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Re: Kunbarrasaurus, new anklyosaur from Lower Cretaceous of Australia (was Minmi sp.) (free pdf)

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On Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 8:28 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:
> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new paper in PeerJ:
> Lucy G. Leahey, Ralph E. Molnar, Kenneth Carpenter, Lawrence M. Witmer
> & Steven W. Salisbury (2015)
> Cranial osteology of the ankylosaurian dinosaur formerly known as
> Minmi sp. (Ornithischia: Thyreophora) from the Lower Cretaceous Allaru
> Mudstone of Richmond, Queensland, Australia.
> PeerJ 3:e1475
> doi: https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1475
> https://peerj.com/articles/1475/
> Minmi is the only known genus of ankylosaurian dinosaur from
> Australia. Seven specimens are known, all from the Lower Cretaceous of
> Queensland. Only two of these have been described in any detail: the
> holotype specimen Minmi paravertebra from the Bungil Formation near
> Roma, and a near complete skeleton from the Allaru Mudstone on
> Marathon Station near Richmond, preliminarily referred to a possible
> new species of Minmi. The Marathon specimen represents one of the
> world’s most complete ankylosaurian skeletons and the best-preserved
> dinosaurian fossil from eastern Gondwana. Moreover, among
> ankylosaurians, its skull is one of only a few in which the majority
> of sutures have not been obliterated by dermal ossifications or
> surface remodelling. Recent preparation of the Marathon specimen has
> revealed new details of the palate and narial regions, permitting a
> comprehensive description and thus providing new insights cranial
> osteology of a basal ankylosaurian. The skull has also undergone
> computed tomography, digital segmentation and 3D computer
> visualisation enabling the reconstruction of its nasal cavity and
> endocranium. The airways of the Marathon specimen are more complicated
> than non-ankylosaurian dinosaurs but less so than derived
> ankylosaurians. The cranial (brain) endocast is superficially similar
> to those of other ankylosaurians but is strongly divergent in many
> important respects. The inner ear is extremely large and unlike that
> of any dinosaur yet known. Based on a high number of diagnostic
> differences between the skull of the Marathon specimen and other
> ankylosaurians, we consider it prudent to assign this specimen to a
> new genus and species of ankylosaurian. Kunbarrasaurus ieversi gen. et
> sp. nov. represents the second genus of ankylosaurian from Australia
> and is characterised by an unusual melange of both primitive and
> derived characters, shedding new light on the evolution of the
> ankylosaurian skull.