was ultimately returned?



On 10/22/2014 11:13 AM, Ben Creisler wrote:
Ben Creisler

Online at the Nature site:

Yuong-Nam Lee, Rinchen Barsbold, Philip J. Currie, Yoshitsugu
Kobayashi, Hang-Jae Lee, Pascal Godefroit, François Escuillié &
Tsogtbaatar Chinzorig (2014)
Resolving the long-standing enigmas of a giant ornithomimosaur
Deinocheirus mirificus.
Nature (advance online publication)

The holotype of Deinocheirus mirificus was collected by the 1965
Polish–Mongolian Palaeontological Expedition at Altan Uul III in the
southern Gobi of Mongolia1. Because the holotype consists mostly of
giant forelimbs (2.4 m in length) with scapulocoracoids2, for almost
50 years Deinocheirus has remained one of the most mysterious
dinosaurs. The mosaic of ornithomimosaur and non-ornithomimosaur
characters in the holotype has made it difficult to resolve the
phylogenetic status of Deinocheirus3, 4. Here we describe two new
specimens of Deinocheirus that were discovered in the Nemegt Formation
of Altan Uul IV in 2006 and Bugiin Tsav in 2009. The Bugiin Tsav
specimen (MPC-D 100/127) includes a left forelimb clearly identifiable
as Deinocheirus and is 6% longer than the holotype. The Altan Uul IV
specimen (MPC-D 100/128) is approximately 74% the size of MPC-D
100/127. Cladistic analysis indicates that Deinocheirus is the largest
member of the Ornithomimosauria; however, it has many unique skeletal
features unknown in other ornithomimosaurs, indicating that
Deinocheirus was a heavily built, non-cursorial animal with an
elongate snout, a deep jaw, tall neural spines, a pygostyle, a
U-shaped furcula, an expanded pelvis for strong muscle attachments, a
relatively short hind limb and broad-tipped pedal unguals.
Ecomorphological features in the skull, more than a thousand
gastroliths, and stomach contents (fish remains) suggest that
Deinocheirus was a megaomnivore that lived in mesic environments.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr (2014)
Palaeontology: Mystery of the horrible hands solved
Nature (online publication)

A pair of newly discovered 70-million-year-old fossils from Mongolia —
including material previously lost to poaching — reveals the true
nature of one of the most enigmatic dinosaur species, Deinocheirus


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